Thursday, February 14, 2008

Still More Red and Black Thoughts

Mulling the book over one thought has struck me:  Julien's just a kid!  He does some dumb, crazy, hypocritical things in the book, but he never lost my sympathy, and I think that's in a large part because he's young and naive and just doesn't know any better.  He tries to be the Machiavellian figure, all manipulative and controlling, and yet he can't keep up the facade for very long before his emotions come crashing through (examples: collapsing in tears at Madame de Renal's feet when he can't figure out how to seduce her (and oops, this is exactly the move that works), and his shooting of Madame de Remal).  And I think part of his attraction to Madame de Renal is as a mother figure, in a way.  She's older than him, and at the end he refers to their bond as "filial" (at least in the translation I read).  Like many young men, he's full of bravado and bluster, but short on the worldly knowledge to pull his ambitions off in the end.  Poor kid

And does anyone in this book come out looking good in the end?  I can't think of anyone.

But enough about Julien, I'm on to the next book.  Next up:  Silas Marner.

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