The ambiguity of the image of Gobsek - Honore de Balzac

Essays on literary works - 2023

The ambiguity of the image of Gobsek
Honore de Balzac

Covetousness, greed for accumulation - these are traits that have been ridiculed more than once in world literature. But among the gallery of images of miserly Gobsek differs precisely in ambiguity. Why did Balzac show his hero in this way? First, Gobsek very accurately fit into the era that contributed to the flourishing of usury. These were the times of the formation of the power of the bourgeoisie, which knew well the value of money and its power. So Gobsek is a child in his time. He believed that gold itself is not the only thing that a person should be chasing, since it reliably protects a person from troubles, from the whole world. And Balzac shows an interesting personality to the miracle. He is not a primitive miser who sees nothing but money. True, only money has long become for him a measure of the value of a person. He even had his own philosophy, not without logic:And yet he saw a lot in life and managed to reach certain conclusions regarding human characters, lifestyles. Behind individual features, he sees a person, how the appearance of Fanny Malva tells him what she borrows money for and how she lives, how she expects to return it. It is precisely the understanding of the attitude towards money that arouses respect for Gobseck: if it is already necessary to borrow money, then you need to weigh how and when you can return it. Yes, and the details of the life of the countess where Resto turn him into elecampane. He understands for whom and why the money is spent, how and where it will lead.

The usurer-philosopher connects money and morality, showing the depreciation of human morality, which also fall into the circle of money. He correctly reflects on how money can destroy any human relationship, and does not make an exception for Derville, giving him money at a high percentage. Indeed, the duty of gratitude at times becomes an unreasonable burden on normal human relationships. This means that Gobsek is almost the first person who owns a great discovery of the path to harmony between morality and action? Unfortunately not at all. A smart and experienced usurer, a wise and cunning person did not notice how he himself found himself in the net of greed for gold. Gobsek did not notice how he began to own money, and they took possession of his life, his thoughts, emotions, his whole soul. His spiritual death is a great and instructive lesson for all, precisely because