Realism In The Goriot

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“All is true”. Discuss the relationship between reality and fiction in Le père Goriot. First of all, Le Père Goriot is a novel included in a series of novels called by Balzac “La Comédie Humaine”. In its Avant-Propos, Balzac claims that he wants to represent in this series of novels, the society and the variety of human types. This statement is related to the concept of realism, indeed by affirming that he wants to represent the society and the human types, his novels should have some real foundations taken from the reality. Consequently, the context became fundamental and it represents the starting point for the description of the events. Le Père Goriot is set in 1819, after the Napoleon defeat and when the industrial revolution started. It was a period of great revolution and changes between the hierarchy of the social classes and Balzac aims to represent the various tensions of that period, especially in Paris. Moreover, in the Avant-Propos Balzac affirm that the novelist should be the secretary of the history, he tells us the story from a scientific point of view because he added that the novelist has to study the humanity as the biologist study the animals. Hence, this essay discusses the fact that the context of the novel and the description of the social tension can be defined as the realistic part of the novel which are intertwined in the plot and in the fictional characters who have a connection to the real life. Firstly, the 19th century was a period in which
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