The Corruption And Greed That Infested French High Society During The Bourbon Restoration

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The Pere Goriot, illustrates the corruption and greed that infested French high society during the Bourbon Restoration. Honore de Balzac who was a right winged conservative, depicts post revolutionary Paris as a place of corruption, greed, and dysfunctional families. The class system was more fragile than ever before and if one was willing to do what it takes, they could have the opportunity to make it into the Parisian Elite. With Feudalism abolished in France, you no longer had to be born in the first estate to live the lavish life of the social elite. As a steadfast conservative and opponent of the Revolution, Balzac depicts this new social mobility as something that corrupted French Society. The Bourbon Restoration allowed for your wealth to be the main factor in what part of the social strata you belonged, not what family you were born into. The abolition of feudalism coupled with the emergence of capitalism in France furthermore allowed for people to more easily move up the social ladder. The social structure was a volatile one, people were making and losing money all the time and Balzac illuminates on how much people struggle to live lavishly. The fragile social structure was not liked by conservatives who were used to never having to worry about dropping out of the elite or people joining it. He illustrates the Parisian people as pitiless, selfish, and egocentric. Not only does he show that the Parisian elite were cold blooded people who only cared about money and
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