in pursuit of desire a study in the stendhalian



Scarlet and Black as well titled because The Red and the Dark-colored (Le Rouge et le Noir) is known as a 19th Hundred years French story by Marie Henri Beyle popularly generally known as Stendhal, which will explores lifespan of a young man whose focused and passionate nature leads to his tragic downfall. Through this piece of hype set through the Bourbon trend, a period of socio-political importance in French history, Stendhal beautifully combines romanticism and realism to spell out the journey of his hero. The psychologist in Stendhal as well gives the viewers an insight in Julien’s scheming aspirations and finally, repentance following guilt of attempting to murder his real love in the pursuit of his aspirations. This psychological perspective is recognized as a result of the influence of medical literature especially Pinel’s Traite which Stendhal go through in 1805 and 1810 showing greater interest in one of its chapters, Fine art of Counterbalancing the Human Passions by Other folks of Similar or Superior Force, an essential Part of Medication (Kete, 2005). Thus, this essay is going to examine how desire in the Stendhalian leading part is unveiled in Scarlet and Dark-colored.

From the very beginning, Julien stands out in character because of his love for reading and understanding and nature. Even in the family, he could be considered totally different from the members of the family which can be seen through the father’s attitude: He may have forgiven Julien his small size, so little modified to weighty labor, and unlike the build of his older brothers, but this mad craze for reading was hateful to him. This individual himself could hardly read (Stendhal, 1831). It really is this love for studying that enables Julien to receive the post as being a tutor in an aristocrat’s household as the first thing towards knowing his dreams. Furthermore, he carefully selects the local clergy over a army profession because of the power yielded by the house of worship especially in French politics during this period and the great living directed at the local clergy. He keeps close associations with Daddy Chelan from whom this individual gets learning theology together with the prospect of entering the clergy. On the other hand, Father Chelan who has “a troubled peek, deep straight down, of a darker ambition” within just Julien, questions his intentions of being a priest (Stendhal, 1831). Daddy Chelan which Julien very much adores just might be the only one who manages to catch a glimpse of Julien’s heart and soul. The leading part does constantly face an internal conflict the moment his ethical codes happen to be compromised in his journey to fulfil his goals and aims. However , since “ambition was still his central passion¦ [which] was indeed his pleasure in possessing”, he has to usually go against his conscience to gain material rewards (Stendhal, 1831). Furthermore, in Father Pirard’ seminary, this individual stands out from among the list of other college students due to his liberal ideologies and heart. Most importantly, this individual earns the respect and favour of the strict Dad Pirard through whom greater connections in society are manufactured particularly with the introduction to Monsieur de la Gopher. In addition , like Stendhal him self, Julien can be an living secret regarder of Napoleon and his heroic feats which usually continue to motivate him (Gleeson-White, 2012). Therefore, Stendhal has made the protagonist stand out from the outset as a result of his attractive traits and too focused nature. Irrespective of his hate for the aristocrats or perhaps royalists, Julien Sorel uses them to rise the interpersonal ladder and pursue his inordinate goals.

Similar to Stendhal, Julien was a open-handed who despised the ways in the bourgeois, their particular treatment of the bottom classes, especially. However , the between the two is that Stendhal who was brought up in Grenoble, was actually of a Jesuit Royalist relatives background which he grew to criticize while his fictional main character is of a lesser rank in society which has a natural tendency to dislike the upper course (“Stendhal”, 2016). In the novel, Julien skins his real political inclinations and deals with to impress the de Renal household, exclusively, the Creciente of the comarcal Verrieres, Monsieur de Renal and even his rival Chriatian Valenod, through displays of memorized understanding of the holy bible and other readings. However , Julien being a very pleased creature, in the beginning, expresses his discontent by being offered a posture as a guitar tutor in Monsieur de Renal’s house for the reason that of the fear of being lowered to the situation of a servant in his home. “The fear of ingesting with the maids was not anything natural to Julien, for making his good fortune he would did other things similarly unpalatable” demonstrates he would whatever it takes to make his way is obviously (Stendhal, 1831). Later on, in the novel, this individual even gains the favour of the strong Monsieur entre ma Mole due to his smart dealings with politics and reputation being a good tutor. Although the fictional hero profits many advantages from these important persons in order to satisfy his inordinate aspirations and the opportunity to trip in the honour guard from the king’s march, he is constantly on the secretly criticize and disapprove of their life-styles and attitudes. Despite all this criticism, this individual furtively plans to are part of their universe by hiding behind a spiritual façade. Consequently, he can end up being perceived as a hypocrite since “hypocrisy and an absence of almost all sympathy were the usual methods of protecting himself” (Stendhal, 1831). By putting up appearances and gaining favorable comments through his knowledge of books, the leading part, thus, gets into the upper school society which is one step towards realising his desired goals.

Two important associations that play an important part in Julien’s plans will be his affair with Dame de Renal and Mlle. Mathilde. The spirit and fervour within Julien appeal to both women who had hardly ever been in love before. This is often seen in the instant attraction Dame de Reniforme feels to get Julien in their first appointment, For her part, Madame sobre Rênal was utterly beguiled by his fine appearance, his great black eye, and his beautiful hair, that has been curlier than most men’s”since, to freshen up, he’d just plunged his head into the waters from the public water fountain (Stendhal, 1831). Julien uses this bewitching personality to seduce Mme. de Reniforme in order to get well-informed on lots of things about sophisticated society as well as politics through his conversations with her, which he finds helpful for his schemes in the near future. Yet , his 1st relations with the delicate and charming Mme. De Reniforme, can be considered the purpose in which he understands real love or the “presence of being in love” (Haig, 1891). It might be perceived that his thoughts for her had been genuine as he realises his true passion for her if he is confined to the cell and repents his crime, as “in his cardiovascular, ambition acquired died, nevertheless from its ashes another love had come about: he referred to as it sorrow for having attempted to kill Dame de Rênal” (Stendhal, 1831). In contrast, his affair with the proud and haughty Mlle. Mathilde can be viewed more of an intellectual appeal as he has the capacity to express his most personal, cynical sights of class inequality and other politics to her which usually he obscured in the previous affair. This relegates Mlle. Mathilde to the position of a confidante. One example of the blend of romanticism and realism inside the novel is visible through Julien’s choice of mistresses as the first has an the likelihood of romanticism even though the second one particular, formed more on an perceptive and logical basis, demonstrates a trace of realism. His second affair to him was more of an achievement to pursue his dreams compared to a romantic entanglement, And Im or her going to seduce his daughter”me! Perhaps her marriage to de Croisenois will be impossible”a marriage that glows in Monsieur entre ma Moles foreseeable future (Stendhal, 1831). To him, she was more like a trophy being won while through her, he could acquire a lot of his valued desires. This proves to be true since Monsieur entre ma Mole does not have choice although give his consent towards the affair and arrange him a stable living with the title of Chevalier de La Vernaye which is the orgasm of Julien’s immoderate yearnings. The two associations serve his purposes well at interestingly various ways.

Yet , his last act of crime fully commited though love due to Mme. de Renal’s betrayal markings his drop as “all the targets and expectations of ambition had to be yanked out of his heart” due to his death penalty (Stendhal, 1831). Nevertheless, this individual gets the time to repent his actions and his final words of suggestions to Mlle. Mathilde concerning her marriage to Monsieur Croisenois plus the care of the youngster depicts his logical thinking and affection for the ladies in his life even around the verge of death. Despite all the careful scheming, this man “maddened by ambition” reflects a story of “un ambitieux” which will “presents on its own in Votre rouge et le noir-gris as a problem of democracy, of dreams grasped and lost” (Kete, 2009). As a result, this new is a practical account from the nature of ambition since it beautifully reflects the excessive aspiration with the Stendhalian leading part.


Primary origin

Stendhal., (1831). The Red and the Dark. Raffel, B. (trans), Nyc: The Modern Catalogue (this release 2006).

Secondary resources

Gleeson-White, L. (2012). ‘Love is a madness most discreet’: The Crimson and the Dark-colored, A Share of 1830 by Stendhal. [online] Overland literary record. Available at: https://overland. org. au/2012/02/love-is-a-madness-most-discreet-the-red-and-the-black-a-chronicle-of-1830-by-stendhal/ [Accessed 18 April. 2016].

Haig, S i9000. (1989). Stendhal: The Crimson and the Dark-colored. 1st ed. [ebook] Cambridge: Cambridge School Press. Offered at: https://books. yahoo. lk/books? id=KjC041e87qkCdq=stendhal%27s+red+and+black+critics+on+affair+with+madame+de+renalsource=gbs_navlinks_s [Accessed 18 Oct. 2016].

Kete, T. (2005). Stendhal and the Tests of Aspirations in Postrevolutionary France. Trinity College Digital Repository, [online] (Summer). Offered at: http://digitalrepository. trincoll. edu/cgi/viewcontent. special? article=1028context=facpub [Accessed 17 Oct. 2016].

Encyclopedia. com. (2016). Stendhal. [online] Available at: http://www. encyclopedia. com/people/literature-and-arts/french-literature-biographies/stendhal [Accessed 15 Oct. 2016].

  • Category: literature
  • Words: 1753
  • Pages: 6
  • Project Type: Essay

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