Discussion Questions: Le Père Goriot

May 6, 2011 at 12:00 am 1 comment


For this week’s LT Classics Challenge we’re back in France for some Balzac! Le Père Goriot is, conveniently enough, available in its English translation form (“Old Goriot”) online via Project Gutenberg so I hope everyone will have a chance to check it out.

Below are some starter questions to you thinking about themes and such as you read. Discussion will formally open next Friday, so stop back to join in. Remember, all participants will be entered to win either a Penguin Clothbound Classic or a special limited edition World Book Night 2011 book, winner’s choice!

So without further ado, les questions! (Minor spoilers, as usual.)

What do you make of the fact that Rastignac’s two main choices for female companionship (Goriot’s daughter and his fellow resident) are both tainted?

What point is Balzac trying to make in Le Père Goriot? Is it a critique of male rapaciousness and female selfishness or is the novel trying to make other non-gendered, and perhaps generational or location-focused, points?

See you next week!

–Corey

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Madame Vauquer  |  May 6, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Le Père Goriot is always the book I recommend to anyone new to Balzac who wonders where to start. It is a cornerstone of the Comedie Humaine as it introduces Rastignac and Bianchon in their student days.

    Reply

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