UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Two Goncourt women and frustration Marles-Osberg, Brenda L. 1979

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TWO GONCOURT WOMEN AND FRUSTRATION by BRENDA L. MARLES-OSBERG  THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS  m  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT OF FRENCH UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA  We -accept t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA October 1979 0  Brenda L. M a r i e s - O s b e r g , 1979  In p r e s e n t i n g  this  thesis  an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t the I  Library  further  for  shall  agree  of  this  thesis for  It  extensive  i s understood  permission.  +.  *  Department of  by t h e  f i n a n c i a l gain shall  FRENCH  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h 2075 W e s b r o o k P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1W5  Columbia  of  the  requirements  B r i t i s h Columbia,  available for  s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d  written  n  freely  permission for  by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . of  fulfilment  the U n i v e r s i t y  make i t  that  in partial  r e f e r e n c e and copying of  this  copying or  that  study. thesis  Head o f my D e p a r t m e n t  that  not  I agree  for  or  publication  be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t  my  11  Abstract T h i s t h e s i s was commenced w i t h t h e i d e a o f s t u d y i n g woman as she i s p o r t r a y e d by Edmond and J u l e s de Goncourt i n the m i d - n i n e t e e n t h Germinie  century.  The two n o v e l s under d i s c u s s i o n ,  L a c e r t e u x and Renee Mauperin, were chosen t o p r o v i d e  examples o f two v e r y d i f f e r e n t k i n d s o f woman: one, a s e r v a n t g i r l from a p r o v i n c i a l background, and t h e o t h e r , a younger g i r l from t h e b o u r g e o i s i e .  T h i s study i s d i v i d e d i n t o t h r e e  s e c t i o n s : such an arrangement i s i n k e e p i n g w i t h t h e way t h e Goncourt B r o t h e r s saw t h e development o f t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s . The  f i r s t s e c t i o n p r e s e n t s a study o f woman i n t h e n i n e t e e n t h  c e n t u r y ; more p a r t i c u l a r l y , i t i s a study o f Renee and Germinie i n r e l a t i o n s h i p t o t h e i r environments.  The second p a r t i s a  study o f t h e f r u s t r a t i o n which m o t i v a t e d them both and p l a y e d a l a r g e p a r t i n t h e development o f t h e i r c h a r a c t e r .  The f i n a l  p o r t i o n i s a study o f death, which i s seen as t h e i r u l t i m a t e f r u s t r a t i o n and which n o n e t h e l e s s p r o v i d e d them w i t h i n s i g h t i n t o t h e reasons  f o r t h e i r u l t i m a t e acceptance  of t h e i r  fate.  In a d d i t i o n t o these s t u d i e s , an a n a l y s i s o f t h e r o l e o f Natur a l i s m w i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e works o f t h e Goncourt B r o t h e r s i s included.  I t i s hoped t h a t some l i g h t i s thus shed upon t h e  female c h a r a c t e r i t s e l f ,  and t h a t t h i s w i l l l e a d t o a g r e a t e r  u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e Goncourt B r o t h e r s as p a i n t e r s o f r e a l i s t i c p o r t r a i t s o f people o f t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y .  iii  To  Ted  W i t h Love.  iv  Table o f Contents  Abstract Dedication  Page  i i i i i  Acknowledgement  v  Introduction  1  Chapter I - The P o r t r a i t o f the Women  1^  Chapter I I - Two H e r o i n e s i n F r u s t r a t i o n  32  Chapter I I I - The P o r t r a i t o f Death  75  Conclusion  102  Bibliography  109  V  Acknowledgement  Many thanks t o Dr. F l o y d S t . C l a i r and Dr. D a v i d N i e d e r a u e r f o r t h e i r t h o u g h t f u l h e l p and encouragement d u r i n g the p r e p a r a t i o n o f t h i s  thesis.  1  Introduction  The Goncourt B r o t h e r s u t i l i z e d the v e h i c l e o f the n o v e l t o p o r t r a y r e a l people o f the mid 1800's. to do s o , b u t t h e i r n o v e l s were unique to such a p o r t r a i t .  They were n o t the f i r s t  i n the approach  they  took  T h e i r s u b j e c t m a t t e r , t h a t o f woman, was  i n n o v a t i v e and c l e a r l y showed t h e i r concern w i t h and a t t i t u d e towards the female c h a r a c t e r . T h e i r v i s i o n o f woman i n t h e n o v e l s Germinie  Lacerteux  and Ren6e M a u p e r i n i s an i m p o r t a n t s t e p i n the development o f c h a r a c t e r p o r t r a y a l w i t h i n the v e h i c l e o f the n o v e l .  They l o o k  a t woman w i t h open eyes and p o r t r a y each woman's s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t the f r u s t r a t i o n s which b e s e t h e r w i t h honesty and sympathy. works e x h i b i t an i n t i m a t e p i c t u r e o f each woman.  These  They a r e e s t h e -  t i c a l l y v a l u a b l e works t o s u c c e e d i n g g e n e r a t i o n s i n t h a t the r e a d e r i s p e r m i t t e d t o v i e w b o t h the e x t e r n a l and the i n t e r n a l s t r u g g l e s t o which each woman was s u b j e c t e d . The purpose o f t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n i s t o examine these n o v e l s w i t h an eye t o e s t a b l i s h i n g where the women r e p r e s e n t e d f i t i n t o the s o c i e t y o f the time.  The theme o f f r u s t r a t i o n i s  i m p o r t a n t here s i n c e i t s e f f e c t s encroach upon the day-to-day l i v e s o f each o f these women.  S i n c e these n o v e l s a r e i m p o r t a n t  to the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f woman i n the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , they deserve a c l o s e e x a m i n a t i o n  today.  Edmond and J u l e s de Goncourt wrote t h e i r n o v e l s i n o r d e r t o attempt an a c c u r a t e d e s c r i p t i o n o f a n event so as t o evoke the same e m o t i o n a l response  i n the r e a d e r as t h a t p e r c e i v e d  2  a t the occurrence  o f the o r i g i n a l event by the a u t h o r s .  This  was t h e i r g o a l . D u r i n g the p e r i o d i n which they w r o t e , the major e r a r y t r e n d was r e a l i s m .  lit-  I t s t e n e t s were"as f o l l o w s :  1° l e d r o i t pour l ' a r t i s t e de f a i r e ce q u ' i l v e u t ; 2? l e d r o i t de c h o i s i r des s u j e t s contemporains; 3°le d r o i t de r e p r S s e n t e r avec v£rite l e s moeurs a c t u e l l e s , pour en l a i s s e r un document.i T h i s r e a l i s t i c v i e w p e r m i t t e d the Goncourt B r o t h e r s t o a t t a c h s i g n i f i c a n c e t o each g e s t u r e and each statement w i t h i n t h e i r n o v e l s b u t t h e i r wholehearted  d e s i r e was t o c o n t r i b u t e more than  mere documentation t o the l i t e r a t u r e o f the p e r i o d . a means t o i n j e c t a tone o f s e n s u a l i t y i n t o t h e i r  They sought  literature.  T h i s l e d them t o adopt r e a l i s m as the b a s i s o f t h e i r works, and '. then t o s t r i v e f o r a n o t h e r , more e m o t i o n a l , dimension.  This  new d i m e n s i o n was the f i r s t s t e p towards the concept o f n a t u r a lism. P e u t - e t r e parce q u ' i l s sont venus p l u s t a r d , i l s ont p l u s completement r e a l i s e ' l e s a s p i r a t i o n s p r i n c i p a l e s e t d i v e r s e s de l a d o c t r i n e r£aliste, q u i se m a n i f e s t a i e n t depuis une q u i n z a i n e d'ann§es: l e roman s o c i o l o g i q u e de B a l z a c ; l e gout pour 1 ' i n f o r m a t i o n minut i e u s e e t m£thodique a l a maniere de F l a u b e r t ; l a pr£f'6rence pour l e s t a b l e a u x e t l e s p e r sonnages emprunt<§s aux m i l i e u x p o p u l a i r e s , comme l e v o u l a i t Champfleury; l a c o n c e p t i o n de l a monographie s c i e n t i f i q u e formulae p a r Taine... I l s ont a i n s i p r e s e n t s , v e r s 1865, un systeme l i t t e " r a i r e f o r t c o h e r e n t , q u i e s t , a v r a i d i r e , l a premiere forme de l a d o c t r i n e n a t u r a l i s t e , e t non p l u s r§aliste.2 The  f o l l o w i n g f o r m u l a by P. M a r t i n o e s p r e s s e s  quite  w e l l the s p i r i t o f n a t u r a l i s m : L ' i d S a l du roman:  c ' e s t de donner avec l ' a r t  3 l a p l u s v i v e i m p r e s s i o n du v r a i humain, q u e l qu'il soit.3 Thus, the Goncourt B r o t h e r s a l s o sought t o add the dimension the v r a i humain to the concept  of a r t i n l i t e r a t u r e .  of  They had  to  d e f i n e b o t h the v r a i humain and the a r t which they i n t e n d e d to i n c o r p o r a t e i n t o t h e i r works i n o r d e r to f u l l y develop  the doc-  t r i n e of n a t u r a l i s m . F o r the Goncourt B r o t h e r s , the v r a i humain c e n t r e d  on  the p e r c e p t i o n o f l i f e as a whole, and the p e r c e p t i o n o f i n t i m a t e and d i s c r e t e o c c u r r e n c e s , b o t h i n t e r i o r ( c e r e b r a l ) and (sociological).  exterior  T h i s appears as the keynote o f t h e i r works i n  the form o f an a n a l y s i s o f the r e l a t i o n s h i p o f the e x t e r i o r the i n t e r i o r .  and  They sought to m i r r o r the e x t e r i o r on the i n t e r i o r ,  to g i v e a t a n g i b l e p o i n t o f r e f e r e n c e to the p e r c e p t i o n o f an event, s i n c e the i n t e r i o r , w i t h i t s s e n s a t i o n s and v i s i o n s , o f t e n t h a n not'dominates the p e r c e p t i o n o f the e x t e r i o r .  What  i s p e r c e i v e d by one p e r s o n w i l l not have the same p o i n t o f ence as t h a t which i s p e r c e i v e d by a n o t h e r . c o u r t B r o t h e r s devoted  more  refer-  T h e r e f o r e , the Gon-  t h e i r l i v e s to the s e a r c h f o r a v e h i c l e  capable o f r e p r o d u c i n g t h e i r own emotions and s e n s a t i o n s so t h a t they c o u l d be f e l t by the r e a d e r . T h e i r p a t h towards t h i s g o a l , however, was and l o n g .  arduous  I n t h e i r s e a r c h f o r the v r a i humain and a manner i n  which to express  themselves  and t h e i r t h o u g h t s , they t r i e d many  d i f f e r e n t media, b o t h a r t i s t i c and l i t e r a r y , but a l l were deemed unsatisfactory.  They o r i g i n a l l y c o n c e n t r a t e d on the v i s u a l  o f p a i n t i n g and s c u l p t u r e . were e s s e n t i a l l y  arts  However, they found t h a t t h e i r works  a p l a s t i c v e r s i o n o f t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n o f an  o b j e c t or a p e r s o n .  They c o u l d not c a p t u r e the m y r i a d  sensations  and i m p r e s s i o n s which were evoked by the m e e t i n g o f a r t i s t canvas, but c o u l d o n l y choose one impressions.  or two  and  o f the more o u t s t a n d i n g  F o r them, the v r a i humain was  a momentary  glimpse  i n t o a person's r e a l i t y , a f l e e t i n g s e n s a t i o n which a p a i n t i n g on a canvas c o u l d never succeed i n f i x i n g . They were a l s o documentors o f h i s t o r y and s o c i e t y .  By  w r i t i n g and c o r r e l a t i n g a t r u e p i c t u r e o f s o c i e t y , complete w i t h i t s s i t u a t i o n s , i t s mores and i t s s t a n d a r d s ,  they had thought to  capture the i n t e r i o r p e r c e p t i o n as i t m i r r o r e d the  exterior.  T h i s , however, d i d not take i n t o a c c o u n t t h e i r own  perceptions  and s e n s a t i o n s , and they found w ' i t h i n l t h e m s e l v e s "...un c e r t a i n k  me"pris pour l a t r a n s c r i p t i o n du v r a i , du non imaging. . . " they d e s i r e d t o communicate a c e r t a i n d u a l i t y o f  Thus,  thought,  . . .une double fid<§lit£, au monde des o b j e t s e t a l a p e r c e p t i o n q u ' i l s en ont comme a r t i s t e s ... 5 H i s t o r i c a l d o c u m e n t a t i o n d i d not p o s s e s s the scope w i t h w h i c h to d e a l w i t h t h i s double f i d g l i t e " ; an e m o t i o n a l or s e n s u a l response c o u l d n o t be r e p e a t e d as i t was  f e l t a t the time d e s c r i b e d by  the  document, s i n c e p e r c e p t i o n s and b i a s e s are i n a c o n s t a n t s t a t e o f fluctuation. Thus, the v e h i c l e s o f a r t and h i s t o r i c a l documentation were n o t p r a c t i c a l forms o f l i t e r a r y and a r t i s t i c  expression.  The Goncourt B r o t h e r s , t h e r e f o r e , became n o v e l i s t s .  Through  f i c t i o n they f e l t they c o u l d convey to o t h e r s , by means o f minute a n a l y s i s and i n t i m a t e d e s c r i p t i o n , a l l those p h y s i c a l . a n d emotiona l sensations.  F i c t i o n p e r m i t t e d them to add t h e i r p e r s o n a l i n -  5  t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the events they d e s c r i b e d , t o g i v e t h e i r w r i t i n g the added d i m e n s i o n o f e m o t i o n a l response. Notre chemin l i t t S r a i r e e s t a s s e z b i z a r r e . Nous avons passe" p a r l ' h i s t o i r e pour a r r i v e r au roman. Ce n ' e s t guere 1*usage e t p o u r t a n t nous avons a g i logiquement. Sur q u o i S c r i t on l ' h i s t o i r e ? Sur des documents. E t l e s /• documents du roman, qu'est-ce s i n o n l a v i e ? I n e x a m i n i n g s o c i e t y , they l o o k e d a t the v a r i o u s s o c i a l c l a s s e s as they e x i s t e d a t the time.  T h e i r own c l a s s , the bour-  g e o i s i e , they c o n s i d e r e d to be a r t i f i c i a l and u n n a t u r a l l y cons c i o u s o f moral and s o c i a l conduct. appeared  The b o u r g e o i s i e as a whole  t o be e m o t i o n a l l y s t u n t e d and an adequate d e s c r i p t i o n  o f any emotions  or s e n s a t i o n s t h e r e would be" d i f f i c u l t to n o t e .  T h i s l e d the Goncourt B r o t h e r s t o commence an examina t i o n o f the basses c l a s s e s , those people i n s o c i e t y who employed as m e n i a l l a b o u r .  Edmond wrote i n 1871  are  that  . . . c ' e s t dans l e bas, dans l ' e f f a c e m e n t d'une c i v i l i s a t i o n , . . . que se conserve l e c a r a c t e r e des choses, des personnes, de l a l a n g u e , de tout,...7 They were c o n v i n c e d t h a t the u n f o r t u n a t e and the m i s e r a b l e o f s o c i e t y gave the c l e a r e s t p o r t r a i t o f the i n t e r i o r and the exterior.  These p e o p l e ' s s i t u a t i o n c o u l d be m i r r o r e d i n t h e i r  a c t i o n s , so engrossed were they i n the r e a l i t i e s o f l i v i n g . T h e i r emotions  were openly e x p r e s s e d , t h e i r l i v e s a t t u n e d t o the  s i t u a t i o n s u r r o u n d i n g them. I n documenting these p e o p l e , the Goncourt B r o t h e r s were aware o f the openness o f t h e i r l i v e s .  D e t a i l s of t h e i r  s e n s a t i o n s , p e r c e p t i o n s and m i l i e u x e n a b l e d the Goncourt to see these people as they r e a l l y were but i t was  emotions, Brothers  their actions  6  w h i c h d i v u l g e d t h e i r innermost  secrets.  E a c h nuance, each c a r e -  f u l l y p r e s e r v e d a c t i o n , s e r v e d t o crumble a p o r t i o n o f man's f r a g i l e concept  o f s e l f and gave an o p p o r t u n i t y t o p e r c e i v e l i f e a t  i t s very r o o t s . . . . i l s se re"f'ugient dans l e s u b t i l , l e domaine des r S a l i t S s f u y a n t e s e t apparement i n s a i s i s s a b l e s , de ce q u ' i l s nomment des nuances. Nuance, d e t a i l minuscule de l a c o u l e u r ou de l a forme, mais s u r t o u t d e t a i l en mouvement, i n f l e x i o n , passage; c ' e s t seulement dans 1 ' S c l a i r de 1 ' i n s t a n t que 1 ' o b s e r v a t e u r a des chances de l a s u r p r e n d r e : L ' a r t i s t e p e u t prendre l a n a t u r e au pos<§, l ' S c r i v a i n e s t oblige" de l a s a i s i r au v o l , e t comme un v o l eur.° Thus, a t the c o r n e r s t o n e o f N a t u r a l i s m was the n e c e s s i t y to  c a p t u r e each nuance, t o l e a d the r e a d e r i n t o s a c r o s a n c t and  p r i v a t e s e c t o r s o f each c h a r a c t e r ' s mind. to  T h i s a l l o w e d the r e a d e r  examine each c h a r a c t e r as he r e a l l y was and t o r e a c t t o emo-  t i o n a l s t i m u l i p r e s e n t e d by the w r i t e r . ...dans des l e t t r e s , dans l e roman s u r t o u t , c ' e s t l a c o n t i n u e l l e c o m p i l a t i o n des documents humains, c ' e s t l'humanite" vue e t p e i n t e , re"sumge en des c r e a t i o n s r S e l l e s e t S t e r n e l l e s . Tout n o t r e s i e c l e e s t l a , t o u t l e t r a v a i l gigantesque de n o t r e s i e c l e . . . 9 By p o r t r a y i n g s o c i e t y , the Goncourt B r o t h e r s were i n essence p o r t r a y i n g each and every one o f u s . e l i c i t an e m o t i o n a l response  That they c o u l d  from t h e i r r e a d e r s i s o b v i o u s .  e v e r , they d e s i r e d t o c a r r y t h a t response  How-  one s t e p f u r t h e r .  . . . i l s s o n t venus au re*el pour l ' a t t a q u e r , pour l e d£masquer,' en:.un. sens, meme pour l e n i e r . E n q u o i i l s montrent q u ' i l s n'ont pas t e l l e m e n t <§volue"; en q u o i l e u r r£alisme p o r t e b i e n l e s t r a c e s de ses o r i g i n e s : car c'est au nom du reve q u ' i l s p r o t e s t e n t c o n t r e l a v i e ; au nom de l e u r id£al q u ' i l s h o n i s s e n t l e r§el contemporain; au nom d'un passe" re f a i t  7 a l e u r usage q u ' i l s m§prisent l e p r e s e n t , l e u r ' r ^ a l i s m e e s t n o u r r i s u r l e p l a n humain, p a r une a r r i e r e - p e n s e e de polemique e t de vengeance lie"e a une v i s i o n de l a c o n d i t i o n humaine, q u i , e l l e , n ' e s t pas du t o u t r e a l i s t e , m a i s b i e h p l u t o t i d e a l i s t e , romantique, u t o p i q u e me'me.lO U s i n g r e a l i t y as a b a s i s f o r t h e i r works, the Goncourt Brothers injected  f l e e t i n g g l i m p s e s o f the s u b c o n s c i o u s and the  u n c o n s c i o u s , s t i m u l a t e d by t h e i r p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s i n s e l f examination.  They sought t o b r i n g t o l l i f e  those,macabre, margin-  a l impulses which i n f l u e n c e man and t o s e t f r e e man's most i n t i mate b e i n g .  Through t h e i r own s e l f - a n a l y s i s ,  they were aware o f  a deeper c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f b e i n g when under s t r e s s o r when i n f l u enced by what they termed t h e i r maladie  nerveuse.  Notre oeuvre repose s u r l a maladie nerveuse; l e s p e i n t u r e s de l a m a l a d i e , nous l e s avons t i r e e s de nous-me'mes, e t , a f o r c e de nous d i s s S q u e r , nous sommes a r r i v e s a une s e n s i t i v i t y s u p r a - a i g u e que b l e s s a i e n t l e s i n f i n i ment p e t i t s de l a v i e . H T h i s maladie nerveuse  gave the Goncourt B r o t h e r s a h y p e r s e n s i t i -  v i t y to a l l s t i m u l i .  Under i t s i n f l u e n c e , they were aware o f a  more f e r v e n t need f o r s e l f - a n a l y s i s , and were c o n f r o n t e d by f l e e t i n g s e n s a t i o n s o f the mind and body which t r a n s f o r m e d  their  p e r c e p t i o n o f the e x t e r i o r . I n the n o v e l s , c h a r a c t e r s c u r s e d w i t h a maladie become a n i m a l - l i k e :  they a r e governed  nerveuse  e n t i r e l y by the e x t e r n a l  w o r l d as a r e s u l t o f i n t e r n a l p r e s s u r e s .  They a r e i n c a p a b l e o f  f o r e s t a l l i n g t h e i r d e s t i n y and they become p r i s o n e r s o f t h e i r own s e n s i t i v i t y . . . . p r i s o n n i e r du m§me monde instantan£, s u p e r f i c i e l e t f r a g m e n t a i r e , ou. nous l e s  8 avons vus depuis l e d e p a r t  enfermgs.  S i n c e man was thus o f t e n a p r i s o n e r , w i t h o u t any means o f s e l f examination,  he c o u l d n o t escape h i s s i t u a t i o n .  The i n a b i l i t y  to disengage h i m s e l f from h i s s i t u a t i o n r e l i e v e d him of...the m o r a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to j u s t i f y h i s actions to others. had t o p r e t e n d his situation.  Man no l o n g e r ;  t h a t he was i n c o n t r o l , e i t h e r o f h i m s e l f o r o f He c o u l d e x p l a i n and excuse h i m s e l f by o f f e r i n g  the r e a d e r a s o r d i d d e s c r i p t i o n o f h i s s i t u a t i o n and h i s i n a b i l i t y to a c t .  T h i s v i s i o n can g i v e the r e a d e r i n s i g h t i n t o the v e r y  c h a r a c t e r o f man. The Goncourt B r o t h e r s had f i n a l l y a r r i v e d a t t h e i r s t y l i s t i c approach and were s a t i s f i e d t h a t t h e i r f o r m u l a would be c o n v i n c i n g and adequate f o r t h e i r needs.. a s u b j e c t w i t h w h i c h t o experiment.  However, they  lacked  They had t o guard n o t o n l y  a g a i n s t overwhelming t h e i r r e a d e r w i t h a new genre b u t a l s o a g a i n s t c h o o s i n g an a r e a o f study which would be t o o f a r away from t h e i r own e x p e r i e n c e .  Too, they r e q u i r e d a s u b j e c t t h a t  c o u l d be c l o s e l y s t u d i e d .  T h e i r c h o i c e o f woman was n o t a whim  but a s e r i o u s attempt on t h e i r p a r t t o s e l e c t a s u b j e c t which would s t a n d up t o t h e i r d e t a i l e d survey.  Woman seemed an i d e a l  s u b j e c t on which t o study the e f f e c t s o f the i n t e r i o r and e x t e r i o r phenomenon i n c l u d i n g the maladie nerveuse. Because o f t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e  with c e r t a i n lorettes ,  those e l e g a n t women d e d i c a t e d t o - t h e p l e a s u r e o f man, the Goncourt B r o t h e r s were l e d t o c o n s i d e r woman t o be l i t t l e more t h a n a t o y . For them, she was f u l l o f c o n t r a d i c t i o n s and i n c a p a b l e o f h a n d l i n g h e r s e l f when p r e s e n t e d  w i t h an u n u s u a l s i t u a t i o n .  They were c o n -  9  v i n c e d t h a t woman was  an e m o t i o n a l ,  i r r a t i o n a l c r e a t u r e whose  o n l y thoughts were o f her t o i l e t t e and o f her c o n q u e s t s . was  She  weak, c a p r i c i o u s , inane and t o t a l l y a t the mercy o f her  bringing.  Here i s how  up-  they d e s c r i b e d her i n t h e i r J o u r n a l .  L a femme semble t o u j o u r s a v o i r a se dSfendre de s a f a i b l e s s e . C'est a propos de t o u t e t de r i e n un antagonisme de d S s i r s , une r e b e l l i o n de menu v o u l o i r s , une guerre de p e t i t e s r e s o l u t i o n s i n c e s s a n t e e t comme f a i t e a p l a i sir. L a combativit<§ e s t a. ses yeux l a preuve m£me de son e x i s t e n c e . L a c a p r i c e e s t l a fagon d ' e x e r c i c e de s a v o l o n t S . L a femme gagne a. ces b a t a i l l e s sourdes, c o u r t o i s e s , mais i r r i t a n t e s , une d o m i n a t i o n abandonnSe, des v i c t o i r e s s u r l a l a s s i t u d e , en m£me temps qu'un peu de m<§pris de l'homme q u i n'aime e t ne s a i t de"penser s a f o r c e e t son gouvernement en d e t a i l , a t o u t e heure e t s u r tout.13 However, as they devoted themselves to t h e i r  research,  they r e a l i z e d t h a t the women o f t h e i r a q u a i n t a n c e were not cal  of a l l women:  was  of her amorous c o n q u e s t s , b u t ' t h e r e was  capable  c e r t a i n l y there was  of wisdom and f o r e t h o u g h t .  the Goncourt B r o t h e r s ' p h i l o s o p h y  a woman whose o n l y thought a l s o a woman who  c o n c e r n i n g woman i n a s t a t e of  and Germinie L a c e r t e u x ,  I865j are s i m i l a r and y e t d i f f e r e n t n o v e l s .  RenSe  written i n  They d e s c r i b e i n  d e t a i l the l i v e s of two women l i v i n g a t d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s s o c i e t y and y e t who  was  I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to examine  t r a n s i t i o n w i t h i n the c o n t e x t of two:-.of t h e i r n o v e l s . M a u p e r i n , w r i t t e n i n 186^,  typi-  d e a l w i t h s i m i l a r problems and  of  frustrations.  These are s t o r i e s t a k e n from r e a l l i f e , and the c h a r a c t e r s desc r i b e d are based on persons the Goncourt B r o t h e r s knew. M a u p e r i n was was  based on the l i f e  t h a t of the b o u r g e o i s i e .  Ren£e  of a c h i l d h o o d f r i e n d whose sphere Germinie L a c e r t e u x was  drawn from  10  the l i f e and a c t i o n s o f t h e i r maid, Rose.  Thus, these n o v e l s a r e  a s t u d y o f s o c i e t y , a s o c i o l o g i c a l p o r t r a i t o f two women o f the period. G i v e n the Goncourt B r o t h e r s ' own s o c i o l o g i c a l bent, the major theme o f t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n w i l l a l s o he s o c i o l o g i c a l .  By  c o n c e n t r a t i o n on the c h a r a c t e r s o f RenSe M a u p e r i n and Germinie L a c e r t e u x , many o f the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the s o c i e t y i n which they l i v e d w i l l he r e v e a l e d . w i l l be c a t a l o g u e d .  Similarly their bitter  frustrations  T h i s s t u d y l o o k s a t t h r e e i m p o r t a n t areas  i n the l i v e s o f these women, and thus w i l l be d i v i d e d i n t o as many s e c t i o n s :  the f i r s t w i l l be a b a s i c c h a r a c t e r s t u d y o f  each o f the women, t o s i t u a t e them w i t h i n s o c i e t y and t o d e t e r mine t h e i r e s s e n t i a l i d e n t i t y ; the second s e c t i o n o f t h i s work w i l l study t h e i r f r u s t r a t i o n s ; f i n a l l y , the l a s t s e c t i o n  will  f o c u s on the death o f each woman. By d i v i d i n g the work i n t h i s manner, the development and d o w n f a l l ' o f each woman becomes a l o g i c a l p r o g r e s s i o n o f e v e n t s , based on each woman's i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f h e r s i t u a t i o n . T h e i r d e c i s i o n s , however, u l t i m a t e l y r e f l e c t the a t t i t u d e s and b i a s e s o f t h e i r own time. I t i s i m p o r t a n t t o s i t u a t e these women w i t h i n own m i l i e u x f o r s e v e r a l r e a s o n s .  their  The c o n c e r n o f t h i s s t u d y i s  w i t h these two women o f the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , a c e n t u r y v e r y d i f f e r e n t from our own.  I n o r d e r t o examine the theme o f f r u s -  t r a t i o n from a n u n b i a s e d p o i n t o f view, i t i s e s s e n t i a l t o e s t a b l i s h these women w i t h i n t h e i r own s o c i e t y and n o t l e t t h e change which have o c c u r r e d s i n c e then i n f l u e n c e the r e a d i n g o f the n o v e l  11  An e x a m i n a t i o n o f the environment i n which they l i v e d a l s o s e r v e s to s p o t l i g h t each woman's c h a r a c t e r , s i n c e i t has become l a r g e l y a c c e p t e d t h a t environment i n an i n t e g r a l p a r t o f a person's personality.  F i n a l l y , those people who e x e r t a major  influence  on the l i v e s o f these women w i l l be s t u d i e d i n o r d e r t o determine t h e i r r o l e s and t h e i r - spheres o f i n f l u e n c e . I n the second s e c t i o n o f t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n , the theme o f f r u s t r a t i o n as a major i n f l u e n c e on the l i v e s o f b o t h women is studied.  A g a i n , we must c l a r i f y and e s t a b l i s h these f r u s t r a -  t i o n s as they p e r t a i n t o the l i v e s o f b o t h RenSe and G e r m i n i e , and i t w i l l be seen t h a t the s t r u g g l e s o f these women bear a c l o s e resemblance  t o the s t r u g g l e s t o which women are s u b j e c t e d  i n the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y as w e l l .  The f r u s t r a t i o n s o o ' f e e a c h w o m a n  are examined from two p o i n t s o f view: the i n t e r i o r , t h a t i s ,  those  f r u s t r a t i o n s r e s u l t i n g from a p e r s o n a l i n a b i l i t y t o cope w i t h t h e i r s i t u a t i o n , and the e x t e r i o r , those f r u s t r a t i o n s  resulting  from s o c i e t y ' s p r e s s u r e s and a r t i f i c i a l s t a n d a r d s . The f i n a l s e c t i o n i s a s t u d y o f the deaths o f RenSe and Germinie.  The f o c a l p o i n t o f t h i s s e c t i o n i s the c o n t r a s t be-  tween the p o r t r a y a l o f d e a t h as a- r e l e a s e and a p u r i f i c a t i o n on the one hand, and i t s p o r t r a y a l as a condemnation on the o t h e r .  and an escape  The r i t u a l o f d e a t h t o which these women s u b j e c t  themselves and t o which they a r e s u b j e c t e d by s o c i e t y w i l l be examined and d i s c u s s e d w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o the theme o f f r u s t r a t i o n , s i n c e death i s an i m p o r t a n t f a c e t o f t h i s theme. By s t u d y i n g i n d e t a i l the l i v e s o f Ren£e M a u p e r i n and Germinie L a c e r t e u x , i n s i g h t i n t o the ebb and f l o w o f human l i f e  12  as w e l l as an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the Goncourt B r o t h e r s '  philosophy  becomes a p p a r e n t , and w i t h i t , a c o n v i n c i n g p o r t r a i t o f the s o c i e t y o f a s e c t o r o f France i n the  1860's.  13  NOTES: 1.  P. M a r t i n o , Le Roman r 6 a l i s t e sous l e Second Empire ( P a r i s : L i b r a i r i e Hachette e t C i e , 1913), P« 77-  2.  I b i d . , p. 228.  3.  I b i d . , p.. 235i-A. B i l l y , p. 86.  Les Freres-Goncourt  (Paris?  Flammarion, 195^),  5«  ,E. Caramaschi, Realisme e t Impressionnisme dans l ' o e u v r e des F r e r e s Goncourt ( P i s a : L i b r a r i a G o l i a r d i c a , s. d . ) , p. 30.  6.  A. B i l l y , p. 98.  7.  I b i d . , p. 172  8.  ; J - P . R i c h a r d , "Deux E c r i v a i n s € p i d e r m i q u e s : Edmond e t J u l e s de Goncourt," L i t e r a t u r e e t S e n s a t i o n ( P a r i s : E d i t i o n s du S e u i l , 195^), p. 269.  9.  SE. Z o l a ,  Le N a t u r a l i s m e au t h e a t r e  C h a r p e n t i e r , 1912), p. I83. 10.  E. Caramaschi, p. 1*4-2.  11.  J-P. R i c h a r d , p. 280.  12.  A. B i l l y , p. 227.  13.  A. B i l l y , p. 227.  (Paris:  Bibliotheque  14 Chapter I The P o r t r a i t o f the Women  The i n f l u e n c e o f environment and s u r r o u n d i n g upon the conduct o f man cannot be d e n i e d , and i t i s a c h a l l e n g e t o d e t e r mine the p e r v a s i v e n e s s o f t h i s i n f l u e n c e .  F o r Edmond and J u l e s  de Goncourt, t h i s c h a l l e n g e became a f o c a l p o i n t i n t h e i r w r i t i n g and t h e i r p h i l o s o p h y . I t i s i m p o r t a n t , then, t o c o n s i d e r p h y s i c a l environment as w e l l as the p e r s o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f each woman when d e a l i n g w i t h the works o f the Goncourt B r o t h e r s .  Chosen f o r t h i s  study o f woman i n the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y were the n o v e l s Ren£e M a u p e r i n and Germinie L a c e r t e u x because they present' two v e r y d i f f e r e n t environments which produced two e x c e e d i n g l y  different  women. To b e g i n , one must a s k and answer s e v e r a l q u e s t i o n s . F i r s t , who were these women t h a t they became so i m p o r t a n t t o the Goncourt B r o t h e r s ?  What type o f environment surrounded  them and  how d i d t h i s environment a f f e c t t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n o f the w o r l d around them?  What a t t i t u d e d i d they have towards themselves and  towards t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h o t h e r s ? o t h e r s around them see these women?  And f i n a l l y , how d i d  These q u e s t i o n s must be  answered b e f o r e any study o f the f r u s t r a t i o n s and u l t i m a t e death o f these women c a n be commenced s i n c e the d i f f e r e n c e i n a t t i t u d e and thought between the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y and the t w e n t i e t h have become t o o g r e a t t o s i m p l y embark upon a study of women. The g r e a t c o n t r a s t must be made v i s i b l e .  15 The Goncourt B r o t h e r s were men who wrote o f what they knew, what they saw, and what they s t u d i e d . t h e i r n o v e l s , e s p e c i a l l y t h e i r female  The c h a r a c t e r s i n  c h a r a c t e r s , were n o t j u s t  composite p i c t u r e s o f many d i f f e r e n t p e o p l e , r a t h e r they were p o r t r a i t s f a s h i o n e d from one s i n g l e model, and from people whom the Goncourt B r o t h e r s had known i n t i m a t e l y . were p o s s e s s e d  of a p e r s o n a l i t y , i n t e r e s t i n g i n i t s complexity  and a s t o n i s h i n g i n i t s v i v i d n e s s . umentation,  Their p o r t r a i t s  The v e h i c l e o f h i s t o r i c a l doc-  which s e r v e d as the b a s i s o f t h e i r works, was h i g h -  l i g h t e d by the Goncourt B r o t h e r s ' a b i l i t y t o i n t e r p r e t and demand an e m o t i o n a l response.from  themselves  and from t h e i r r e a d e r s .  The e f f e c t was, e s p e c i a l l y when i t concerned in  t h e i r n o v e l s , v i g o u r , enthusiasm  the female  element  and v i t a l i t y i n what might  o t h e r w i s e have been s i m p l y b i o g r a p h i c a l d a t a l a i d o u t t o be r e a d by o t h e r s . In  o r d e r t o a c c o m p l i s h t h i s g o a l the Goncourt B r o t h e r s  had t o a n a l y s e t h e i r c h o i c e o f woman as s u b j e c t o f t h e i r n o v e l s . It  was n o t w h i m s i c a l f a n c y which m o t i v a t e d them, b u t the i n t r i -  g u i n g a s p e c t s o f a unique j u x t a p o s i t i o n :  they had t o come t o  terms w i t h t h e i r own and s o c i e t y ' s views on women and meld t h i s w i t h a b a s i c d e s i r e t o p o r t r a y .a contemporary, t r a n s i t i o n a l ety  which was s t i l l  telligent, sensitive  o n l y on the verge  soci-  o f a c c e p t i n g women as i n -  beings.  There were s t i l l problems a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h i s  effort.  L o o k i n g a t t h i s s o c i e t y from the vantage p o i n t o f o u r own e r a , i t i s r e l a t i v e l y easy t o see the changes t a k i n g p l a c e i n the mid 1800's.  However, a t the t i m e , the p r e v a l e n t p h i l o s o p h y o f c o n -  16 f'ormlsm and the normal r e t i c e n c e t o changes i n the s t a t u s quo made p o r t r a y i n g a 'modern' s o c i e t y a r e l a t i v e l y d i f f i c u l t I t meant t h a t p r e v i o u s concepts  feat.  had t o be r e a n a l y s e d and r e a r -  ranged; i t meant t o o , t h a t s o c i e t y as a whole had t o be s u b j e c t e d to  a rigourous examination  o f i t s s o c i a l elements.  As M a r t i n o  explains, . . . i l f a u t e n v i s a g e r " l e cot<§ s o c i a l de l'homme, q u i e s t l e p l u s v i s i b l e , l e p l u s comprehensible e t l e p l u s varie", . . . r e p r o d u i r e l e s choses q u i touchent a l a v i e du p l u s grand nombre"; i l f a u t r e p r S s e n t e r l e p e u p l e , e t non pas en se b o r n a n t aux h a b i tue l i e s ave.ntures s e n t i m e n t a l e s , ou meme aux t r a c a s d'argent, comme f a i s a i t B a l z a c ; qu'on nous montre l ' o u v r i e r au t r a v a i l , l e commergant dans s o n magasin, t o u t e s l e s m a n i f e s t a t i o n s de 1 ' a c t i v i t S s o c i a l e . . . M a i s ce n ' e s t pas assez de p e i n d r e l a s o c i e t y , i l f a u t i n s t r u i r e ; l ' a r t a un b u t , non pas avant t o u t a r t i s t i q u e e t l i t t S r a i r e , mais p r a t i q u e ; . . . l e r S a l i s m e a t t r i b u e a 1 ' a r t i s t e un b u t p h i l o s o p h i q u e , p r a t i q u e , u t i l e , e t non un but d i v e r t i s s a n t , . . . 1 7  The Goncourt B r o t h e r s had t o a c c e p t the t r a d i t i o n a l  concepts  o f f e m i n i n i t y and convey them v i a t h e i r l i t e r a t u r e t o  a new space and a new v i s i o n o f r e a l i t y .  They l o o k e d a t the  woman o f t h e i r e r a , r e s t r i c t e d by c o n v e n t i o n and unable, main, t o a s s e r t h e r s e l f o r t o develop tude towards the w o r l d around her. t h i s woman c o n t r i b u t e d l i t t l e to  role playing;  a unique o r p r i v a t e a t t i -  On t h e i r own a d m i s s i o n ,  of significance.  i n n o c e n t young g i r l ,  and t h e n w i f e and mother.  i n the  She was c o n f i n e d  marriageable  young woman  She was h e l d i to the t r a d i t i o n a l c o n -  ' cept o f a woman's l i f e . . . . [jj e mariage e s t bon, c ' e s t l a l o i de l a n a t u r e . Un Spoux, des e n f a n t s : v o i l a l a d e s t i n e e normale d e ' l a femme.2  17  She was g i v e n l i t t l e  o p p o r t u n i t y t o v o i c e h e r own d e s i r e s .  This  had t o change, and the Goncourt B r o t h e r s were becoming more and more aware o f what t h i s i m p l i e d .  I n t h e i r s e a r c h f o r a 'modern'  woman, they found t h a t academic l e a r n i n g , so e s s e n t i a l t o the coming changes i n s o c i e t y , was t h e n i n e f f e c t u a l and was l i t t l e more t h a n r u d i m e n t a r y .  A r t i s t i c p u r s u i t s , w h i c h were c o n s i d e r e d  s u i t a b l e f o r the female e s t a t e , were encouraged. did  n o t g i v e woman a s o l i d b a s i s from w h i c h t o d e a l w i t h men., i n  a predominantly to  This, naturally,  male w o r l d , and i t caused the Goncourt B r o t h e r s  remark i n t h e i r J o u r n a l (tome I ) : I I e s t r a r e que l a pens<§e de l a femme t r o u v e compagnie a l a pens§e de l'homme. Ou e l l e est a l a pens§e de s o n sexe, t o i l e t t e , c h i f f o n s , e t c . A l o r s , vous avez l e b r u i t e t 1 ' o c c u p a t i o n d'un corps en a g i t a t i o n e t en f r o u f r o u . . Ou b i e n s i e l l e v e u t f a i r e l a cour a ce que vous pensez, l ' e t r e f r e l e se t r o u v e a v o i r de s i g r o s s e s mains, des mains s i m a l a d r o i t e s , q u ' e l l e touche a cote ou q u ' e l l e f a i t mal quand e l l e h e u r t e . 3 Woman's i n a b i l i t y t o i n t e r r e l a t e e f f e c t i v e l y caused the  Goncourt B r o t h e r s a c e r t a i n amount o f concern.  They d i s c o v e r e d  t h a t a s i n g l e - f a c e t e d c h a r a c t e r d i d n o t possess  the q u a l i t i e s  necessary  t o a 'modern' s o c i e t y .  Instead of a f l a t , s t a t i o n a r y  c h a r a c t e r , they r e q u i r e d an e x t r a o r d i n a r y woman, whose was  a s e r i e s o f remarkable  events n o t o n l y i n the f a c t o f t h e i r  o c c u r r e n c e , b u t a l s o because she was c e n t r a l t o t h e i r The  life  occurrence.  a n a l y s i s o f t h i s event c o u l d y i e l d a w e a l t h o f m a t e r i a l  under e x a m i n a t i o n by two men i n t e r e s t e d i n the unique and the unconventional. In  t h e i r s e a r c h f o r a 'modern' woman, they o f t e n found  a woman i n a s t a t e o f r e v o l t , whether a g a i n s t the s o c i e t y as a  18  whole,..or a g a i n s t h e r own i n a b i l i t y and f r a i l t y .  She was f r u s -  t r a t e d by the s l u g g i s h n e s s and o b s t i n a c y o f s o c i e t y ' s Too o f t e n she was c o n s i d e r e d abnormal and perhaps deranged. was  transition.  slightly  However, i n t h a t age o f r e a l i s m i n l i t e r a t u r e woman  j u s t b e g i n n i n g t o examine the r e a l i t y o f h e r s i t u a t i o n .  This  abnormal woman, r a i l i n g a g a i n s t a r t i f i c i a l b a r r i e r s became the o b j e c t o f the Goncourts' s y m p a t h e t i c a t t e n t i o n .  She l e d them  toward . . . l ' S t u d e des cas anormaux, ces cas s o n t v r a i s d'une v£rit§ p a r t i c u l i e r e m e n t r i c h e , qu'on peut e t u d i e r a l o i s i r , comme on f e r a i t dans une c l i n i q u e ; a c o n d i t i o n de l e s b i e n c h o i s i r , i l s ne s o n t que des d e f o r m a t i o n s estranges, i l s s o n t l e g r o s s i s s e m e n t de tendances normales de l a soci<§te.^ The Goncourt B r o t h e r s thus f e l t t h a t t h i s woman, was' the personification of society. becoming f r a y e d and weakened.  The e n t i r e f a b r i c o f s o c i e t y was There was no e s c a p i n g the i n e v i -  t a b l e d i s a p p e a r a n c e o f a l l t h a t was f a m i l i a r and the r i s e o f a new and more l i b e r a l e r a . C'est p o u r q u o i l e u r schema romanesque l e p l u s f a m i l i e r , e t a v r a i d i r e meme l e s e u l a t r a v e r s l e q u e l i l s se s e n t e n t c a p a b l e s d'animer un l i v r e e t de f a i r e avancer une i n t r i gue, e s t c e l u i de l a d e c o m p o s i t i o n . I l s nous p r e s e n t e n t - d e s personnages en t r a i n de se dSsagr§ger e t dont 1'essence s ' a f f i r m e a t r a v e r s c e t t e d e s t r u c t i o n elle-meme.5 In  the f i n a l a n a l y s i s , woman was,  through t h e medium .  of h e r own f a t e , p e r m i t t e d t o d i s c o v e r h e r own e s s e n t i a l sic  value.  She was p e r m i t t e d t o make a statement about  intrinherself,  which, even i n the t h r o e s o f torment, proved t h a t she had f r e e d h e r s e l f from c o n f o r m i n g t o a mold o f s o c i e t y ' s making.  19  . . . l e s Goncourt s ' e l e v e n t c o n t r e l ' e s c l a v a g e de 1 ' e s p r i t e t de l a p a r o l e dans l e q u e l on t e n a i t l a jeune f i l l e de l e u r temps.° T h e i r woman showed d e t e r m i n a t i o n and c h a r a c t e r , a f a r c r y from the f l a t , monotonous woman condemned to a r t i f i c i a l and  bourgeois  conformism. While they c o u l d have p o r t r a y e d t h i s woman as and hardened by her e x p e r i e n c e s , Brothers  saw  they d i d n o t .  The  Goncourt  t h i s woman as r e q u i r i n g sympathy and extended  humanity to her.  I t was  she who  was  their  g o i n g a g a i n s t the g r a i n ,  she who  was  who  clashing with society's repressive morality.  was  harsh  t a k i n g the f i r s t s t e p towards a b e t t e r w o r l d ,  she.  S i l e u r p i t i e _,s' a d r e s s a i t en g e n e r a l a l a classe pauvre, e l l e a l l a i t plus p a r t i c u l i e r e ment a M a femme, e t r e f a i b l e , q u i s u b i t p l u s douloureusement l e s c o n t r e - c o u p s de l a mis e r e . C ' e s t done a e l l e q u ' i l s ont consacrS l e u r s pages l e s p l u s p i t o y a b l e s . Nous v e r r o n s comment i l s l a j u g e a i e n t . A d e f a u t d'amour, l e u r p r e f e r e n c e a l l a i t a l a jeune f i l l e . Et l e u r p i t i e , aux femmes que l e s c o n d i t i o n s m a t e r i e l i e s de l a v i e e t l a s o u f f r a n e e morale font miserables.7 The the n o v e l s  q u a l i t i e s o f t h i s woman caused Z o l a t o remark t h a t  have ...une indomptable e n e r g i e , un mepris s o u v e r a i n du jugement des s o t s e t des t i m i d e s , une audace l a r g e e t superbe, une v i g u e u r extreme de c o l o r i s e t de pensee, un s o i n e t une cons c i e n c e a r t i s t i q u e s r a r e en ces temps de p r o d u c t i o n s h a t i v e s e t mal venues." Two  women who  f i g u r e d l a r g e l y i n the above q u o t a t i o n  are Renee M a u p e r i n and Germinie L a c e r t e u x .  T h e i r s t o r i e s exa-  mined i n d e t a i l woman's s t r u g g l e f o r r e c o g n i t i o n and Each of these h e r o i n e s made an u n d e n i a b l e  truth.  c o n t r i b u t i o n to  the  p o r t r a i t o f the e r a ; t h e i r s t o r y r e v e a l e d a mass o f i n f o r m a t i o n  20  h i t h e r t o l a c k i n g i n most n o v e l s and p r e s e n t e d  i n a way. which  engendered a b i n d i n g emotion o f sympathy and  understanding.  As w i t h a l l o f the Goncourt B r o t h e r s ' c h a r a c t e r s , the g i r l who became Ren§e M a u p e r i n i n the n o v e l was w e l l known t o them.  The c r i t i c P. M a r t i n o remarks t h a t Ren§e M a u p e r i n a StS f a i t e a l a ressemblance d'une amie d'enfance, " M i l e M..., l a c o r d i a l i t y e t l a l o y a u t e d'un homme a l l i ^ e s a des graces de jeune f i l l e ; l a r a i s o n murie e t l e coeur f r a i s ; un e s p r i t e n l e v e , on ne s a i t comment, du m i l i e u b o u r g e o i s ou i l a et<3 61ev§, e t tout p l e i n d'aspirations a l a grandeur morale, au denouement, au s a c r i f i c e ; un app£tit des choses l e s p l u s d e d i c a t e s de 1 ' i n t e l l i g e n c e e t de l ' a r t . " 9  The woman d e s c r i b e d here was the epitome o f the 'modern' woman, and thus was d e s e r v i n g o f the s p o t l i g h t i n t o w h i c h she was t h r u s t by the Goncourt B r o t h e r s . I n the s t o r y , Renee was b o r n the t h i r d and l a s t of C h a r l e s - L o u i s M a u p e r i n and h i s w i f e .  child  I n t h i s p o s i t i o n , Ren£e  became the f o c a l p o i n t o f h e r p a r e n t s ' l i v e s , the youngest c h i l d and t h e r e f o r e much p e t t e d and c o s s e t t e d .  However, she was a l s o  the p i v o t p o i n t i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p between M o n s i e u r M a u p e r i n , who found u n d i s g u i s e d  j o y w i t h t h i s c h i l d , j o y he n e v e r had  w i t h h i s e l d e r daughter and h i s s o n , and.Madame M a u p e r i n , who viewed Renee as an i n t r u s i o n who would d i m i n i s h the f o r t u n e s o f the two e l d e r c h i l d r e n . Mme M a u p e r i n , e l l e n ' a v a i t p o i n t s i b i e n a c c u e i l l i cette derniere f i l l e . Bonne femme, bonne mere,.Mme M a u p e r i n S t a i t d<§vor5e de c e t o r g u e i l de l a p r o v i n c e , l ' o r g u e i l de l ' a r g e n t . E l l e s ' 6 t a i t arrange"e pour a v o i r deux e n f a n t s ; l e t r o i s i e m e §tait mal venu d ' e l l e , comme d6rangeant l a f o r t u n e des deux a u t r e s , comme rognant s u r t o u t l a p a r t de son  21  fils. L a d i v i s i o n des t e r r e s r ^ u n i e s , l e p a r t a g e des b i e n s amasses, e t p a r l a une dech£ance f u t u r e de p o s i t i o n s o c i a l e , une d i m i n u t i o n de l a f a m i l l e dans l ' a v e n i r , v o i l a . ce que c e t t e p e t i t e f i l l e r e p r e s e n t a i t a s a mere.10 T h i s a t t i t u d e must have "been d i f f i c u l t f o r the c h i l d Ren<§e t o u n d e r s t a n d : v o l v e d around her,  on the one hand, a f a t h e r whose l i f e r e -  i n whose eyes she c o u l d do no wrong, and on  the o t h e r , a mother who t o l e r a t e d h e r o n l y because i t was a duty, w i t h no p a r t i c u l a r s e n t i m e n t a t t a c h e d . were r e v e r s e d for  from the norm:  And t o o , p a r e n t a l r o l e s  i t was t o h e r f a t h e r t h a t she t u r n e d  l o v e and a f f e c t i o n , w h i l e h e r mother's a f f e c t i o n was w i t h -  held.  Thus, l a c k i n g t h e normal u p b r i n g i n g  o f a young g i r l ,  almost c o n s t a n t l y i n the company o f men, Ren§e was  permitted  the freedom t o q u e s t i o n the events around h e r and t o become aware o f many concepts f o r b i d d e n  t o many o f h e r female c o n t e m p o r a r i e s .  T h i s open and c h a l l e n g i n g environment c o u l d n o t h e l p but i n f l u e n c e Rente's a t t i t u d e towards h e r l i f e of those around her.  and the l i v e s  One o f the most d i f f i c u l t t h i n g s f o r h e r  to a c c e p t was the f a c t t h a t she was female.  I t was n o t the  a c t u a l p h y s i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s o f b e i n g female t h a t she c o u l d n o t deal with.  I t was, i n s t e a d , , a mental and s p i r i t u a l  to a c c e p t t h a t o t h e r s manner. and  inability  s t i l l l o o k e d upon h e r i n the t r a d i t i o n a l  Exposed as she was a t an e a r l y age t o the s o c i e t y o f men  the s u b j e c t s they d i s c u s s e d ,  she was unable t o a c c e p t t h a t  as she grew o l d e r she would have t o r e g r e s s r o l e o f the female.  t o the t r a d i t i o n a l  What she needed and d e s i r e d above a l l e l s e  was acceptance as a p e r s o n r a t h e r than as j u s t a female. searched and s t r u g g l e d f o r the r i g h t t o view r e a l l i f e  She  unhindered:  22 Renee h a t e d the w e l l - m e a n i n g c o n c e r n o f people around her w h i c h meant t h a t she was guarded from exposure to s u b j e c t s not' deemed f i t f o r an i m p r e s s i o n a b l e young g i r l .  I t was  only with r e s i g n a t i o n  t h a t she a c c e p t e d these c i r c u m s t a n c e s , as i s shown when she wishes to  see a new a r t a c q u i s i t i o n b e l o n g i n g t o her g o d f a t h e r . -Peut-on v o i r , p a r r a i n ? -Non, f i l l e u l e , vous n'etes pas encore a s s e z grande. E t i l l u i donna s u r l a joue une p e t i t e tape d ' a m i t i S . "Ah! c ' e s t t o u j o u r s comme c e l a ce que vous a c h e t e z ! " d i t Ren£e en t o u r n a n t l e dos au vieillard...H The paradoxes which made up her l i f e  caused Ren£e t o r -  ment and f r u s t r a t i o n c o n c e r n i n g her p a r t i c u l a r n i c h e i n s o c i e t y . She was unsure o f the n a t u r e o f her r o l e i n the f l o w o f e v e n t s around h e r , b u t she had u n e r r i n g sense o f r e a l i t y and a for  flair  the t r u t h , and was w i l l i n g to make any s a c r i f i c e to p r e s e r v e  these c o n c e p t s . For  Ren£e, t h i s meant a p e r s o n a l e v a l u a t i o n o f those  people who made up her l i t t l e w o r l d . w i t h a d i s c e r n i n g eye, and was  She r e g a r d e d each o f them  quick to r e v e a l t h e i r small  t i o n s b o t h t o themselves and t o her.  decep-  Only those who were p a s s i o n -  a t e l y l o v e d by her escaped t h i s a n a l y s i s and were a c c e p t e d on the  s t r e n g t h of her l o v e a l o n e . Her f a m i l y was s c r u t i n i z e d w i t h no l e s d i s c r i m i n a t i n g  an eye, a l t h o u g h her f a t h e r ' s p o s i t i o n i n her l i f e was o b v i o u s : she was her f a t h e r ' s companion and s o u n d i n g b o a r d , h a v i n g a r o l e s i m i l a r to a w i f e .  However u n c o n s c i o u s i t might have been, Ren£e  was c e r t a i n l y competing w i t h her mother f o r her f a t h e r ' s a f f e c t ion,  and may  have f e l t a t h r i l l o f p l e a s u r e when she succeeded i n  23  c a p t u r i n g h i s a t t e n t i o n t o the e x c l u s i o n o f everyone e l s e .  The  s t r e n g t h o f h e r l o v e f o r M o n s i e u r M a u p e r i n made i t i m p o s s i b l e f o r her to envision conjugal  love.  V o i s - t u , d i s a i t - e l l e a s o n p e r e , moi j e ne p o u v a i s aimer personne; t u me r e n d a i s t r o p d i f f i c i l e en f a i t d ' a f f e c t i o n . J ' S t a i s s i sure d'avance que personne ne m ' a i m e r a i t comme t o i l J e v o y a i s p a s s e r t a n t de choses s u r t o n v i s a g e quand j'<§tais l a , t a n t de joie'. E t quand nous a l l i o n s quelque p a r t ensemble, a v a i s - t u a s s e z d ' o r g u e i l de m o i l E t a i s - t u a s s e z f i e r de me donner l e b r a s I Va, p e r e , on a u r a i t eu-.beau m'aimer, j e n ' a u r a i s jamais retrouv<§ mon papa; t u m'avais t r o p gat<§e... 12  And  t h e r e was c e r t a i n l y no q u e s t i o n o d f  s o l e l y f o r convenience.  her m a r r y i n g  The 'rewards' o f m a r r i a g e , money, p o s i -  t i o n , s t a t u s and s e c u r i t y h e l d no a t t r a c t i o n f o r her, and the possessors  o f these t h i n g s were weak and c h a r a c t e r l e s s f o r her.  D e n o i s e l , h e r c h i l d h o o d mentor, d e s c r i b e d the type o f man RenSe might c o n s i d e r m a r r y i n g t o h e r b r o t h e r , H e n r i , i n t h i s manner. ...pourvu q u ' i l f'ut i n t e l l i g e n t , q u ' i l e u t un c a r a c t e r e , une p e r s o n n a l i t e " , quelque chose capable de dominer ou de remuer une nature feminine comme l a s i e n n e , . . . l 3 T h i s s i t u a t i o n caused Rente's mother a good d e a l o f unhappiness and was viewed w i t h humour by RenSe h e r s e l f . cerned w i t h c o n v e n t i o n  and f o r m a l i t y , RenSe was unimpressed w i t h  her mother's adherence t o custom and r i t u a l . l i m i t i n g conformism i m p o s s i b l e i n bearable  Uncon-  Renee found the  t o handle and succeeded i n making  o n l y through h e r own s c a n d a l o u s b e h a v i o u r .  The  v i c i o u s c i r c l e e f f e c t o f the s p a r r i n g between mother and daughter o n l y made the mother more sure t h a t Ren§e needed the d i s c i p l i n e of husband and f a m i l y , and Ren<§e more sure t h a t such a s i t u a t i o n  2k  would be i n t o l e r a b l e . Rente's view o f h e r b r o t h e r i s complex. his  She r e s p e c t e d  p o s i t i o n as a s u c c e s s f u l l a w y e r and w r i t e r , b u t i t i s d i f f i -  c u l t t o determine how much he i n f l u e n c e d h e r l i f e .  He l i v e d i n  P a r i s , q u i t e out o f the f a m i l y sphere, a l t h o u g h h i s many v i s i t s for  d i n n e r and the l i k e a r e mentioned i n the n o v e l .  His contact  w i t h the i n t e l l e c t u a l w o r l d brought Ren£e an awareness cal  and s o c i a l problems.  of p o l i t i  Through these p e o p l e she was a l l o w e d  to v i e w the c o m p l e x i t i e s o f the thought p r o c e s s and the l o g i c a l development  o f modern s o c i o l o g i c a l changes.  This influence  caused h e r t o r e g a r d w i t h some d i s d a i n those whose thoughts were not so u p l i f t i n g . V o i l a l ' e f f e t que me f a i t l e monde, a moi. P e u t - e t r e ga t i e n t a ce que j e n ' a i pas eu de chance. Je s u i s tomb£e s u r des jeunes gens s S r i e u x , des amis a mon f r e r e , des jeunes gens a c i t a t i o n s , comme j e l e s a p p e l l Les jeunes p e r s o n n e s , on ne peut l e u r p a r l e r que du d e r n i e r sermon q u ' e l l e s o n t entendu, du d e r n i e r morceau de p i a n o q u ' e l l e ont e t u die", ou de l a d e r n i e r e robe q u ' e l l e s ont mise: c ' e s t borne, l ' e n t r e t i e n avec mes contemporaines.1^ Ren6e p l a c e d h e r s i s t e r , Madame Davarande, w i t h those people whose l i v e s were concerned w i t h t r i v i a l i t i e s .  Ren£e con-  s i d e r e d h e r s i s t e r an example o f what she d i d n o t want t o be: m a r r i e d f o r convenience and p o s i t i o n t o an e l i g i b l e man.  She  found the f a l s e n e s s o f such a s i t u a t i o n c o n t r a r y n o t o n l y t o her d e s i r e s b u t t o h e r s e n s i b i l i t i e s as w e l l . I t was t h r o u g h '..Denoisel, a companion and f r i e n d , many o f Rente's thoughts and s e n s i b i l i t i e s were formed. the  that  He was  s o n o f h e r f a t h e r ' s c l o s e f r i e n d , and had been r a i s e d l i k e a  25 son by Rente's f a m i l y .  He was independent and l o n g - s e e i n g .  His  concept o f the w o r l d was a unique one, and he endeavoured t o instill ties.  i n Renee a knowledge and a r e s p e c t f o r h e r own c a p a b i l i He, even more than Rente's f a t h e r o r h e r b r o t h e r , r e a l i z e d  the e x t e n t t o which women would be c h a l l e n g e d i n a new, modern world. On demande a une jeune f i l l e des i m p r e s s i o n s , des e x p r e s s i o n s p e r s o n n e l l e s e t n a t u r e l l e s . E l l e peut p a r l e r , e t e l l e d o i t p a r l e r de t o u t . C'est pass§ dans l e s moeurs. E l l e n ' e s t p l u s tenue de j o u e r l'ing£nuit§, mais 1 ' i n telligence originale.15 Rente's background, w h i l e never b e i n g d e s c r i b e d i n d e t a i l i n the n o v e l , i s c l e a r l y t h a t n e c e s s a r y ment o f a 'modern' woman.  f o r the d e v e l o p -  T h i s was the g o a l o f the Goncourt  B r o t h e r s when they undertook the work and t h e i r success to  i s due  the c h a r a c t e r o f each woman they chose t o document and'to-  t h e i r own s k i l l as w r i t e r s . The  c h a r a c t e r o f Germinie. L a c e r t e u x p r e s e n t s a d i f f e r -  ent case t o the r e a d e r . previously described.  Germinie belonged t o the basses c l a s s e s , She was a s e r v a n t g i r l w i t h a p r o v i n c i a l  background; orphaned a t a t e n d e r age, she was soon s e n t t o work for  h e r keep i n P a r i s i a n e s t a b l i s h m e n t s .  based on the l i f e to  The s t o r y , a t r u e one  o f t h e i r maid, Rose, l e d the Goncourt B r o t h e r s  w r i t e i n the p r e f a c e t o Germinie  Lacerteux  V i v a n t au dix-neuvieme s i e c l e , dans un temps de s u f f r a g e u n i v e r s e l , de d e m o c r a t i e , de lib§ralisme, nous nous sommes demande s i ce qu'on a p p e l l e " l e s basses c l a s s e s " n ' a v a i t pas d r o i t au Roman; s i ce monde sous un monde, l e p e u p l e , d e v a i t r e s t e r sous l e coup de l ' i n t e r d i t litt§raire .et des dSdains d'aut e u r s q u i ont f a i t j u s q u ' i c i l e s i l e n c e s u r ;  26  1' ame e t l e coeur q u ' i l p e u t a v o i r . Nous nous sommes demande" s ' i l y a v a i t e n c o r e , pour l ' e c r i v a i n e t pour l e l e c t e u r , en ces anne"es d'egalite" ou. nous sommes, des c l a s s e s i n d i g n e s , des malheurs t r o p bas, des drames t r o p mal embouchSs, des c a t a s t r o p h e s d'une t e r r e u r t r o p peu n o b l e . I I nous e s t venu l a c u r i o s i - te de s a v o i r s i c e t t e forme c o n v e n t i o n n e l l e d'une litt<§rature o u b l i S e e t d'une socie"te d i s p a r u e , l a T r a g S d i e , £tait d£finitivement morte; s i , dans un pays sans c a s t e e t sans a r i s t o c r a t i e l e g a l e , l e s m i s e r e s des p e t i t s et des pauvres p a r l e r a i e n t a l'int£ret, a 1'Amotion, a l a p i t i S , a u s s i "haut que l e s m i s e r e s des grands e t des r i c h e s ; s i , en un mot, l e s larmes qu'on p l e u r e en bas p o u r r a i e n t f a i r e p l e u r e r comme c e l l e s qu'on p l e u r e en haut.1° ;  By s t u d y i n g t h i s g i r l from the l o w e r c l a s s , the Gonc o u r t B r o t h e r s sought to e s t a b l i s h the d i f f e r e n c e s i n environment which made G e r m i n i e ' s l i f e so d i f f e r e n t from Renee's.  In addition,  they wished to d e s c r i b e the l i f e o f the l o w e r c l a s s , aware t h a t many o f those who r e a d t h e i r n o v e l s had no e x p e r i e n c e o r unders t a n d i n g o f the c i r c u m s t a n c e s s u r r o u n d i n g such a p e r s o n .  By  em-  p h a s i z i n g G e r m i n i e ' s humanity and v u l n e r a b i l i t y , the Goncourt B r o t h e r s e l e v a t e d an o t h e r w i s e common s e r v a n t g i r l i n t o a dynamic, i n t r i g u i n g character. L i k e Ren6e, Germinie was the l a s t c h i l d b o r n t o h e r parents.  A l t h o u g h she added a n o t h e r mouth t o an a l r e a d y poor  and hungry f a m i l y , she too was p e t t e d and s p o i l e d .  She saw l i t t l e  of her f a t h e r , who was a l a b o u r e r , and her mother d i e d when she was f i v e y e a r s o l d .  From t h a t time onward, the f a m i l y seemed  dogged by u n f o r t u n a t e c i r c u m s t a n c e s .  A s t r i k e , her f a t h e r ' s  death, h e r b r o t h e r ' s d e a t h , her s i s t e r s ' move to P a r i s and h e r own move t o h e r aunt's v i l l a g e caused c o n f u s i o n and m i s e r y f o r young G e r m i n i e .  Unable t o s e t t l e i n h e r new s u r r o u n d i n g s w i t h ;  27  u n f a m i l i a r f a c e s , she was s e n t to P a r i s , aged f o u r t e e n , to l i v e w i t h her s i s t e r s .  Once t h e r e , Germinie was s e n t t o work i n a  caf 6. There, she became aware o f her b u r g e o n i n g s e x u a l i t y , and y e t she was n o t s u f f i c i e n t l y i n f o r m e d about such s u b j e c t s to u n d e r s t a n d t h e i r i m p l i c a t i o n s .  Germinie f e l t i n c a p a b l e o f  d e s c r i b i n g the h o r r o r t o which she was s u b j e c t e d .  This l e f t  her open and v u l n e r a b l e t o the j i b e s and i n s u l t s o f the around her.  men  I n the end, she was s e x u a l l y a t t a c k e d by Joseph,  an o l d r e t a i n e r who worked i n the caf6. i n c i d e n t were many:  The r e s u l t s o f t h i s  Germinie became pregnant and t h e r e f o r e , an  o u t c a s t , a l o n e i n a h o s t i l e atmosphere.  Her s i s t e r s , shamed by  her " d i s g r a c e " b r u t a l l y r e v i l e d G e r m i n i e , b o t h v e r b a l l y and physically.  Germinie developed a morbid f e a r o f any man  of h e r s e l f became s h u t t e r e d and d e n i e d .  and a p a r t  Germinie s confusion 1  r e g a r d i n g h e r s e l f , her r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h o t h e r s and h e r concept of l i f e  i n g e n e r a l was p r o f o u n d and In  tragic.  terms o f e m o t i o n a l adjustment, Germinie n e v e r got  over her unhappy c h i l d h o o d , h e r shame a t the calumny o f h e r s i s t e r s n o r her own i n s e c u r i t i e s .  E v e n when she f i n a l l y  found a...  s o r t o f permanence i n the employ o f M a d e m o i s e l l e de V a r a n d e u i l , she f a c e d the w o r l d a l o n e .  W i t h no c l o s e f r i e n d s and c u t o f f  from her f a m i l y , she had no one t o t u r n t o f o r a d v i c e .  As a  r e s u l t , w i t h each new s i t u a t i o n , she;:reacted i n a d i f f e r e n t and her c o n f u s i o n mounted.  way,  She c o u l d n e v e r , t h e r e f o r e , count  upon h e r own r e s o u r c e s and be ensured o f a p r e d i c t a b l e outcome. [Germinie L a c e r t e u x ] , c ' e s t l.'.histoire des  28  metamorphoses c o n s t a n t e s du personnage dans des s i t u a t i o n s ou. l e changement brusque e t inexpliqu£ r e s t e constant.17 Her p e r s o n a l i t y was i n a c o n s t a n t s t a t e o f t r a n s i t i o n and f l u c t u a t i o n , where h e r i m p r e s s i o n s depended upon h e r mood, her concept o f how o t h e r s viewed h e r and h e r own s i t u a t i o n .  This  i n s t a b i l i t y was a d i r e c t r e s u l t o f u n f a v o u r a b l e e n v i r o n m e n t a l conditions.  She was unsure o f any r e a l i t y o u t s i d e h e r own, b u t  she was aware o f the p o s s i b i l i t y o f escape.  She c r a v e d l o v e and  a f f e c t i o n t o the p o i n t o f d e g r a d i n g h e r s e l f and c a u s i n g h e r s e l f m i s e r y and shame i n o r d e r t o o b t a i n companionship, b u t she n e v e r t h e l e s s r e t a i n e d a c e r t a i n concept o f honour and l o y a l t y .  These  c o n c e p t s , when j u x t a p o s e d w i t h h e r l a t e r a c t i o n s i n t h e n o v e l , caused h e r a g r e a t d e a l o f p a i n , shame and f r u s t r a t i o n . G e r m i n i e , due t o h e r deep need f o r l o v e and c a r e , was easy t o dupe.  Those around h e r made good use o f h e r weakness,  w i t h Germinie g i v i n g h e r a l l i n o r d e r t o o b t a i n any s m a l l f a v o u r o f f e r e d to her.  Her one redeeming q u a l i t y was h e r o v e r r i d i n g  d e v o t i o n t o Mademoiselle de V a r a n d e u i l , w h i c h never f a l t e r e d . Germinie knew many p e o p l e , l i v i n g as she d i d i n an honourable p o s i t i o n as M a d e m o i s e l l e ' s maid.  However, as h e r good  judgement was c l o u d e d by h e r u n r e l e n t i n g need f o r l o v e , she o f t e n made f r i e n d s w i t h u n d e s i r a b l e p e o p l e .  She c o u l d n o t see how  these people i n g r a t i a t e d themselves i n t o h e r f a v o u r , n o r c o u l d she see how she devoted h e r s e l f t o them f o r l i t t l e  i n return.  To h e r , anyone who p r o f e s s e d t o show c o n c e r n .for h e r was d e s e r v i n g o f a n y t h i n g she c o u l d o f f e r . On such p e r s o n was Madame J u p i l l o n , the c r g m i e r e on  29  the s t r e e t where M a d e m o i s e l l e and Germinie made t h e i r home. Germinie's hunger f o r a f f e c t i o n and h e r w i l l i n g n e s s t o be o f s e r v i c e t o Madame J u p i l l o n made h e r needs o b v i o u s .  Germinie's  d e s i r e t o c o n f i d e h e r i n t i m a t e s e c r e t s and exchange  confidences  w i t h Madame J u p i l l o n , gave the l a t t e r a p e r f e c t o p p o r t u n i t y t o see h e r son, a good d e a l younger than Germinie, ness f o r h i m s e l f .  s e t up i n b u s i -  Madame J u p i l l o n was q u i c k t o r e c o g n i z e i n  Germinie a l l • t h e symptoms o f u n r e q u i t e d l o v e , and w i t h a l i t t l e p e r s u a s i o n , J u p i l l o n h i m s e l f saw the t e m p t i n g c e s s f u l wooing o f Germinie.  rewards o f a suc-  Mother and s o n b o t h had  ...d§ja devine tous l e s avantages e t t o u t e s l e s s ^ c u r i t e s que c e t t e conquete d'une femme p l u s ag6e que l u i , s ^ r i e u s e e t en p o s s e s s i o n d'une p l a c e ' h o n o r a b l e , a s s u r e r a a s o n garnement de f i l s . 1 8 J u p i l l o n became a master o f d e c e p t i o n , p r e t e n d i n g a t once t o l o v e Germinie,  and y e t d i s d a i n f u l o f a c r e a t u r e who c o u l d  be so e a s i l y t a k e n i n .  H i s empty promises and f r e q u e n t i n g o f  o t h e r women l e f t Germinie h u r t and overwhelmingly j e a l o u s , b u t her f a i t h i n h e r own l o v e f o r J u p i l l o n remained a l i v e . T h i s l o v e p e r s i s t e d even a f t e r Germinie f i n a l l y out the t r u t h .  found  R e a l i z i n g t h a t she had been duped and used, she  retreated into a p r o t e c t i v e s h e l l , u n w i l l i n g to r i s k intimate c o n t a c t w i t h anyone.  A f r a i d o f h e r own need f o r d e v o t i o n and  l o v e , she f e a r e d h e r need o v e r p o w e r i n g h e r i n n a t e However, h e r d e n i a l was f r u i t l e s s .  sensibilities.  Conscious o f h e r  c o n s i d e r a b l e p h y s i c a l needs, she began t o haunt the s t r e e t s u s i n g any man she c o u l d f i n d and o f f e r i n g what she c o u l d i n return f o r his favours.  The u l t i m a t e h u m i l i a t i o n s t r u c k Germinie  30 t o the core o f h e r e x i s t e n c e and y e t she no l o n g e r had the power to f i g h t a g a i n s t i t .  Her r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h M e d S r i c  i n d i c a t e d the depths t o which she had f a l l e n . i c debauchery  Gautruche  Nights of alcohol-  f o l l o w e d days spent h i d i n g h e r double l i f e .  Her  mind became c o n d i t i o n e d t o h e r s i t u a t i o n , no l o n g e r d i f f e r e n t i a t i n g m o r a l i t y and decadence. Her o n l y remaing l o y a l t y was t o M a d e m o i s e l l e .  Mademoi-  s e l l was the one p e r s o n who had t r e a t e d h e r w i t h k i n d n e s s and sympathy, who had g i v e n h e r a home and c o n s t a n t , honourable employment.  I n a l l t h a t she was t o do, G e r m i n i e ' s one j u s t i f i -  c a t i o n was t h a t she had t o p r o t e c t M a d e m o i s e l l e from h e r s e l f becoming p o i s o n e d by Germinie's conduct. E t Germinie malgre s o n e x i s t e n c e de p l u s en p l u s d§chir£e conserve a s a m a i t r e s s e l e meme d£vouement, l e meme attachement t o t a l . . . . E l l e l a t r o m p a i t uniquement par; res.pe.ct e t pour g a r d e r s a t e n d r e s s e . 19 ..... Whereas Ren£e M a u p e r i n wanted t o be a c c e p t e d f o r what she was, Germinie wanted t o be something she c o u l d never be. Both c h a r a c t e r s were s e a r c h i n g f o r the e l u s i v e s t a t e o f i n t e r i o r peace.  Both d e s i r e d a c c e p t a n c e , knowledge and contentment, b u t  they were b o t h d e n i e d these t h i n g s by the s o c i e t y i n w h i c h they lived.  The f r u s t r a t i o n o f such d e n i a l i s p o r t r a y e d i n g r e a t  d e t a i l by the Goncourt B r o t h e r s and t h u s , h a v i n g e s t a b l i s h e d some o f the s o c i e t a l p r e s s u r e s o f the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , i t becomes i m p o r t a n t t o s t u d y i n depth the b a s i c human emotion o f f r u s t r a t i o n as i t r e l a t e d t o the l i v e s and the c h a r a c t e r s o f Ren§e M a u p e r i n and Germinie L a c e r t e u x .  31  NOTES: 1.  P. M a r t i n o , Le Roman r e a l i s t e sous l e Second Empire (Paris: L i b r a i r i e Hachette e t C i e , 1913) , P> 9~l!  2.  G. R e y n i e r , L a Femme au x v i i T a l l a n d i e r , 1929). p. 196.  3«  L. P r a j s , Goncourt  k.  P. M a r t i n o , p. 237-  5.  J-P. R i c h a r d , "Notes s u r l e s Goncourt," humaines, ( j a n v . - mars, 1953), P« 55»  6.  M. Immergluck, L a Q u e s t i o n sociale^'dans l ' o e u v r e des Goncourt ( P a r i s ! Les B e l l e s L e t t r e s , 193°), p. 120.  7.  I b i d . , p. 81.  e  siecle  Editions J .  L a F a l l a c i t e de l ' o e u v r e romanesque des F r e r e s (Paris: A. G. N i z e t , 197*4-), p. 25*4-.  8.  -E.'Zbla, Mes Haines 1923), p. 67.  9.  P. M a r t i o n , p. 2*4-1.  10.  E. & J . de Goncourt, Ren£e M a u p e r i n e t C i e , 1875), P- 16.'  11.  I b i d . , p. 18.  12.  I b i d . , p. 118.  13.  I b i d . , p. 26.  1*4-.  I b i d . , p. 9.  15.  I b i d . , p. 26.  16.  E. & J . de Goncourt, 1929), P- 6.  17.  L. P r a j s , p. 29.  18.  P. S a b a t i e r ,  I b i d . , p. 76.  (Paris:  Revue des s c i e n c e s  Bibliotheque Charpentier,  (Paris:  Germinie L a c e r t e u x  Artheme F a y a r d  (Paris:  Germinie" L a c e r t e u x des Goncourt  S f e l t , 19*4-8), p. 6*4-. 19.  (Paris:  Flammarion,  (Paris:  32  Chapter I I Two H e r o i n e s i n F r u s t r a t i o n  The theme o f f r u s t r a t i o n i s one o f the major themes • t r e a t e d by the Goncourt B r o t h e r s i n t h e i r n o v e l s c o n c e r n i n g women. T h e i r t r e a t m e n t o f the p h y s i c a l  and e m o t i o n a l e f f e c t s  of this  theme g i v e s a d e t a i l e d p o r t r a i t o f each woman's s i t u a t i o n and an accurate p i c t u r e  of personalities  and backgrounds.  The n o v e l s Germinie L a c e r t e u x and Renge Mau-perin a r e excellent the  examples o f the Goncourt B r o t h e r s ' c a r e f u l n o t a t i o n o f  c h a r a c t e r and r e a c t i o n s o f women a f f e c t e d  by f r u s t r a i o n .  Each o f these women comes from a d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l c l a s s and y e t they have common g o a l s :  the r e s p e c t o f o t h e r s and t h e i r own s e l f -  fulfillment. Germinie and Ren£e had t o d e a l w i t h f r u s t r a t i o n o n two levels:  they had t o come t o terms w i t h t h e i r own i n t e r n a l  trations  and they had t o l i v e w i t h the f r u s t r a t i n g p r e s s u r e s which  society  p l a c e d upon them.  I t becomes d i f f i c u l t t o know  frus-  exactly  where each l e v e l assumes i t s importance, s i n c e the i n t e r n a l and e x t e r n a l p r e s s u r e s a r e so c l o s e l y  interrelated.  This too, pro-  v i d e d problems f o r each woman. N e i t h e r Renee n o r Germinie were aware t h a t many o f t h e i r problems stemmed from t h e i r u n f u l f i l l i n g day-to-day e x i s t e n c e . A l t h o u g h the concept was r e l a t i v e l y u n d e f i n e d i n t h e i r own minds, each woman c e r t a i n l y f e l t an emptiness and a m a l a i s e w i t h i n s e l f which prompted thought and q u e s t i o n s .  her-  That the Goncourt  B r o t h e r s were aware o f t h i s phenomenon and n o t e d i t i n t h e i r works s e r v e s t o c o n f i r m t h e i r d e s i r e t o p o r t r a y a 'modern' woman  33  d i f f e r e n t from the woman p o r t r a y e d by o t h e r a u t h o r s . Goethe, a German p h i l o s o p h e r o f the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y remarked  that Le moindre i n d i v i d u p e u t e t r e complet a cond i t i o n de se mouvoir dans l e s l i m i t e s de s e s a p t i t u d e s e t de s e s competences.1  T h i s u n i v e r s a l p h i l o s o p h y was an example o f the c h a n g i n g a t t i t u d e of the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y as w e l l .  I t indicated that f u l f i l l m e n t  i s a r e a l i s t i c p o s s i b i l i t y i n s p i t e o f the c o n d i t i o n s i n the q u o t a t i o n , dictum.  contained  and i t c e r t a i n l y d i d n o t e x c l u d e women from i t s  To a c h i e v e f u l f i l l m e n t , however, an a n a l y s i s o f s e v e r a l  f a c t o r s was i m p l i e d w i t h i n the statement.  F i r s t , a p e r s o n had t o  have a c e r t a i n concept o f s e l f , i n o r d e r t o be aware t h a t the opportunity  f o r advancement l a y w i t h i n the s e l f .  Second, i t was  n e c e s s a r y t o u n d e r s t a n d one's c a p a b i l i t i e s and t a l e n t s . way,  i t would be p o s s i b l e  to define  In this  the parameters f o r a c t i o n  w i t h o u t m i s j u d g i n g e i t h e r o n e s e l f f o r the p o t e n t i a l f o r a c t i o n . T h i s was the t a s k o f each woman i n the n o v e l s . However, a woman's s e l f - a n a l y s i s o c c a s i o n a l l y came i n t o d i r e c t c o n f l i c t w i t h the p r e c e p t s o f s o c i e t y .  I n general,  woman's own concept o f s e l f r e l i e d on what s o c i e t y She  was n o t encouraged t o d e f i n e  how  she thought o r what she wanted.  a  dictated.  f o r h e r s e l f what she f e l t , She c o u l d  o n l y a c c e p t those  modes o f conduct which she was g i v e n by s o c i e t y .  In addition,  her l a c k o f f o r m a l e d u c a t i o n l i m i t e d h e r p o t e n t i a l . not comprehend how s o c i e t y was d u p i n g her;  She c o u l d  she t h e r e f o r e was  u n w i t t i n g l y a v i c t i m of circumstance. I n v i e w i n g Renee and G e r m i n i e , we see the g e n e s i s o f  3k  s e l f - a w a r e n e s s and s e l f - f u l f i l l m e n t .  The p r e s s u r e s o f s o c i e t y  and t h e i r i n n a t e r e l u c t a n c e t o b r e a k . w i t h s o c i e t y ' s dominated t h e i r l i v e s .  customs  However, t h e i r w i l l i n g n e s s t o come t o  a c o n s c i o u s d e c i s i o n based on t h e i r a p p r a i s a l o f a s i t u a t i o n , whatever the outcome, was an i n d i c a t i o n o f t h e i r optimism t i n g e d w i t h a f r u s t r a t i o n caused by the minor accomplishments they appeared t o a c h i e v e . I n comparing the accomplishments o f the two women, a s t r i k i n g d i s s i m i l a r i t y appears.  While each woman s e a r c h e d f o r  s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e and attempted t o d e a l w i t h the o u t s i d e w o r l d on i t s own terms, the q u a l i t y different.  Their different  o f the achievement f o r each was q u i t e s o c i a l backgrounds made the c h a l l e n g e  to each woman e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t .  They each g r a p p l e d w i t h the  concepts o f s o c i e t y as they p e r c e i v e d them and they  arrived,  t h r o u g h r f r u s t r a t i o n , a t the same d e s t i n y . The Goncourt B r o t h e r s have examined i n t t h e i r works the v a r i o u s a s p e c t s o f r e l i g i o n , l o v e , honour and j u s t i c e as they were viewed by each woman.  These concepts a r e the f o c a l  p o i n t o f the c h a l l e n g e t o each and by s p o t l i g h t i n g  the u n i v e r s a l -  i t y o f the s u b j e c t s , the Goncourt B r o t h e r s have emphasized the o v e r r i d i n g p e r v a s i v e n e s s o f the s o c i e t i e s  about which t h e y w r i t e .  A l s o , they have c o n t r i b u t e d t h e i r p e r s o n a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n  o f each  woman's s i t u a t i o n t o t h e i r works i n o r d e r t o encourage i n t h e i r r e a d e r s an e m a n c i p a t i o n o f t h e i r own l i v e s and thus o f s o c i e t y as w e l l . The Goncourt B r o t h e r s ' p o r t r a i t o f r e l i g i o n as i t r e l a ted t o RenSe and Germinie was i m p o r t a n t .  S i n c e the m a j o r i t y o f  35  t h e i r r e a d e r s were Roman C a t h o l i c s , the Goncourt B r o t h e r s  could  be a s s u r e d  what  o f an awareness on the p a r t o f t h e i r r e a d e r s :  they r e a d and u n d e r s t o o d from the p o r t r a i t s a p p l y t o t h e i r own l i v e s . t h i n k and t o a n a l y s e  i n the n o v e l s  could  The r e a d i n g p u b l i c would be f o r c e d t o  the w r i t i n g  o f the Goncourt B r o t h e r s .  They were themselves d i s i l l u s i o n e d and contemptuous o f the C a t h o l i c f a i t h .  I n t h e i r examination  o f the i n f l u e n c e o f  r e l i g i o n on the l i v e s o f t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s , they r e v e a l the d i s appointment they found i n h e r e n t i n t h e i r own concept o f the f a i t h . They a t t e m p t e d t o g i v e t h e i r female c h a r a c t e r s a c o n s o l i n g and c o m f o r t i n g f a i t h , b u t the women o n l y found the f r u s t r a t i o n s a n g u i s h which had t r o u b l e d the Goncourt B r o t h e r s . statement d e s c r i b e s t h e i r f a i t h ' a s  and  The f o l l o w i n g  they d e s i r e d t o see i t .  A l a misere r S e l l e du p e u p l e , l e s Goncourt donnent 1'adoucissement de l a r e l i g i o n , de c e t t e r e l i g i o n q u i d e v i e n t de p l u s en p l u s l e b i e n e x c l u s i f de ceux q u i p l e u r e n t . "La p l u s grande f o r c e de l a r e l i g i o n c h r S t i e n n e , c ' e s t q u ' e l l e e s t l a r e l i g i o n des t r i s t e s s e s de l a v i e , des malheurs, des c h a g r i n s , des m a l a d i e s , de t o u t ce q u i a f f l i g e l e coeur, l a t e t e e t l e c o r p s . E l l e s'adresse aux gens q u i s o u f f r e n t . E l l e promet des c o n s o l a t i o n s a. ceux q u i en ont b e s o i n , l ' e s p e r a n c e a ceux q u i d£sesperent. - ... I l s e s t i m e n t done l a r e l i g i o n comme une c o n s o l a t i o n . Sa n£cessite\ se p r e s e n t e a eux sous une forme d'ordre e t de p i t i e . 2  But the Goncourt B r o t h e r s were u n c o n v i n c e d t h a t comp l e t e and u n q u e s t i o n i n g ace and h e l p .  d e v o t i o n t o r e l i g i o n would p r o v i d e  sol-  N e i t h e r Renee n o r Germinie found a haven from  t h e i r problems, n o r d i d they f i n d the a d v i c e and the c o n s o l a t i o n they sought.  I n s t e a d , they e n c o u n t e r e d f r u s t r a t i o n and d e c e i t .  Germinie's concept o f r e l i g i o n was an i n t e r e s t i n g  facet  36  of  h e r c h a r a c t e r , and she demonstrated  the emotions and d e v o t i o n  e x p e c t e d i n a s i m p l e , p r o v i n c i a l woman. of  H a v i n g o n l y the e d u c a t i o n  the s t r e e t s , Germinie a c c e p t e d w i l l i n g l y the t e a c h i n g s o f the  Church.  I n n o t e x a m i n i n g any o f the p r e c e p t s o f the Church, .she  became i n c a p a b l e d f d e t a c h i n g h e r s e l f from i t .  She was i n v a d e d  by a s o r t o f r e l i g i o u s e c s t a s y , n o t u n l i k e a form o f p h y s i c a l pleasure. . . . [ L ] a r e l i g i o n pour l a femme n ' e s t pas l a d i s c i p l i n e a l a q u e l l e l'homme se soumet; c ' e s t un epanchement amoureux, une o c c a s i o n de devouement romanesque. C'est dans l e s jeunes f i l l e s un e x u t o i r e l i c i t e , une p e r m i s s i o n d ' e x a l t a t i o n , une a u t o r i s a t i o n d ' a v o i r des a v e n t u r e s m y s t i q u e s . 3  F o r a woman such as G e r m i n i e , t h i s deep e m o t i o n a l a t t a c h ment took on g r e a t meaning. the  Through the Church, Germinie  c h a n n e l o f d e v o t i o n she needed.  found  Alone i n a s e e m i n g l y i f r i e n d -  l e s s w o r l d , she found the a t t e n t i o n s o f the Church and o f the p r i e s t who heard c o n f e s s i o n e n a b l e d h e r t o a c c e p t h e r f a t e . In  t h i s one p l a c e , she knew she was welcome and t h e r e was  always  someone who was i n t e r e s t e d and was capable o f d e l i v e r i n g guidance. In  her p e n i t a n c e and h e r c o n f e s s i o n s , she found a s y m p a t h e t i c and  u n d e r s t a n d i n g man i n p r i e s t l y and s a c r e d r o b e s . Les Goncourt ont not<§ avec d£licatesse ce r o l e de c o n f i d e n t de l e u r s m i s e r e s que l e p r e t r e joue p a r m i l e s femmes du p e u p l e ; e l l e s t r o u v e n t , aupres d'un p r e t r e c h a r i t a b l e et p a t i e n t , un peu de douceur i n h a b i t u e l l e , qui l e s r e c o n f o r t e e t p e u t - e t r e empeche c e r t a i n e s d'entre e l l e s de se l a i s s e r a l l e r au desespoir.^" Her c l o s e c o n t a c t w i t h the Church had made i t i m p o s s i b l e for  h e r t o examine h e r own p o s i t i o n .  T h i s man t o whom she devoted  her l o n g i n g s was bound by a s a c r e d vow o f c h a s t i t y .  H i s was an  37  u n s e l f i s h d e v o t i o n t o the w o r l d w h i c h he c o u l d n o t f o r s a k e , and the r e a l i z a t i o n t h a t Germinie brought a more p r o f a n e  emotion  i n t o the c o n f e s s i o n a l f o r c e d him t o s e v e r c o n t a c t w i t h h e r . Her d i s t r e s s was m a g n i f i e d by h e r incomprehension his action.  of  H i s r e j e c t i o n sapped h e r s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e . She was  unaware t h a t h e r d e v o t i o n t o the C a t h o l i c f a i t h was i n a c t u a l f a c t a d e v o t i o n t o the human r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f t h a t f a i t h , the priest. C e t t e f i e v r e de r e l i g i o n dura p l u s i e u r s annees pendant l e s q u e l l e s Germinie v S c u t c o n c e n t r S e , s i l e n c i e u s e , rayonnante, t o u t e a D i e u , - au moins e l l e l e c r o y a i t . Cependant peu a peu son c o n f e s s e u r a v a i t c r u s ' a p e r c e v o i r que t o u t e s ses a d o r a t i o n s t o u r n a i e n t v e r s l u i . A des r e g a r d s , a des r o u g e u r s , a/".des p a r o l e s q u ' e l l e ne l u i d i s a i t p l u s , a d ' a u t r e s q u ' e l l e s ' e n h a r d i s s a i t a l u i d i r e pour l a premiere f o i s , i l c o m p r i t que l a d e v o t i o n de s a p 6 n i t a n t e s'£garait e t s ' e x a l t a i t en se trompant elle-meme. E l l e l ' e " p i a i t a l a s o r t i e des o f f i c e s , l e s u i v a i t dans l a s a c r i s t i e , s ' a t t a c h a n t a l u i , c o u r a i t dans l'§glise apres> sa soutane. Le c o n f e s s e u r e s s a y a d ' a v e r t i r G e r m i n i e , de d e t o u r n e r de l u i c e t t e f e r v e u r amoureuse. I I d e v i n t p l u s r£serv<§ e t s'arma de f r o i d e u r . D§sol§e de ce changement, de cette i n d i f f e r e n c e , Germinie, a i g r i e e t bless£e, l u i avoua un j o u r , en c o n f e s s i o n , l e s s e n t i m e n t s de haine q u i l u i v e n a i e n t c o n t r e deux jeunes f i l l e s , l e s p g n i t a n t e s pr§f§r£es de l'abbe\ Le p r e t r e a l o r s , l o i g n a n t sans e x p l i c a t i o n s , l a renvoya a un a u t r e c o n f e s s e u r . Germinie a l i a se c o n f e s s e r une ou deux f o i s a c e t a u t r e c o n f e s s e u r ; p u i s e l l e n'y a l i a p l u s ; p u i s e l l e ne pensa p l u s meme a y a l l e r ; e t de t o u t e s a r e l i g i o n i l ne l u i r e s t a p l u s a l a pens<§e qu'une c e r t a i n e douceur l o i n t a i n e e t comme 1 ' a f f a d i s s e m e n t d'une odeur d'encens 6 t e , i n t . 5 R e l i g i o n had o f f e r e d Germinie c o u l d never f i l l someone t o l o v e .  a c e r t a i n solace, but i t  the v o i d l e f t by h e r c o n t i n u i n g need t o f i n d I t was n o t w i t h i n h e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g t o a c c e p t  38  a God whose e x i s t e n c e was based on a b s t r a c t p r i n c i p l e s , and she c o u l d n o t a s s o c i a t e s p i r i t u a l rewards w i t h h e r r e a l l i f e on earth.  The p r i e s t o f f e r e d a p h y s i c a l e x i s t e n c e , b u t h i s  to h i s r e l i g i o n and t o the p r e c e p t s s i b l e f o r him t o f u l f i l l  devotion  o f h i s o f f i c e made i t impos-  the dreams and d e s i r e s o f a l o n e l y and  t r o u b l e d woman. The  f r u s t r a t i o n o f t h i s i n c o m p r e h e n s i o n l e f t h e r con-  f u s e d and withdrawn.  Her p r i m i t i v e b e i n g needed the r e l i g i o u s  f e r v o u r which t r a n s f o r m e d age.  She r e s e n t e d  h e r w o r l d and gave h e r hope and c o u r -  the f o r c e s which wrenched h e r from the bond  of s e c u r i t y she had found w i t h i n the Church, t o condemn h e r t o her day-to-day e x i s t e n c e .  I n removing the l i f e l i n e  from G e r m i n i e , the Goncourt B r o t h e r s h e r s e l f and o f f a t e .  o f t h e Church  l e f t h e r a t the mercy o f  As w i l l be shown l a t e r i n t h i s d i s s e r a t i o n ,  t h a t d e c i s i o n was a momentous one. R e l i g i o n for.the bourgeoisie usually c a r r i e d with i t none o f the r e l i g i o u s e c s t a s y found i n the more p r i m i t i v e c l a s s e s . T h e i r r e l i g i o n was no l o n g e r a s a n c t u a r y  and a haven where d a i l y  burdens c o u l d be l i f t e d f o r a time, s i n c e t h e r e were few burdens l e f t t o bear.  I t was r a t h e r a s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . d e s i g n e d  a higher a u t h o r i t y not j u s t f o r r e l i g i o u s matters, matters o f a s o c i a l nature.  as  but also f o r  I t s p o p u l a r i t y a a s a l a s t word on  conduct and custom overrode i t s f u n c t i o n and the c o n s o l a t i o n i n i t s teachings  became l i m i t e d .  The Church became the f o c a l p o i n t  f o r many b o u r g e o i s f a m i l i e s i n t h e i r s e a r c h f o r the a c c u m u l a t i o n of w e a l t h and f o r i m m o r t a l i t y .  The p r i e s t f u n c t i o n e d as a con-  s u l t a n t i n s o c i a l matters r a t h e r than a healer of souls.  39  L e u r abbe Blampoix, dans Renege M a u p e r i n , e s t un "agent s o c i a l " q u i "exerce une i n f l u e n c e sur l a f a m i l l e e t sur l a s o c i e t y . " Influence qui p£netre dans l e s f a m i l i e s , juge, pese l e s p o s s i b i l i t e s des v e r t u s a. demander a. chacun, u n i t ces memes f a m i l i e s , l e s r e l i e p a r un mariage q u i souvent n ' e s t pas 1'union de deux ames, mais c e l l e de deux int£rets. Le p r e t r e • preche l a r e l i g i o n comme un apaisement aux p a s s i o n s , p r e t r e a s s e z s c e p t i q u e en..somme, q u i se s e r t de l a r e l i g i o n pour" a r r i v e r a ces f i n s . . I I e s t presque J g s u i t e ; a coup s u r , i l p r a t i q u e l a fameuse maxime des J g s u i t e s : " l a f i n j u s t i f i e l e s moyens." Son r o l e e s t grand dans l e s f a m i l i e s bourgeoises. I I y m a i n t i e n t l ' o r d r e , passe l'£ponge s u r l e s s c a n d a l e s , l e s f a i t o.ublier en l e u r donnant une a u t r e s i g n i f i c a t i o n , marie l e s f i l l e s , c o n s e i l l e u t i l e m e n t l e s meres. C'est l e f r e i n s o c i a l de l a b o u r g e o i s i e q u i use d'une r e l i g i o n aimable pour a r r e t e r l a corruption." The o v e r t d e c e i t w i t h i n t h i s r e l i g i o n so i n t e n t on s u p p o r t i n g the b o u r g e o i s i e gave RenSe grave doubts i n h e r own faith.  She was n o t a p r i m i t i v e woman s e a r c h i n g f o r an escape  from h e r d r e a r y w o r l d .  Ren£e was an i n t e l l i g e n t woman, c a p a b l e  o f e x a m i n i n g s o c i e t y and the concepts around her.  She was n o t  s u b j e c t e d t o the r e l i g i o u s e c s t a s y Germinie f e l t and she was n o t t h e r e f o r e f i r m l y bound t o the Church. to for  She was a b l e , i n t h i s way,  d e t a c h h e r s e l f from the Church, t o examine I t , and t o determine h e r s e l f i t s f u n c t i o n i n her l i f e . Where Germinie found an o b j e c t o f d e v o t i o n i n h e r p r i e s t ,  RenSe was a b l e t o l o o k beyond the man and a n a l y s e h i s f u n c t i o n i n religion.  Her c o n f e s s o r , the abbS•Blampoix mentioned above, was  a man who l i v e d i n ease and g r a c i o u s n e s s w h i l e t e n d i n g h i s f l o c k . The Goncourt B r o t h e r s d e s c r i b e him v i v i d l y . L'abbe" Blampoix a v a i t l e charme du p r e t r e q u i a 1 ' E d u c a t i o n , des t a l e n t s e t des g r a c e s . I I  40  s a v a i t mettre de l a c a u s e r i e dans l a c o n f e s s i o n , du s e l dans 1 ' e x h o r t a t i o n , de l'agr§ment dans l ' o n c t i o n . I I s ' e n t e n d a i t a 6mouv o i r et a i n t e r e s s e r . I I connaissait l e s paroles qui touchent, l e s paroles qui c a r ressent et les paroles qui c h a t o u i l l e n t . Sa v o i x e t a i t m u s i c a l e , son t o n f l e u r i . I I app e l a i t l e d i a b l e l e " p r i n c e du mal" e t l " E u charistie "l'aliment divin". I I a b o n d a i t en p e r i p h r a s e s c o l o r i e e s comme des images de saintete. I I p a r l a i t de R o s s i n i , i l c i t a i t R a c i n e , i l d i s a i t " l e b o i s " pour l e b o i s de Boulogne. I I p a r l a i t de 1'amour d i v i n avec des mots q u i t r o u b l a i e n t , des v i c e s du j o u r avec des p a r t i c u l a r i t e s p i q u a n t e s , du monde avec l a langue du monde. De temps en temps, l e s termes a. l a mode e t tous f r a i s , l e s mots i n t i m e s de l a l a n g u e , p a s s a i e n t dans ses c o n s u l t a t i o n s s p i r i t u e l l e s , a i n s i que des morceaux de j o u r n a l dans un l i v r e a s c S t i q u e . I I s e n t a i t agrSablement l e s i e c l e . Sa robe a v a i t comme l ' o d e u r de t o u t e s l e s j o l i e s f a u t e s q u i l ' a v a i e n t approche. I I e t a i t p r o fond et a i g u i s e sur l e s t e n t a t i o n s s u b t i l e s , a d m i r a b l e de f i n e s s e , de f l a i r e t de decence s u r l a c a s u i s t i q u e des s e n s u a l i t e s . Les femmes en r a f f o l a i e n t . 7 Renee was  r e v o l t e d by the obsequiousness of t h i s  who  c l a i m e d to be a p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n of the h o l y r u l e s .  him  f o r what he was:  a s e l f i s h man  who  man  She  saw  knew the advantages of  p a n d e r i n g to the r i c h , and making t h e i r l i v e s more t o l e r a b l e to the p r o f i t of h i s own  pocket.  H i s r e f u s a l of a b i s h o p r i c was  a s a c r i f i c e to r e m a i n i n the s e r v i c e o f those who  needed him,  r a t h e r a d e s i r e on h i s p a r t to remain among those p e o p l e  not but  who  would reward h i s a i d i n the most p r o f i t a b l e manner. Le f r e t i n des f a u t e s a l l a i t a. d ' a u t r e s ; a l u i , on a p p o r t a i t l e s p e c h e s de c h o i x . A u t o u r de l u i , c ' e t a i t un b r u i s s e m e n t de grands noms, de g r o s s e s f o r t u n e s , de j o l i e s c o n t r i t i o n s ; e t de b e l l e s r o b e s . Les meres l e c o n s u l t a i e n t pour mener l e u r s f i l l e s dans l e monde, l e s f i l l e s s e d a i r a i e n t aupres de l u i avant d'y aller. I I e t a i t l'homme a u q u e l on s ' a d r e s s a i t pour a v o i r 1 ' a u t o r i s a t i o n de se d e c o l l e t e r , 1  kl  l'homme q u i r g g l a i t l a pudeur des robes de b a l e t l a dScence des l e c t u r e s , l'homme a. qui l ' o n demandait l e t i t r e des romans a g l i r e e t l a l i s t e des p i e c e s morales a v o i r . His s t r o n g one.  h o l d over the people he c l a i m e d t o s e r v e was a They c o n s u l t e d him on e v e r y m a t t e r p e r t a i n i n g t o  themselves and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h o t h e r s .  A hint or a  bad word from him c o u l d be cause enoughtto s e v e r a r e l a t i o n s h i p forever. For  Renee, the f r u s t r a t i o n o f b e i n g c o n s t a n t l y r e i n e d  i n o r c o n t r o l l e d by such a man was i n t e n s e .  She needed the  freedom t o d e c i d e f o r h e r s e l f the manner i n which she l i v e d h e r life;  h a v i n g t o c o n s u l t a man who l i v e d a l i f e o f d e c e i t was  impossible. his  A l s o Ren£e found t h a t n o t o n l y was he d e c e i v i n g  f l o c k r e g a r d i n g h i s own conduct, b u t he was a l s o d e c e i v i n g  them about the q u a l i t y o f t h e i r own f a i t h . C ' e t a i t un homme de sens e t d ' e s p r i t , un p r e t r e f a c i l e e t q u i accommodait t o u t au ~ pre"cepte: L a l e t t r e tue e t 1 ' e s p r i t v i v i f i e . I I £tait t o l e r a n t e t i n t e l l i g e n t . I I savait comprendre e t s o u r i r e . I I m e s u r a i t l a f o i au temperament des gens, e t ne l a d o n n a i t qu'a p e t i t e dose. I I a d o u c i s s a i t l a p£nit a n c e , i l o t a i t l e s noeuds de l a c r o i x , i l s a b l a i t l e chemin du s a l u t . De l a r e l i g i o n dure, l a i d e , r i g o u r e u s e des p a u v r e s , i l d<§g a g e a i t comme une aimable r e l i g i o n des r i c h e s , l£gere, charmante, e i a s t i q u e , se p l i a n t aux choses e t aux personnes, a. t o u t e s l l e s convenances de l a societ§, a ses moeurs, a. s e s h a b i t u d e s , a. ses prejug£s meme. De l ' i d S e de D i e u , i l f a i s a i t . que.lque chose de c o n f o r t a b l e et d'e"l£gant.9 RenSe found i t hard t o a c c e p t the concept o f i n e q u a l i t y b e f o r e God.  A s i n was a s i n ,  no m a t t e r who had committed  it,  and she saw no r e a s o n f o r making a l l o w a n c e s s i m p l y because one was r i c h .  The d e c e i v i n g n a t u r e o f the r e l i g i o n as preached by  42 abbe caused h e r t o t u r n h e r back on the Church, and l i v e by h e r own u n d e r s t a n d i n g  o f r i g h t and wrong.  RenSe, l i k e Germinie,  was  e v e n t u a l l y condemned f o r such a d e c i s i o n . ' T h i s d e c i s i o n , - though, was p u r e l y h e r s , made o f h e r own f r e e w i l l , r e g a r d l e s s o f the consequences.  Whereas Germinie l e f t the Church because h e r own  l o n g i n g s c o u l d never be s a t i s f i e d , RenSe l e f t because she knew she c o u l d never conform t o the c o n s t r a i n t s p l a c e d upon her by the outside  world. By l e a v i n g the Church, R e n 6 e and Germinie l o s t  their  f a i t h i n one form o f d e v o t i o n , t h a t u n c o n s c i o u s and e c s t a t i c surrender  t o the s p i r i t u a l w o r l d , which l e f t them s u s c e p t i b l e  to doubt and q u e s t i o n s  concerning-that  of d e v o t i o n which i s l o v e .  o t h e r , more c o n s c i o u s  B o t h women had l i t t l e  form  understanding  of l o v e and a l l i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s ; the j o y f u l e x p e r i e n c e s  asso-  c i a t e d w i t h the l o v e o f a man were n o t w i t h i n t h e i r comprehension. What they had e x p e r i e n c e d  were the more n e g a t i v e  aspects  o f such  a r e l a t i o n s h i p , the b o r i n g , the f r i g h t e n i n g o r the incomprehensible.  T h i s had an u n s e t t l i n g e f f e c t upon t h e i r l i v e s and l e d  to mental a n g u i s h and f r u s t r a t i o n . Each o f these women was s e a r c h i n g f o r d i f f e r e n t t i e s i n h e r l o v e o f a man.  quali-  Ren§e sought a p a r t n e r , a man who  would d e a l w i t h h e r on e q u a l terms, and who would a c c o r d h e r honour, r e s p e c t and d i g n i t y .  Not f o r h e r the man who would use  her f o r no more t h a n an o b j e c t o f h i s d e s i r e s .  He had t o be  i n t e l l i g e n t and f a r - s e e i n g ; a man who would make the most o f h i s a b i l i t i e s and t a l e n t s .  I f he p o s s e s s e d these q u a l i t i e s , Rente's  s t r e n g t h o f c h a r a c t e r and p r i d e c o u l d d e a l w i t h a l m o s t a n y t h i n g  k3  l i f e meted out.  Germinie,  two t h i n g s i n l o v e :  on the o t h e r hand, i n s i s t e d on o n l y  s e c u r i t y and u n s t i n t i n g d e v o t i o n , not o n l y  on her p a r t , hut from her mate as w e l l . l o v i n g and g i v i n g became her c u r s e .  Her g r e a t c a p a c i t y f o r  She was  plagued by  thoughts  o f l o v e and d e v o t i o n , y e t she c o u l d not e x i s t w i t h o u t them.  This  l e f t her v u l n e r a b l e and b r o u g h t her o n l y h u m i l i a t i o n , d e g r a d a t i o n and  dishonour. The  l o v e i n Germinie's  l i f e was  a c o n s t a n t d u e l between  the p l e a s a n t and- the s o r d i d , each w a r r i n g w i t h the o t h e r to a c h i e v e u l t i m a t e supremacy.  T h i s c o n s t a n t v a c i l l a t i o n was  o n l y o f s o c i e t y and i t y o f Germinie's  a result  not  i t s p r e s s u r e s , but a l s o o f the i n h e r e n t d u a l -  character i t s e l f .  She was  et v i o l e n t , un e t r e tendre e t dSvoug.""^  "un e t r e  passionne  This p a r a d o x i c a l jux-  t a p o s i t i o n o f v i o l e n c e and p a s s i o n tempered by tenderness  and  d e v o t i o n l e f t Germinie confused and t o r t u r e d . The  Goncourt B r o t h e r s l a b e l l e d t h i s phenomenon the  m g l a n c o l i e des v i e r g e s .  They d e s c r i b e d t h i s c o n d i t i o n i n the  n o v e l by s a y i n g t h a t En p a r l a n t maraage a. G e r m i n i e , M i l e de V a r a n d e u i l t o u c h a i t l a cause du mal de Germinie. E l l e m e t t a i t l a main s u r s o m e n n u i . L'irreg u l a r i t y d'humeur de s a bonne, l e s dugouts de sa v i e , l e s l a n g u e u r s , l e v i d e e t l e mecontentement de son e t r e , v e n a i e n t de c e t t e mala d i e que l a medecine a p p e l l e l a m g l a n c o l i e des v i e r g e s . L a s o u f f r a n e e de ses v i n g t quatre ans e t a i t l e d£sir a r d e n t , i r r i t e , p o i g n a n t , du m a r i a g e , . . . H The  d e v o t i o n which Germinie accorded  to f i l l  to her m i s t r e s s was  unable  t h i s o t h e r l o n g i n g which she found so overpowering.  need f o r the p a s s i o n found i n the l o v e o f a man her l i f e and  Her  began to c o n t r o l  i n t e r f e r e w i t h her day-to-day a c t i v i t i e s .  This  left  Germinie v u l n e r a b l e and caused h e r t o v i e w l o v e i n an u n r e a l i s t i c , impassioned manner. 12 pote . "  "En t o u t , son coeur 6 t a i t e x i g e a n t e t des-  c  She was unable t o u n d e r s t a n d t h a t a p e r s o n has many d i f f e r e n t ways t o loves  s e l f - l o v e , l o v e o f a man, l o v e o f a c h i l d ,  even l o v e o f humanity as^ a whole and each d i f f e r e n t k i n d o f l o v e c o n t r i b u t e s i n a unique way-to the f o r m a t i o n o f the whole p e r s o n . Because Germinie was c o n c e n t r a t i n g on o n l y one form o f l o v e , the d e s i r e f o r the l o v e o f a man, any i n t r u s i o n o r i n v a s i o n o f a n o t h e r k i n d o f l o v e caused h e r a n g u i s h and p a i n .  Germinie, i n t r u t h ,  was s u b j e c t o f t h r e e v e r y s e p a r a t e forms o f l o v e , each o f w h i c h was p e r v a s i v e i n i t s i n f l u e n c e upon h e r l i f e .  The f i r s t type o f  l o v e was h e r l o v e f o r and d e v o t i o n t o M a d e m o i s e l l e de V a r a n d e u i l , an emotion which was t o o u t l i v e a l l o t h e r s ; the second was h e r l o v e f o r a c h i l d , b o t h f o r h e r n i e c e and h e r own c h i l d r e n , b o r n out o f wedlock by J u p i l l o n ; and l a s t l y , h e r l o v e o f a man, f i r s t the  y o u t h J u p i l l o n and t h e n the p a i n t e r , Gautruche.  She r e a c t e d  i n a v e r y d i f f e r e n t way t o each o f these forms o f l o v e . Her l o v e f o r and d e v o t i o n t o M a d e m o i s e l l e was a pure and u n s t i n t i n g a c t i o n .  G r a t e f u l to Mademoiselle f o r p r o v i d i n g  her honourable work and a decent home, Germinie d i d e v e r y t h i n g i n h e r power t o m a i n t a i n the c o n f i d e n c e and the r e s p e c t which M a d e m o i s e l l e had f o r h e r , even i n c i r c u m s t a n c e s which were deb a s i n g and d i s h o n o u r a b l e . Germinie found a c e r t a i n c o n f l i c t . . i n her v i s i o n o f h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h M a d e m o i s e l l e when she was c o n f r o n t e d w i t h s a v i n g h e r s e l f o r condemning h e r s e l f t o Mademois e l l e ' s w r a t h and d i s a p p o i n t m e n t .  I n a l a t e r section of this  ^5  c h a p t e r , t h i s concept w i l l be d i s c u s s e d i n more d e t a i l w i t h r e s p e c t t o G e r m i n i e ' s p e r s o n a l concepts o f honour and t r u t h . The  l o v e Germinie had f o r 'her' c h i l d r e n , h e r n i e c e ,  and then h e r own c h i l d r e n b o r n o u t o f wedlock, was the one r e l a t i o n s h i p i n i w h i c h she found s e c u r i t y and h a p p i n e s s .  They were  p e o p l e t o whom she c o u l d devote h e r s e l f and l i v e f o r . c h i l d , a a product tionshipwwhich  Her own  o f h e r s e l f and h e r l o v e r , J u p i l l o n , was a r e l a -  would grow w i t h the p a s s i n g y e a r s .  There would  never be any q u e s t i o n o f the l o y a l t y and d e v o t i o n o f the c h i l d ' s thoughts:  a c h i l d ' s l o v e f o r i t s mothers i s u s u a l l y u n q u e s t i o n i n g  and p r o f o u n d .  I n s p i t e o f the s c a n d a l and the h u m i l i a t i o n a s s o -  c i a t e d w i t h the b i r t h o f h e r c h i l d , Germinie knew no g r e a t e r j o y t h a n w i t h her p r e c i o u s daughter. L a j o i e e t l ' o r g u e i l d ' a v o i r donnS l e j o u r a une p e t i t e c r e a t u r e ou s a c h a i r S t a i t mel§e a l a c h a i r de 1'homme q u ' e l l e a i m a i t , l e bonheur d ' e t r e mere, l a s a u v e r e n t des s u i t e s d'une couche mal s o i g n e e . Elle revint a l a sante" e t e l l e e u t a v i v r e un a i r de p l a i s i r que s a m a i t r e s s e ne l u i a v a i t jamais vu.^3 However, she approached t h e t h i r d s o r t o f l o v e i n h e r life, view.  the l o v e o f a man, from an a l t o g e t h e r d i f f e r e n t p o i n t o f T h i s was n o t a c o m f o r t a b l e  form o f d e v o t i o n .  In this  l o v e , she was i n s e c u r e and f r i g h t e n e d by her m e n t a l and p h y s i c a l r e a c t i o n s over w h i c h she had no c o n t r o l and which seemed t o p e r vade h e r e n t i r e b e i n g . the m g l a n c o l i e  Coupled w i t h the m e d i c a l d e f i n i t i o n o f  des v i e r g e s , the Goncourt B r o t h e r s emphasized h e r  c o n f u s i o n and s u s c e p t i b i l i t y by p o r t r a y i n g i n g r e a t the a n g u i s h  i n h e r s o u l as a r e s u l t o f h e r i n n a t e  And  yet,  detail  sensibilities.  De c e t t e femme l a i d e s ' S c h a p p a i t une apre e t myst£rieuse s e d u c t i o n . L'ombre, e t l a l u m i e r e , se h e u r t a n t e t se b r i s a n t a s o n v i s a g e p i e i n de creux e t de s a i l l i e s , y m e t t a i e n t ce r a y o n nement de v o l u p t e jet§ p a r un p e i n t r e d,'amour dans l a pochade du p o r t r a i t de s a m a i t r e s s e . Tout en e l l e , s a bouche, ses yeux, s a l a i d e u r meme, a v a i t une p r o v o c a t i o n e t une s o l l i c i t a tion. Un charme a p h r o d i s i a q u e s o r t a i t d'.elle, q u i s ' a t t a q u a i t e t s ' a t t a c h a i t a 1 ' a u t r e sexe. E l l e d<§gageait l e d£sir e t en d o n n a i t l a commotion. Une t e n t a t i o n s e n s u e l l e s s & e ^ e v a i t ' n a t u r e l l e m e n t e t i n v o l o n t a i r e m e n t d ' e l l e , de ses g e s t e s , de sa>marche, du moindre de ses remuements, de l ' a i r ou s o n corps a v a i t laiss£ une de ses o n d u l a t i o n s . A cote d ' e l l e , on se s e n t a i t p r e s d'une de ces c r e a t u r e s t r o u b l a n t e s e t i n q u i S t a n t e s , b r u l a n t e s du^mal d'aimer e t l ' a p p o r t a n t aux a u t r e s , dont l a f i g u r e r e v i e n t a l'homme aux heures i n a s s o u v i e s , tourmente ses pens§es l o u r d e s de m i d i , hante ses n u i t s , v i o l e ses s o n g e s . ^ 1  U n w i t t i n g l y , G e r m i n i e ' s d e s i r e s and i n t r i n s i c s e n s u a l i t y were m i r r o r e d i n h e r every movement.  She l a i d h e r s e l f open t o b e i n g  t a k e n i n and used by u n s c r u p u l o u s and s e l f i s h p e o p l e .  They saw  i n h e r o v e r t s e d u c t i o n a means t o i n g r a t i a t e themselves i n t o h e r f a v o u r , and t o o b t a i n from h e r , on the p r e t e x t o f l o v e and devot i o n , a l l t h a t she was capable a devious  o f g i v i n g them.  and c l e v e r c r e a t u r e , employed t h i s p a r t i c u l a r f a c e t  o f G e r m i n i e ' s c h a r a c t e r t o the f u l l e s t . dupe G e r m i n i e , the cremiere hand.  Mere J u p i l l o n ,  Using a l l her wiles to  soon had Germinie i n the palm o f h e r  By m e r e l y h i n t i n g o f the p o s s i b i l i t y o f a u n i o n between  Germinie and h e r son, Madame J u p i l l o n made Germinie a w i l l i n g victim. Germinie f u t b i e n v i t e s e d u i t e e t a p i t o y S e p a r c e t t e cremiere c a l i n e , bavarde, t o u j o u r s emue, a p p e l a n t a. e l l e 1 ' e x p a n s i o n des a u t r e s e t p a r a i s s a n t s i t e n d r e . 15 The  cremiere  was w e l l aware o f G e r m i n i e ' s weaknesses.  P l a y i n g up t o the obvious g r a t i t u d e i n G e r m i n i e ' s obsequious  ^7 p a t r o n a g e , Mere J u p i l l o n l a i d her p l a n s w e l l . Sans jamais p a r l e r , sans prononcer un mot q u i p u t e t r e un engagement, sans s ' o u v r i r n i se l i e r , e t t o u t en r§p6tant que son f i l s S t a i t encore b i e n jeune pour e n t r e r en manage, e l l e encouragea l e s esp£rances e t l e s i l l u s i o n s de Germinie p a r 1 ' a t t i t u d e de t o u t e s a personne, ses a i r s de s e c r e t e i n d u l g e n c e e t de c o m p l i c i t y de coeur, p a r ces s i l e n c e s ou e l l e semb l a i t l u i o u v r i r l e s b r a s d'une b e l l e - m e r e . E t d e p l o y a n t t o u s e s e s t a l e n t s de fausset§, u s a n t de ses mines de s e n t i m e n t , de s a f i n e s s e bon e n f a n t , de c e t t e ruse ronde e t envelopp£e qu'ont l e s gens g r a s , l a grosse femme a r r i v a i t a f a i r e tomber devant 1'assurance, l a promesse t a c i t e de ce mariage, l e s d e r n i e r e s r e s i s t a n c e s de Germinie q u i a l a f i n se l a i s s a i t a r r a c h e r p a r l ' a r d e u r du jeune homme ce q u ' e l l e c r o y a i t donner d'avance a l'amour du m a r i . Dans t o u t ce j e u , l a c r e m i e r e n ' a v a i t v o u l u qu'une chose: s ' a t t a c h e r e t c o n s e r v e r une domestique q u i ne l u i c o u t a i t r i e n . 1 6 Germinie  guessed none of the d e c e p t i o n i n h e r e n t i n the  cremiere's seemingly  innocent f r i e n d s h i p .  to examine the motives  o f those around her:  Germinie  t o anyone who  ed her the s i n g l e - m i n d e d d e v o t i o n f o r which she was Germinie tic.  d i d not stop offer-  searching,  i n her t u r n gave a d e v o t i o n which b o r d e r e d on the f a n a -  She became a n i m a l - l i k e i n her d e t e r m i n a t i o n t o p r e s e r v e  the r e l a t i o n s h i p and t o p r o t e c t h e r s e l f a t the same t i m e . L a j a l o u s i e S t a r t l e f o n d de s a n a t u r e ; c'St a i t l a l i e e t l'amertume de ses t e n d r e s s e s . Ceux q u ' e l l e a i m a i t , e l l e v o u l a i t l e s a v o i r t o u t a e l l e , l e s possSder absolument. Elle e x i g e a i t q u ' i l s n'aimassent q u ' e l l e . Elle ne p o u v a i t admettre q u ' i l s p u s s e n t d i s t r a i r e e t donner-a. d ' a u t r e s l a moindre p a r c e l l e de leur affection: c e t t e a f f e c t i o n , depuis q u ' e l l e l ' a v a i t merit§e, n'§tait p l u s a eux; i l s n ' e t a i t p l u s m a i t r e s d'en d i s p o s e r . 1 7 Jealousy was ;  one  o f the e f f e c t s l o v e had upon her p e r s o n a l i t y .  Her l o v e committed her to an i n e v i t a b l e course o f s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n , s i m p l y because she was  unaware o f the p o w e r f u l i n f l u e n c e  4-8 w h i c h l o v e had upon her mind and her body.  She was i n s e c u r e i n  her r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h J u p i l l o n and t h i s i m p a i r e d h e r judgement. I t was not u n t i l the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y t h a t anyone o v e r t l y remarked upon the d e s t r u c t i v e a s p e c t o f l o v e , and t h e n Germaine  Greer  wrote i n her t r e a t i s e The Female Eunuch: Women must r e c o g n i z e i n the cheap i d e o l o g y o f b e i n g i n l o v e the e s s e n t i a l p e r s u a s i o n t o -^g take an i r r a t i o n a l and s e l f - d e s t r u c t i v e s t e p . Germinie's  course o f s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n commenced w i t h  her overwhelming need f o r l o v e and d e v o t i o n .  T h i s began t o man-  i f e s t i t s e l f i n more h a r m f u l ways as time p r o g r e s s e d .  Naturally,  she was j e a l o u s o f the freedom w i t h which J u p i l l o n conducted self.  him-  She d e s i r e d t o see r e f l e c t e d i n him the overwhelming pas-  s i o n and l o v e which she f e l t f o r -him. where she s t o o d w i t h him;  I n s t e a d , she never knew  one day t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p would be  a l l t h a t she might hope, and the -next, t h e r e would be n o t h i n g . L'amour n ' a v a i t et<§ pour l e jeune J u p i l l o n que l a s a t i s f a c t i o n d'une c e r t a i n c u r i o s i t e du mal, c h e r c h a n t dans l a connaissance e t l a p o s s e s s i o n d'une femme l e d r o i t e t l e p l a i s i r de l a m S p r i s e r . C e t homme, s o r t a n t de 1'enf a n c e , a v a i t apporte" a. s a premiere l i a i s o n , pour t o u t e a r d e u r e t t o u t e flamme, l e s f r o i d s i n s t i n c t s de p o l i s s o n n e r i e q u ' e V e i l l e n t chez l e s e n f a n t s l e s mauvais l i v r e s , l e s c o n f i d e n c e s de camarades, l e s c o n v e r s a t i o n s de p e n s i o n , l e p r e m i e r s o u f f l e d'impurete" q u i d£flore l e d<§sir. Ce que l e jeune homme met a u t o u r de l a femme q u i l u i cede, ce dont i l l a v o i l e , l e s c a r e s s e s , l e s mots aimants, l e s i m a g i n a t i o n s de t e n d r e s s e , r i e n de c e l a n ' e x i s t a i t pour J u p i l l o n . L a femme n ' S t a i t pour l u i qu'une image obscene; e t une p a s s i o n de femme l u i p a r a i s s a i t uniquement j e ne s a i s q u o i de defendu, d ' i l l i c i t e , de g r o s s i e r , de cynique et de d r o l e , une chose e x c e l l e n t e pour l a disillusion et l'ironie.19 As a r e s u l t o f her r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h J u p i l l o n ,  Germinie  4-9 f o r c e d t o contemplate h e r s i t u a t i o n .  She was becoming more and  more aware o f d i s c r e p a n c i e s i n b o t h h i s a c t i o n s and h e r own. She  had begun t o see h e r s i t u a t i o n as i t r e a l l y was, a l t h o u g h  a c t u a l acceptance was s t i l l a l o n g way ahead o f her. i t was a b e g i n n i n g , pleasures  and h e r sudden u n d e r s t a n d i n g  However,  t h a t momentary  were j u s t t h a t and t h a t t h e r e was no way i n h e r power  to change c i r c u m s t a n c e s ,  gave h e r an added b o l s t e r .  C ' S t a i t l a premiere f o i s q u ' e l l e a v a i t l e s e n t i m e n t , 1 ' i m p r e s s i o n a. l a f o i s apre e t douce, v i o l e n t e e t d i v i n e , du j e u de l a v i e §clatantedans s a p l e n i t u d e , s a r e g u l a r i t y , sa p u i s s a n c e . 2 0 Faced w i t h the r e a l i t i e s o f h e r e x i s t e n c e and the i n e v i t a b i l i t y , by v i r t u e o o f h e r l o v e f o r J u p i l l o n , o f h e r i m p o s s i b l e s i t u a t i o n , Germinie e x h i b i t e d s i g n s o f p h y s i c a l and e m o t i o n a l fatigue.  She was aware o f h e r c o n d i t i o n and y e t h e r l o v e was  s t i l l a b l e t o make p h y s i c a l and e m o t i o n a l The  Goncourt B r o t h e r s  show t h i s  s u f f e r i n g bearable.  with  . . . l a n o t a t i o n p a t i e n t e e t c l a i r v o y a n t e des m a n i f e s t a t i o n s e x t S r i e u r e s de ce s e n t i m e n t n a i s s a n t e t de ce de"sir q u i s ' i n t e n s i f i e dans un e t r e peu a. peu priv£ de l a volont<§ de r£agir e t q u i s'-enivre duu.bonheur dont l a f r a g i l i t y e t l e danger ne l u i gchappent pas dans 1 ' o b s c u r c i s s e m e n t de s a c o n s c i e n c e . 2 1 Other i n c i d e n t s , however, c o n t r i b u t e d t o h e r t o t a l s u b m i s s i o n and subsequent acceptance o f h e r f a t e .  Germinie was  a proud woman, proud o f h e r s t a t u r e as Mademo'iselle' s maid and proud o f the obvious r e s p e c t she r e c e i v e d from the community. I n h e r d e a l i n g s w i t h the J u p i l l o n f a m i l y , she became the o b j e c t , of d i s c u s s i o n and s p e c u l a t i o n s o f the community and the s c a n d a l mongers among them made haste t o i n f o r m the community o f h e r  50  liaisons. A l o r s i l n'y e u t p l u s doute dans l e g u a r t i e r s u r l e s r e l a t i o n s de l a domestique de madem o i s e l l e avec J u p i l l o n , r e l a t i o n s que quelques ames c h a r i t a b l e s c o n t e s t a i e n t encore. L e ' scandale £clata e t , en une semaine, l a pauvre f i l l e , t r a i n e e dans t o u t e s l e s me"disances du q u a r t i e r , b a p t i s e d e t s a l u t e des p l u s s a l e s noms de l a langue des r u e s , tomba d'un coup, de l ' e s t i m e l a p l u s hautement tSmoign£e, au This was., a blow t o Germinie's  self-esteem.  She c o u l d do n o t h i n g  t o h a l t the g o s s i p . Ce f u t pour e l l e une h o r r i b l e d£enhance d ' e l l e meme. E l l e s o u f f r i t comme s i on l u i a r r a c h a i t , lambeau a. lambeau, s o n honneur dans l e r u i s seau. Mais a. mesure q u ' e l l e s o u f f r a i t , e l l e se s e r r a i t c o n t r e s o n amour e t se cramponnait a. l u i . 3 2  Only by b i n d i n g h e r s e l f i r r e v o c a b l y t o J u p i l l o n c o u l d she, i n a s m a l l measure, p r o t e c t h e r s e l f from the j i b e s and t h e i n s u l t s o f the m a j o r i t y o f the community. l i f e , as an u n d e n i a b l e  At t h i s point i n her  l i n k between h e r s e l f and J u p i l l o n , she  s e t him up i n b u s i n e s s as ..a glove merchant.  She p r o v i d e d a shop  and rooms f i t f o r h i s p o s i t i o n as a businessman i n s o c i e t y .  Ger-  minie s a c r i f i c e d h e r t o t a l l i f e s a v i n g s i n o r d e r t o g i v e h e r l o v e r the b e s t t h a t c o u l d be p r o v i d e d . By g i v i n g J u p i l l o n what he wanted, Germinie ceased t o be a t t r a c t i v e t o him.  There was no l o n g e r any r e a s o n f o r him  to c o u r t h e r e x c l u s i v e l y , and he began t o f r e q u e n t the dance h a l l s and the bars w i t h women who were younger and more;.attract i v e than Germinie.  She was c a s t a s i d e l i k e the p r o v e r b i a l o l d  shoe, and a l l h e r attempts  t o m a i n t a i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p were  g r e e t e d w i t h contempt and mockery.  51  Her Tove began t o t u r n t o hate: the j i b e s and t h e t a u n t s o f those around h e r began t o i n f e c t her mind. Longuement empoisonnS, 1'amour se dficomposait e t se t o u r n a i t en h a i n e . Germinie se m e t t a i t a. de"tester s o n amant, a c h e r c h e r t o u t ce q u i pouvait l e l u i f a i r e dStester davantage. ^ 2  She She  was f a c e d w i t h the f r u s t r a t i o n o f h e r r e j e c t e d l o v e .  had s a c r i f i c e d , by h e r own a c t i o n s , the sympathy which might  have been f o r t h c o m i n g  from those around her, and she had p l a c e d  h e r s e l f i n a h u m i l i a t i n g and d e g r a d i n g  position.  She had l o s t  her f i n e r e p u t a t i o n , had s a c r i f i c e d a l l h e r s a v i n g s t o s u p p o r t J u p i l l o n i n h i s venture  and was l e f t w i t h the shreds o f h e r ex-  i s t e n c e i n c o n f u s i o n and t u r m o i l .  Her s u f f e r i n g was i n t e n s e and  bitter. However, the power o f h e r l o v e f o r J u p i l l o n was n o t reduced by these u p s e t t i n g c i r c u m s t a n c e s . by thoughts o f him.  She was s t i l l  haunted  T h i s was made p e r f e c t l y c l e a r when he ap- •  proached h e r f o r money t o buy h i s way o u t o f the army.  She c o u l d  n o t , e i t h e r p h y s i c a l l y o r m e n t a l l y , d e a l w i t h the thought o f J u p i l l o n being i n j u r e d or p o s s i b l y k i l l e d through h i s s e r v i c e w i t h the army.  As a f i n a l h u m i l i a t i o n , Germinie begged, borrow-  ed and mortgaged h e r l i f e paid  t o f i n d s u f f i c i e n t funds t o see him  out. L ' h u m i l i a t i o n d'avouer q u ' e l l e n ' a v a i t pas d'argent place", comme on l e c r p y a i t ' e t comme p a r o r g u e i l e l l e l e l a i s s a i t c r o i r e , l a comm i s e r a t i o n des gens q u ' e l l e m S p r i s a i t , l e s r e f u s , l e s aumones, e l l e a v a i t t o u t s u b i , essuye" ce- q u ' e l l e n ' a u r a i t pas essuye" pour t r o u v e r du p a i n , e t non une f o i s aupres d'une personne, mais aupres de t r e n t e , de q u a r a n t e , aupres de tous ceux q u i l u i a v a i e n t donne ou dont e l l e a v a i t espSre" quelque chose. 5 2  52  T h i s was the f i n a l b r e a k i n g had s a c r i f i c e d e v e r y t h i n g , c u l a t i n g man.  point of her s p i r i t .  even h e r l i f e  She  to this ungrateful,  She would no l o n g e r be l e a d i n g a l i f e  cal-  o f h e r own,  b u t she would be e x i s t i n g f o r the b e n e f i t o f those t o whom she owed money.  They would e x t r a c t from h e r a l l t h a t she p o s s e s s e d ,  including f i n a l l y , her very l i f e . I I semble que, sous 1 ' i n f l u e n c e de c e t t e m a l adie d' i m p r e s s i o n n a b i l i t e " , l e s s e n s a t i o n s a i g u i s S e s , r a f f i n S e s , s p i r i t u a l i s e e s , dSpassent l e u r mesure e t l e u r l i m i t e n a t u r e l l e s , a t t e i g n e n t au d e l a d'elles-memes, e t m e t t e n t une s o r t e d ' i n f i n i dans l a j o u i s s a n c e e t l a s o u f f r a n c e de l a c r e a t u r e . 2 o For G e r m i n i e , i t became n e c e s s a r y t o l o s e h e r s e l f , t o r e t r e a t from the r e a l i t i e s o f the contempt o f s o c i e t y and h e r own i n t e r n a l and u n c e a s i n g r e c r i m i n a t i o n s .  She sought a means o f  b l o t t i n g o u t the p a s t and the f u t u r e , o f becoming a p a r t o f o b l i v i o n , deep, dark and h i d d e n away from t a u n t i n g eyes. Dans l a t o r t u r e de c e t t e v i e , ou e l l e s o u f ^ / f r a i t mort e t p a s s i o n , G e r m i n i e , c h e r c h a n t a £tourdir l e s h o r r e u r s de s a pensee, S t a i t revenue au v e r r e q u ' e l l e a v a i t p r i s un m a t i n des mains d'Adele, e t q u i l u i a v a i t donnS toute une journ£e d ' o u b l i . De ce j o u r , e l l e a v a i t b u . . . . e l l e a v a i t bu avec Adele q u i b u v a i t comme un homme e t q u i p r e n a i t un v i l p l a i s i r a v o i r descendre a u s s i bas q u ' e l l e c e t t e bonne de femme honnete.2? D r i n k i n g was a means t o i g n o r e  the passage o f time and  to b a r the i n t r u s i o n o f p e o p l e i n t o h e r l i f e . Car ce q u ' e l l e v o u l a i t ce n ' e t a i t p o i n t l a f i e v r e de t e t e , l e t r o u b l e heureux, l a f o l i e v i v a n t e , l e reve §veill£ e t d S l i r a n t de l ' i v r e s s e ; ce q u ' i l l u i f a l l a i t , ce q u ' e l l e demandait, c ' S t a i t l e n o i r bonheur du sommeil, d'un sommeily.sans m£moire e t sans r e v e , d'un sommeil de plomb tombant s u r e l l e somme un coup d'assommoir s u r l a t e t e d'un boeuf: e t e l l e l e t r o u v a i t dans ces l i q u e u r s melees q u i  53  l a foudroyaient e t l u i couchaient l a face s u r l a t o i l e cir§e de l a t a b l e de cuisine. ° 2  But f o r h e r , the shock and d i s t r e s s o f r e v i v i n g and f i n d i n g h e r s e l f i n the same p l a c e f a c i n g the same problems i n t h a t f i r s t i n s t a n t o f r e c o g n i t i o n , p l a c e d a g r e a t s t r a i n on h e r . A t t h a t p o i n t , the f o r c e o f h e r decadence and dilemma was overpowering and she was b l i n d i n g l y aware o f each a c t i o n , a l m o s t as i f she was r e l i v i n g i t a g a i n a t t h a t moment. Chez e l l e , une s e n s i t i v i t y m a l a d i v e , une s o r t e d'Sr6thisme c e r e b r a l * ? une d i s p o s i t i o n de t e t e a ' t o u j o u r s t r a v a i l l e r , a. s ' a g i t e r dans l'amertume, 1 ' i n q u i e t u d e , l e m£contentement d ^ e l l e meme, un sens m o r a l q u i s ' S t a i t comme r e d r e s s S en e l l e apres chacune de ses d§che"ances, tous l e s dons de d e i i c a t e s s e , d ' e l e c t i o n e t de m a l heur s ' u n i s s a i e n t pour l a t o r t u r e r e t r e t o u r n e r , chaque j o u r , p l u s avant e t p l u s c r u e l l e ment dans son d e s e s p o i r , l e tourment de ce q u i n ' a u r a i t guere mis de s i longues d o u l e u r s chez beaucoup de ses p a r e i l l e s . ^ 2  Perhaps a t t h i s p o i n t i n h e r l i f e ,  had she been o f a  s t r o n g e r c h a r a c t e r and a b l e t o face up t o the r e a l i t i e s o f h e r e x i s t e n c e , she might have been a b l e t o r e v e r s e the t r e n d o f h e r l i f e and r e g a i n h e r esteemed p o s i t i o n w i t h i n the community. e v e r , she was so c o n v i n c e d  o f her delinquency  How-  and o f the i m p o s s i -  b i l i t y o f h e r r e d e m p t i o n , t h a t she condemned h e r s e l f t o the h o r r o r s o f mental and p h y s i c a l d e m o r a l i z a t i o n . p a t t e r n of behaviour  Here she conforms t o a  t h a t Germaine G r e e r has noted. Too o f t e n the e r r a n t women abuse themselves w i t h e x c e s s i v e shame and r e c r i m i n a t i o n , deg r a d i n g themselves more i n t h e i r own e s t i m a t i o n than they do by t h e i r b e h a v i o u r . The compulsiveness o f t h i s b e h a v i o u r i s the d i r e c t r e s u l t of repressiveness i n education: women a r e drawn t o s e x u a l l i c e n c e because i t seems f o r b i d d e n and e x c i t i n g , b u t the p r i c e they have t o pay f o r such d e l i n q u e n c y i s t o o _ heavy. The r e s u l t i s f u n c t i o n a l nymphomania.  n  54  T h i s t o o , was Germinie's f a t e .  The s e a r c h f o r l o v e  became no more t h a n .an excuse f o r p r o m i s c u i t y and the s a t i s f a c t i o n of  overwhelming p h y s i c a l d e s i r e s .  She was p l a g u e d by the e x c e s s -  es demanded o f h e r by h e r p h y s i c a l n a t u r e .  She became e s s e n t i a l l y  a c r e a t u r e f o r whom l i f e was reduced t o the n e x t d r i n k o r the n e x t encounter w i t h a man. Malgre"^tout, e l l e 'ne pouvai't s ' a p a i s e r n i se r e f r o i d i r . Ses mauvaises pensSes se r a l l u maient t o u t e s s e u l e s , v i v a i e n t e t s ' a g i t a i e n t sur elles-memes. A t p u t e heure, 1'idSe f i x e , du d 6 s i r se l e v a i t de t o u t s o n e t r e , d e v e n a i t dans t o u t e s a personne ce tourment f o u q u i ne f i n i t p a s , ce t r a n s p o r t de sens au c e r veau: 1 ' o b s e s s i o n , - 1 ' o b s e s s i o n que r i e n ne chasse e t r e v i e n t t o u j o u r s , 1 ' o b s e s s i o n impudique, acharnSe, f o u r m i l l a n t e d'images, 1 ' o b s e s s i o n q u i approche 1'amour de tous l e s sens, de l a femme, l ' a p p o r t e a s e s yeux f e r m£s, l e r o u l e fumant dans s a t e t e , l e c h a r r i e t o u t chaud dans ses a r t e r e s : 3 i The c o n s t a n t s u f f e r i n g o f Germinie's mind and body and the o b s e s s i v e and p o s s e s s i v e q u a l i t i e s o f h e r p h y s i c a l n a t u r e tormented h e r .  The f r u s t r a t i o n caused by h e r i n a b i l i t y t o a s s u -  age h e r p h y s i c a l needs grew w i t h each p a s s i n g moment.  But she  was p a s t c o n s c i o u s a c t i o n and she was c o n t e n t t o l e t h e r s e l f be swept a l o n g by the c u r r e n t o f humanity which surrounded h e r and bound h e r t o i t s t u r b u l e n t f l o w .  She sought out those people  who c o u l d g i v e h e r p l e a s u r e and make h e r f o r g e t h e r s e l f .  She  gave h e r s e l f up a bohemian e x i s t e n c e o f raucous and b i t t e r debauchery. E t maintenant, quand e l l e s o r t a i t de s o n a b r u t i s s e m e n t , quand, dans l a d i s t r a c t i o n e t l e p l a i s i r , e l l e se r e t r o u v a i t e t r e n a i s s a i t , i l f a l l a i t q u ' e l l e p u t s'amuser avec des <§gaux a. s a port£e. E l l e v o u l a i t , a u t o u r d ' e l l e , des hommes q u i l a f i s s e n t r i r e , des gaiet§s v i o l e n t e s , de 1 ' e s p r i t s p i r i t u e u x  55  q u i l a g r i s a t avec l e v i n qu'on l u i v e r s a i t . Et c'est a i n s i qu'elle r o u l a i t vers cette boheme c a n a i l l e du p e u p l e , b r u y a n t e , £tourdiss a n t e ^ e n i v r a n t e comme t o u t e s l e s bohemess „ c ' e s t a i n s i q u ' e l l e t o m b a i t a un Gautruche.^ ?  MSdSric Gautruche was the p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n o f the bohemain l i f e s t y l e .  H i s was the l i f e o f wine and women, p a u s i n g  o n l y momentarily t o e a r n h i s d a i l y bread.  The Goncourt B r o t h e r s  d e s c r i b e him i n d e t a i l and i t becomes obvious why Germinie became a t t r a c t e d t o t h i s type o f man. Toujours un peu i v r e , i v r e de l a v e i l l e quand i l ne l ' S t a i t pas du j o u r , i l v o y a i t l ' e x i s tence au t r a v e r s du coup de s o l e i l q u ' i l a v a i t dans l a t e t e . I I s o u r i a i t a. s o n s o r t , i l s'y l a i s s a i t a l l e r avec 1'abandon de l ' i v r o g n e , s o u r i a n t s u r l e pas du marchand de v i n vaguement aux choses, a l a v i e , au chemin q u i s ' a l l o n g e dans l a n u i t . L ' e n n u i , l e s s o u c i s , l a deche n ' a v a i e n t pas p r i s e s u r l u i ; e t quand p a r h a s a r d i l l u i v e n a i t une id§e n o i r e ou s e r i e u s e , i l d£tournait l a t e t e , f a i s a i t un c e r t a i n p s i t t l q u i eVtait s a maniere de d i r e z u t l e t l e b r a s d r o i t au c i e l en c a r i c a t u r a n t l e geste d'un danseur e s p a g n o l , i l e n v o y a i t par-dessus l'£paule s a m i l a n c o l i e " " a tous l e s d i a b l e s . I I a v a i t l a superbe p h i l o s o p h i e d'apres b o i r e , l a s§r£nit§ g a i l l a r d e de l a b o u t e i l l e . I I ne c o n n a i s s a i t n i erivie< : ne de"sir. Ses r e v e s l u i i t a i e n t s e r v i s s u r l e c o m p t o i r . Pour t r o i s sous, i l 6"fait s u r d ' a v o i r un p e t i t v e r r e de bonheur, pour douze un l i t r e d'id£al. Content de t o u t , i l a i m a i t t o u t , t r o u v a i t a. r i r e e t a. s'amuser de t o u t . R i e n ne l u i s e m b l a i t t r i s t e dans l e monde - qu'un v e r r e d ' e a u . 3 3 T h i s man r e l i e v e d f o r the moment the t e r r i b l e p r e s s u r e s which Germinie was e x p e r i e n c i n g . Because he was u n a f f e c t e d by morose and d e p r e s s i n g s e n t i m e n t s , he conveyed  t o Germinie a s m a l l  measure o f c o m f o r t , e n c o u r a g i n g h e r t o l i v e f o r the moment and to take from t h a t moment a l l the p l e a s u r e p o s s i b l e . Germinie  He came t o  ( o r Germinie t o him) when the measure o f r e l i e f was  56  c a r n a l and the n e c e s s i t y savage and v i o l e n t . E t c ' S t a i e n t , e n t r e ces deux e t r e s , des amours t e r r i b l e s , acharn<§es, e t f u n e b r e s , des a r d e u r s e t des a s s o u v i s s e m e n t s sauvages, des volupte"s f u r i e u s e s , des c a r e s s e s q u i a v a i e n t l e s b r u t a l i t y e t l e s c o l e r e s du v i n , des b a i s e r s q u i s e m b l a i e n t c h e r c h e r l e sang sous l a peau comme l a langue d'une bete f e r o c e , des an£ant i s s e m e n t s q u i l e s e n g l o u t i s s a i e n t e t ne l e u r l a i s s a i e n t que l e cadavre de l e u r s c o r p s . 3 ^ Together, these two c r e a t u r e s abandoned r e a l i t y i n p u r s u i t o f a nebulous n e t h e r w o r l d , where they c o u l d be as the dead, u n c o n s c i o u s and unaware.  They sought t o h a l t the passage  o f time t h r o u g h t h e i r decadent e n c o u n t e r s , h o p i n g perhaps t h e i r overwhelming  emotions would be appeased  and v i o l e n t debauchery.  that  through a l c o h o l  They were no l o n g e r s e a r c h i n g f o r p l e a -  sure i n t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p , b u t were^bound by an a d d i c t i o n as b i n d i n g as an a d d i c t i o n t o p o t e n t drugs. Women a r e happy t o r e p l a c e spontaneous a s s o c i a t i o n f o r p l e a s u r e ' s sake w i t h a d d i c t i o n because i t i s more b i n d i n g . 3 5 Gautruche and Germinie were i n e x t r i c a b l y bound t o each o t h e r , Germinie as a r e l i e f f o r h e r f r u s t r a t i o n and p h y s i c a l agony, and Gautruche  f o r the more p r o f i t a b l e a s p e c t o f the r e l a t i o n s h i p , a  contemplated m a r r i a g e . Here f o r the f i r s t t i m e , Germinie was approached by a l o v e r who d i d want t o marry h e r .  She, however, had l e a r n e d from  her entanglement w i t h J u p i l l o n t h a t men o n l y wanted one t h i n g from h e r , and t h a t was the s e c u r i t y o f h e r p o s i t i o n as p e r s o n a l maid t o M a d e m o i s e l l e , and the accompanying f i n a n c i a l that implied.  security  She saw t h r o u g h the mask o f s i n c e r i t y worn by  Gautruche, and f i n a l l y made a c o n s c i o u s d e c i s i o n based on h e r  57  owri'-'personal v a l u e s and her new found courage t o l o o k out f o r herself.  She r e f u s e d h i s p r o p o s a l .  Even w h i l e she was aware  t h a t she had made the r i g h t d e c i s i o n c o n c e r n i n g her l i f e ,  her f u t u r e and  she was f l u n g i n t o the depths o f d e s p a i r by the  fact  t h a t she had l o s t a man who c o u l d , f o r a s h o r t whil^e, rama'kehher f o r g e t her s i t u a t i o n and her mental  anguish.  De c e t t e r u p t u r e , Germinie tomba ou e l l e dev a i t tomber, au-dessous de l a honte, a u dessous de l a n a t u r e meme. De chute en chute, l a miserable e t brulante creature r o u l a a l a rue. E l l e ramassa l e s amours q u i s'usent en une n u i t , ce q u i p a s s e , ce qu'on r e n c o n t r e , ce que l e hasard des pavSs f a i t t r o u v e r a. l a femme q u i vague. E l l e n ' a v a i t p l u s b e s o i n de se donner l e temps du d e s i r : s o n c a p r i c e e t a i t f u r i e u x e t s o u d a i n allum<§- s u r 1 '"ins.tant. affamge du p r e m i e r venu, e l l e l e r e g a r d a i t a peine e t n ' a u r a i t pu l e r e c o n n a i t r e . Beaut£, jeunesse, ce p h y s i q u e d'un amant, ou 1'amour des femmes l e s p l u s degrad£es cherche comme un bas id£al, r i e n de t o u t c e l a ne l a t e n t a i t p l u s , ne l a t o u c h a i t p l u s . Ses yeux, dans tous l e s hommes, ne v o y a i e n t p l u s que l'homme: l ' i n d i v i d u l u i i t a i t e g a l . L a d e r n i e r e pudeur e t l e d e r n i e r sens humain de l a dSbauche, l a pr§f'Srence, l e c h o i x , e t jusqu'a ce q u i r e s t e aux o r o s t i t u e ' e s pour c o n s c i e n c e e t p o u r . p e r s o n n a l i t e , l e d|gout, l e d£gout meme, - e l l e 1 ' a v a i t perdu:3o Germinie was a c r e a t u r e condemned by her own desperate need f o r l o v e .  I n w r i t i n g a n o v e l about her, the Goncourt B r o t -  hers have a l l o w e d t h e i r c h a r a c t e r t o c h a r t her own course her l i f e  o f d e s i r e and debauchery.  through  She was a f f e c t e d by f a t a l i t y  a l o n e , unable t o e x t r i c a t e h e r s e l f even i f she wanted to. Y e t Germinie was aware o f her c i r c u m s t a n c e s and mental and p h y s i c a l a n g u i s h  even though f r u s t r a t i o n  overruled a l l other  Love was Germinie's d o w n f a l l . have s u c c e s s f u l l y shown t h e i r r e a d e r s  sentiments.  The Goncourt B r o t h e r s  the t r e a c h e r o u s  course  58  t r a v e r s e d by G e r m i n i e , and have conveyed t h i s  through  . . . l a n o t a t i o n p a t i e n t e e t c l a i r v o y a n t e des m a n i f e s t a t i o n s e x t S r i e u r e s de ce s e n t i m e n t n a i s s a n t e t de ce de"sir q u i s ' i n t e n s i f i e dans un e t r e peu a peu p r i v e de l a volonte" de r e a g i r e t q u i s e n i v r e d'un bonheur dont l a f r a g i l i t y e t l e danger ne l u i echappent pas dans 1 ' o b s c u r c i s s e m e n t de sa c o n s c i e n c e . 3 7 1  T h i s i s one  a s p e c t o f the p h i l o s o p h y  of Naturalism.  I t i s the  c l e a r documentation o f the events o f a c h a r a c t e r ' s l i f e ,  a  p r o g r e s s i o n w h i c h l e a d s to an awareness o f s e l f , i n s p i t e an i n a b i l i t y to change o r c o n t r o l these e v e n t s .  of  In recounting  the t a l e o f G e r m i n i e ' s l i f e and l o v e s , the Goncourt  Brothers  p l a c e d t h e i r f a i t h i n the a b i l i t y o f s o c i e t y to f e e l and  to  t h i n k , not o n l y w i t h r e s p e c t to themselves but w i t h the whole o f s o c i e t y as  well. The  Goncourt B r o t h e r s u t i l i z e d the same approach when  w r i t i n g o f Renee Mauperin.  I n t h i s case, they were t e l l i n g  s t o r y o f a young g i r l from t h e i r own g i r l o f the b o u r g e o i s i e .  the  s o c i a l background;,' a young 1  Here, b e i n g - f a m i l i a r w i t h the a t t i t u d e s  and l i f e s t y l e s of the p e o p l e d e s c r i b e d , the r e a d e r c o u l d more e a s i l y a s s o c i a t e themselves w i t h the events d e s c r i b e d .  They-  would be a b l e to see w i t h i n the s t o r y a s m a l l p o r t i o n o f t h e i r own  e x i s t e n c e , and  t h e r e f o r e be b e n e f i t t e d by the  observation  o f the a n g u i s h and f r u s t r a t i o n o f a c r e a t u r e such as them. The Renee's l i f e life. had  a t t i t u d e towards l o v e and was  the concept o f l o v e i n  v e r y much d i f f e r e n t from t h a t i n G e r m i n i e ' s  RenSe l i v e d the s h e l t e r e d l i f e  o f a young b o u r g e o i s e  t h e r e f o r e been exposed o n l y to those men  or to whom her f a m i l y had  i n t r o d u c e d her.  and  w i t h i n her f a m i l y  Ren§e was  untouched  59  by the s o r d i d elements o f l o v e which had p l a g u e d G e r m i n i e , and thus was a b l e t o c o n s i d e r l o v e from an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t p o i n t of view.  Rem§e was none the l e s s , f r u s t r a t e d and angered by the  concept o f l o v e and a l l i t r e p r e s e n t e d , b u t she was f r u s t r a t e d for  reasons n o t e n t i r e l y o f h e r own d e s i g n . I n g e n e r a l , the concept o f l o v e and the concept o f  marriage i n the mind o f the b o u r g e o i s i e were i n e x t r i c a b l y  linked.  I f one was l o v e d , oner-married and i f one was m a r r i e d , one l o v e d . However, i n a s o c i e t y where the maintenance  o f the s t a t u s quo  and the u l t i m a t e c o n f o r m i t y o f the s o c i e t y were a l l - i m p o r t a n t c o n c e p t s , m a r r i a g e was n o t u s u a l l y s o l e m n i z e d because  the p a r t i e s  l o v e d each o t h e r , b u t r a t h e r f o r f i n a n c i a l c o n s o l i d a t i o n o r f o r t e r r i t o r i a l a c q u i s i t i o n s promised i n the female's dowry. T h i s l e d t o many m a r r i a g e s which were consummated merely t o p r o d u c e . h e i r s and once a c c o m p l i s h e d , p e r m i t t e d each v  p a r t y t o l e a d a p e r f e c t l y unopposed l i f e .  Only i n cases which  smirched the f a m i l y name o r p l a c e the f o r t u n e s i n j e o p a r d y would a n y t h i n g be done t o c o n t r o l o r l i m i t one's p e r s o n a l conduct. The emptiness o f such an arrangement g r i e f and f e a r .  caused RenSe  She was c o n v i n c e d t h a t l o v e was a s e n t i m e n t  o n l y capable o f b e i n g evoked by a u t h o r s i n the books they w r o t e , t h a t i t was n o t something encountered i n the r e a l w o r l d . ...tous l e s l i v r e s qu'on l i t s o n t r e m p l i s d'amour, i l n'y a que de. g a l E t p u i s , dans l a v i e , on n'en y o i t pas...Moi, du moins, j e n'en v o i t pas; j e v o i s , au c o n t r a i r e , t o u t l e monde q u i s'en p a s s e , e t t r e s b i e n . . . I l y a des j o u r s ou j e me demande s i ce n ' e s t pas f a i t seulement pour l e s l i v r e s , s i ce n ' e s t pas une i m a g i n a t i o n d'auteur, vraiment.3° There were no c o n c r e t e examples o f the j o i n i n g o f two l i v e s i n  60  l o v e r a t h e r t h a n some b a s e r purpose o f which Ren§e was aware. Her p a r e n t s  had n o t m a r r i e d  f o r love.  They had m a r r i e d  t o con-  s o l i d a t e f a m i l y h o l d i n g s and e s t a b l i s h i n p e r p e t u i t y f a m i l y and financial stability.  M. M a u p e r i n m a r r i e d  which h i s mother had made t o assure  h i s cousin, a choice  h e r s e l f o f h e i r s once she  died. Ce f u t p a r condescendance pour e l l e , p a r p i e u x r e s p e c t pour ses d S s i r s de malade, q u ' i l se m a r i a . I I Spousa sans grand gout une cousine d£sign§e" au c h o i x de s a mere p a r une mitoyennetS de p r o p r i e t y , p a r des t e r r e s bout a bout, p a r t o u t c e q u i renoue e t r e c r o i s e en p r o v i n c e , l e s f a m i l i e s e t l e s f o r t u n e s . 39 1  Even Rente's e l d e r s i s t e r , H e n r i e t t e Davarande, had m a r r i e d i n order to achieve  f o r h e r s e l f a p o s i t i o n , money and a c c e s s t o  society. E l l e s ' e t a i t marine t o u t e jeune. E l l e a v a i t p r i s l e p r e m i e r homme " b i e n " qu'on l u i a v a i t p r e s e n t s , sans h e s i t a t i o n , sans t r o u b l e , du p r e m i e r mouvement. Ce n ' S t a i t p o i n t M. Davarande, c ' S t a i t une p o s i t i o n q u ' e l l e e p o u s a i t . Le mariage, pour e l l e , S t a i t l a v o i t u r e , l e s diamants, l a l i v r 6 e , l e s i n v i t a t i o n s , l e s c o n n a i s s a n c e s , l a promenade au B o i s . Elle eut t o u t c e l a , se p a s s a d ' e n f a n t s , aima ses t o i l e t t e s , e t f u t heureuse. T r o i s b a l s dans un s o i r , quarante c a r t e s a mettre avant d i n e r c o u r i r des j o u r s , en t e n i r un, hors de' l a , e l l e n ' i m a g i n a i t p o i n t q u ' i l y e u t de bonheur Renee d i d n o t want a man - s o l e l y f o r the m a t e r i a l t h i n g s w i t h which he c o u l d p r o v i d e her.  She needed a man who c o u l d  i n s p i r e h e r thoughts and who was capable o f a c h i e v i n g heights himself.  M a r r i a g e t o some r e s p e c t a b l e  great  and e l i g i b l e man  would n o t and c o u l d n o t a l l o w h e r t o be the p e r s o n she d e s i r e d t o be; f r e e t o make h e r own c h o i c e s c o n c e r n i n g  the way she l i v e d h e r  l i f e and the way she p e r c e i v e d s i t u a t i o n s and people around h e r .  61  Her p a r e n t s ' v i s i o n o f Renee's f u t u r e husband was c l o u d e d by the o b l i g a t o r y p r o v i n c i a l a t t i t u d e s w h i c h had c o n t r o l l e d t h e i r  lives.  They c o u l d n o t e n v i s u a l i z e o r p e r c e i v e Rente's needs o r d e s i r e s , o n l y make assumptions based upon t h e i r p e r s o n a l p r e v i o u s iences.  exper-  RenSe might have m a r r i e d b u t o n l y ...pourvu q u ' i l f u t i n t e l l i g e n t , q u ' i l e u t un c a r a c t e r e , une personnalit£, quelque chose capable de dominer ou de remuer une n a t u r e de femme comme l a s i e n n e , . . . ^ 1 None o f the men c o n s i d e r e d by h e r p a r e n t s  able possessed  t o be s u i t -  these q u a l i t i e s , and n a t u r a l l y , Renie e x h i b i t e d  her most scandalous  behaviour  i n t h e i r presence.  I n t h i s way,  she was s u c c e s s f u l i n r e b e l l i n g a g a i n s t h e r p a r e n t s ' c h o i c e o f s u i t o r , and made i t c l e a r t h a t such a u n i o n would o n l y come t o g r i e f and d e s t r o y whatever h e r p a r e n t s had hoped t o a c h i e v e by such a m a r r i a g e .  T h i s w i l f u l conduct d i d cause h e r much p a i n  s i n c e she had no d e s i r e t o w i l l i n g l y h u r t e i t h e r p a r e n t , she knew t h a t she would never be a b l e t o f a l l  i n with  although  their  wishes on the s u b j e c t o f m a r r i a g e . Ren£e had a second and more dominant r e a s o n f o r r e j e c t i n g the s u i t o r s i n t r o d u c e d t o h e r by h e r p a r e n t s .  She had f o r  her f a t h e r an a l l e x c l u s i v e and p o s s e s s i v e l o v e and a d m i r a t i o n . I n him, she saw the p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n o f a l l the v i r t u e s she h e r s e l f sought i n a man.  No man, i n h e r eyes, c o u l d come c l o s e to the  example s e t by h e r f a t h e r .  Love o f another man was i m p o s s i b l e  and, moreover, u n d e s i r e d . Mais moi, c r o i s que personnes inoccupe", d§fendues  j e ne s u i s pas un exemple. Je ces c h o s e s - l a a r r i v e n t s u r t o u t aux q u i o n t l e coeur v i d e , l e coeur q u i ne sont r e m p l i e s , possSdSes, p a r une de ces a f f e c t i o n s q u i vous  62  prennent e t vous g a r d e n t t o u t e s , p a r exemple 1 ' a f f e c t i o n qu'on a pour un p e r e . ^ 2 T h i s a f f e c t i o n f o r her f a t h e r d i d pose problems f o r h e r . She was unable t o a c c e p t the l o v e o f a n o t h e r man  out o f the f e a r  t h a t t h i s man would not devote h i m s e l f t o her as her f a t h e r d i d she was a f r a i d o f becoming a c a s t - o f f or a p o s s e s s i o n deemed f i t o n l y t o s a t i s f y a man's b a s e r i n s t i n c t s .  From a s t r i c t l y  selfish  p o i n t o f v i e w , she c o v e t e d the e x c l u s i v e a t t e n t i o n p a i d t o her by her f a t h e r and she r e a l i z e d perhaps t h a t she would no-t be a b l e to r e q u i r e such b e h a v i o u r from a n o t h e r man.  She would be beyond  c o n t r o l l i n g such a r e l a t i o n s h i p , and she would be unable to pursue her chosen course i n l i f e . Her resentment o f c o n f o r m i t y and the  overwhelming  l o v e she had f o r her f a t h e r became her banner and h e r r e t r e a t . S a f e l y surrounded by her t r u s t i n these two c o n c e p t s , she  felt  secure enough t o defend them a g a i n s t a l l odds, a l t h o u g h she must have been aware o f s o c i e t y ' s c h a n g i n g a t t i t u d e towards the main'^ tenance o f the s t a t u s quo, and the i n e v i t a b l e time l i m i t o f l i f e itself.  However, she was n a i v e and as such, was unaware t h a t she  c o u l d n o t impose her own concept o f l o v e and honour on o t h e r s . To do so was  folly.  The Goncourt B r o t h e r s s e t out to p o r t r a y the b o u r g e o i s i e as they viewed them ...avec 1 ' i d S e de montrer l e s t r a v e r s de l a jeune b o u r g e o i s i e , son egolsme, son h y p o c r i s i e , ses c o n v e n t i o n s , l e t i s s u d ' i n t r i g u e s moyennes q u i f a i t s a v i e , e t s a s o i f d'honneur e t de r i c h e s s e s au mepris des a s p i r a t i o n s i n d i v i d u e l l e s des ames. Dans ce m i l i e u g t o u f f a n t i l s ont p l a c e l e u r h e r o i n e Ren£e q u i s e r a n a t u r e l l e m e n t en r g v o l t e c o n t r e lui,...comme euxmemes n'ont jamais cesse d ' e t r e des r§volt£s  63  c o n t r e l e s i n j u s t i c e s e t l e s l a i d e u r s de l a vie. Ce theme de l a r ^ v o l t e l e u r s e r a t o u j o u r s cher. ^3 Ren§e p e r s o n i f i e d t h e i r d e s i r e t o p o r t r a y a more e l e v a t e d c h a r a c ter,  a c h a r a c t e r who had the courage t o defend those v i r t u e s she  truly believed i n .  I n d o i n g so, RenSe brought on h e r own down-  f a l l , b u t she e x e m p l i f i e d the p h i l o s o p h y which exposed l i f e as i t r e a l l y was and p e r m i t t e d a g r e a t e r i n s i g h t i n t o the c h a r a c t e r o f man and o f l i f e as a whole. Her l o v e was pure and u n t a i n t e d by s e x u a l  overtones,  and h e r commitment t o the p u r s u i t o f freedom u n d e n i a b l e . • She had a c e r t a i n concept  o f each o f these t h i n g s , one t o which she  h e l d no m a t t e r what the c i r c u m s t a n c e s .  The Goncourt B r o t h e r s  d e s c r i b e a p e r s o n a l s i t u a t i o n which c h a l l e n g e d a l l h e r c o n c e p t s : love-r l o y a l t y , f a m i l y d e v o t i o n and honour. to  I t i s interesting  examine i n r e l a t i o n t o h e r i d e a l s and l i f e . As w i t h most b o u r g e o i s  see t h e i r s o n s - m a r r i e d  f a m i l i e s , parents d e s i r e d to  f o r the same reasons as t h e i r  daughters:  e s t a b l i s h m e n t i n s o c i e t y , monetary g a i n s o r augmentation o f l a n d s and t i t l e s . brother.  T h i s was the case w i t h H e n r i M a u p e r i n , Renee's o l d e r However, H e n r i had t a k e n the s i t u a t i o n i n t o h i s own  hands, and o n l y became a p a r t o f h i s p a r e n t s ' plans-when i t s u i t e d h i s purpose t o do s o . H e n r i had e s t a b l i s h e d a l l i a i s o n w i t h Madame B o u r j o t , the mother o f Rente's c h i l d h o o d f r i e n d , No£mi, unbeknownst t o any member o f h i s f a m i l y , and w e l l b e f o r e p l a n s had been made t o u n i t e him t o the B o u r j o t f a m i l y through marriage  t o No§mi.  T h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p was p r o f i t a b l e t o him i n t h a t i t e s t a b l i s h e d  64 him w i t h Madame B o u r j o t , and made i t i m p o s s i b l e f o r her to o b j e c t to the m a r r i a g e of Noemi to him s i n c e she would be i n c r i m i n a t i n g h e r s e l f i f she d i d so.  Thus p r o t e c t e d , H e n r i had few  worries  concerning h i s s i t u a t i o n . A l l t h a t was  left,  then, was  to f i n d a s i t u a t i o n which  would serve to r e v e a l h h i m s e l f to Noemi, and to e x t r i c a t e h i m s e l f from h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h her mother.  Such an o c c a s i o n was  f a m i l y t h e a t r e p r o d u c t i o n , suggested by H e n r i . was  s l a t e d and p l a y e r s were d u l y r e q u i r e d .  A romantic  the  comedy  However, t h e r e  was  a l a c k o o f female t a l e n t , and a g a i n H e n r i showed h i s f o r e s i g h t when he c a s u a l l y mentioned No£mi B o u r j o t , who residence  i n the neighbourhood.  the p a r t of h i s mother, who  He was  happened to be i n  assured  o f an i n t e r e s t  wished to see him m a r r i e d and  on  was  a t t r a c t e d by the amount of Noemi's dowry. H e n r i ' s d e c e p t i o n might have remained a c l o s e l y guarded s e c r e t e x c e p t t h a t NoSmi found out about H e n r i ' s l i a i s o n w i t h her mother, and  i n her shame and d i s t r e s s , had c o n f i d e d i n her  c l o s e f r i e n d , Ren§e. Her b r o t h e r s a t t e m p t s to secure  i n this  fraudulent  way  a w e a l t h y and well-known b r i d e angered and d i s t r e s s e d RenSe.  She  f e l t sympathy f o r her f r i e n d who  determined to r e c t i f y the s i t u a t i o n . would a l s o be d e f e n d i n g her own  had been so i l l - u s e d ,  and  By h e l p i n g Nogmi, she  principles.  E l l e se s e n t a i t l a f o r c e d'une femme e t presque l e s d e v o i r s d'une mere aupres de cette e n f a n t . ^ Even though Renee d i d not b e l i e v e t h a t l o v e e x i s t e d i n the w o r l d , she s t i l l d e s i r e d t h a t marriage be e n t e r e d  real  into for better  65  r e a s o n s t h a n s i m p l y money, and  t h a t the p a r t i e s i n v o l v e d have  a c e r t a i n r e s p e c t f o r each o t h e r w h i c h might grow i n t o l o v e the y e a r s passed. NoSmi and suited  She  b e l i e v e d t h a t H e n r i had no f e e l i n g s f o r  t h a t NoSmi was  s i m p l y a pawn to be p l a y e d when i t  him. Rente's concept o f l o v e was  this sordid intrigue.  a t stake  i n the m i d s t of  To marry Nogmi, H e n r i had p l e d g e d to  r e p l a c e h i s f a t h e r ' s name w i t h a more noble one. RenSe s i n c e she of a man for  as  who  f e l t t h a t i t was  so s t r o n g t h a t she  anyone e l s e ' s l o v e f o r him volition,  a d e n i a l o f the l o v e and  had p r o v i d e d w e l l f o r h i s c h i l d r e n .  her f a t h e r was  T h i s angered  Her  own  respect love  c o u l d not u n d e r s t a n d  c o u l d n o t be as b i n d i n g .  how  Of her  own  Ren§e went to p l e a d w i t h H e n r i : E t p u i s , ga p o r t e malheur de q u i t t e r l e nom de son p e r e . . . C ' e s t n o t r e sang, ce nom-la, H e n r i . . . N o t r e brave pere! Ne f a i t pas ce mariage, je t ' e n s u p p l i e . . . 4 5  But H e n r i was  determined to succeed i n h i s  RenSe was  angered f o r a second r e a s o n .  ed unaware o f H e n r i ' s l i a i s o n ,  exposed to the s o r d i d a s p e c t s  she  remain-  She  would not have been  of l i f e and might have remained  I n s t e a d , she was  embroiled  which p l a c e d the f a m i l y name in^danger rumour and  Had  RenSe might have remained u n t a i n t -  ed by the d e c e i t f u l n e s s o f h i s a c t i o n .  i n n o c e n t and p u r e .  venture.  in a situation  o f b e i n g besmirched by  accusations. -Ah! c ' e s t de l a boue que je ne d e v r a i s pas c o n n a i t r e , c ' e s t v r a i ! . . . e t que je n A a u r a i s jamais connue sans t o i l 4 6 Rente's concept o f honour was  been r a i s e d i n a b o u r g e o i s  also at stake.  She  had  s o c i e t y where honour and p o s i t i o n were  66  t o be m a i n t a i n e d a t a l l c o s t s . believed:  She was v e r y sure o f what she  honour i m p l i e d t o t a l honesty  i n conduct.  ...moi, j e ne c o n n a i s que deux s o r t e s de gens, d'abord: ceux q u i s o n t honnetes...et l e s a u t r e s . . . 47 She was outraged concepts  t h a t h e r b r o t h e r had f l a g r a n t l y i g n o r e d  those  o f honour and honesty w i t h which he had been r a i s e d . The  key t o events which f o l l o w e d Noemi's r e v e l a t i o n  to Ren£e c a n be summed up i n Rente's own words: Mais t o u t e s l e s f o i s que j e v o i s quelqu'un que j e c o n n a i s . . . o u meme que j e ne connais pas. . .manquer a. ce que vous, l e s hommes , vous appelez 1'honneur. . .eh b i e n , c ' e s t p l u s f o r t que m o i . . . c ' e s t comme s i j e v o y a i s un crapaud! Qe me repugne, ga me d£goute...et j e marche dessus!^° When c o n f r o n t e d w i t h h e r b r o t h e r ' s d e c i s i o n t o l e g a l l y assume a noble name i n o r d e r t o marry Noemi, Ren£e was s e i z e d w i t h an overwhelming d e s i r e t o p r e v e n t t h i s m a r r i a g e ,  i n an attempt t o  appease the h u r t and a n g u i s h s u f f e r e d by h e r f r i e n d , No§mi, and the d i s h o n o u r w h i c h would be the f a m i l y ' s f a t e s h o u l d H e n r i be successful i n h i s undertaking.  Ren£e had overheard a c o n v e r s a t i o n  a t the R e g i s t r y O f f i c e which concerned  h e r b r o t h e r and the name  which he had d e c i d e d t o use. I n f o r m a t i o n came t o h e r t h a t the f a m i l y concerned  had n o t c o m p l e t e l y d i e s out; t h e r e was s t i l l  one member, who was r a r e l y heard from and was c o n s i d e r e d t o be a recluse.  Ren£e, i n h e r concern f o r h e r f r i e n d and f o r h e r b r o t -  her whom she c o n s i d e r e d t o have done wrong, m a i l e d a copy o f the M o n i t e u r which c o n t a i n e d the d e c l a r a t i o n o f h e r b r o t h e r ' s i n t e n t i o n o f changing  h i s name.  I n h e r innocence,  she d i d n o t s t o p t o  c o n s i d e r the p o s s i b l e consequences o f h e r a c t i o n .  She was c o n -  67  v i n c e d o n l y o f h e r honour i n the a c t i o n .  She had a c t e d t o p r o t e c t  her f a m i l y and h e r f r i e n d ; n o t h i n g e l s e was o f any consequence. I t i s sometimes b e t t e r t o w a i t and t o be p a t i e n t , t o l e t a c t i o n s c o n t i n u e through t h e i r normal course t o t h e i r c o n c l u s i o n , such might have been the b e s t course f o r young Ren§e t o f o l l o w . I n h e r i n e x p e r i e n c e w i t h a f f a i r s o f the h e a r t , and h e r i n n a t e and p o w e r f u l d e s i r e t o m a i n t a i n h e r i d e a l s o f l o v e and honour, she had n o t reckoned  w i t h the t r a n s i t o r y n a t u r e o f human emotions.  A t the grand b a l l g i v e n t o c e l e b r a t e the engagement o f NoSmi B o u r j o t and H e n r i M a u p e r i n de V i l l a c o u r t . , as he was now known, No§mi c o n f i d e d t o RenSe t h a t h e r mother no l o n g e r l o v e d H e n r i and t h a t she h e r s e l f l o v e d him w i t h a l l h e r h e a r t . L'aveu de NoSmi a v a i t f a i t p a s s e r dans RenSe un S c l a i r de j o i e . Le s o u r i r e de son amour l a p£n<§tra. E l l e e u t un immense soulagement de de"livrance." En un i n s t a n t t o u t changea pour e l l e ; e t c e t t e idSes e l l e l ' a i m e l emport a t o u t e s ses a u t r e s i d S e s . E l l e ne v i t p l u s l e s hontes, e l l e ne v i t p l u s l e crime q u ' e l l e a v a i t vu s i longtemps dans ce mariage. E l l e se r S p S t a i t que NoSmi l ' a i m a i t , q u ' i l s s ' a i m a i e n t tous l e s deux...Le r e s t e 6 t a i t l e passS, un passe" q u ' i l s o u b l i e r a i e n t l ' u n e t 1 ' a u t r e , NoSmi a f o r c e de l e pardonner, H e n r i a f o r c e de l e r a c h e t e r . S o u d a i n un s o u v e n i r l u i r e v i n t , une pensSe d ' i n q u i e t u d e , une c r a i n t e vague. Mais en ce moment e l l e ne v o u l a i t r i e n v o i r de n o i r a 1 ' h o r i z o n , r i e n de menagant s u r 1'avenir.^9 Renee had o n l y a c t e d as she thought examining  she s h o u l d , a f t e r  the c i r c u m s t a n c e s p r e s e n t e d t o h e r , and t a k i n g i n t o  c o n s i d e r a t i o n those events w i t h i n h e r comprehension.  She c o u l d  not f o r e s e e t h a t H e n r i and No§mi would f i n d l o v e t o g e t h e r n o r t h a t as a r e s u l t o f her a c t i o n s , h e r b r o t h e r would d i e from s t a b wounds i n f l i c t e d i n a^-duel between the s u r v i v i n g de V i l l a c o u r t  68  and h i m s e l f .  Her e r r o r was i m p a t i e n c e brought about by inexper - • 1  ience and the n e c e s s i t y i n n a t e t o h e r t o m a i n t a i n  t r u t h , honesty,  honour and l o v e . Her f r u s t r a t i o n was w i t h the f i c k l e n e s s o f human n a t u r e and h e r own i n c a p a c i t y t o a c c e p t t h a t those around h e r viewed t h e i r s i t u a t i o n i n a much d i f f e r e n t manner t h a n she d i d .  In  her overwhelming d e s i r e t o p r e s e r v e h e r i d e a l s and v i r t u e s , she condemned h e r s e l f t o an e x i s t e n c e  o f f e a r and r e g r e t u n t i l she  f i n a l l y came t o g r i p s w i t h h e r s i t u a t i o n and h e r u l t i m a t e  course  of a c t i o n . For Germinie L a c e r t e u x ,  life  and r e g r e t t h a t was viewed i n Rente's.  comprised the same f e a r However, Germinie's f e a r s  were n o t because she c o u l d n o t c o n v i n c e o t h e r s  o f the v i r t u e s o f  honesty and honour, b u t because h e r l i f e was based on d i s h o n o u r and  dishonesty.  constant  Her d e g r a d a t i o n  and e x c e s s i v e  i n t h e eyes o f s o c i e t y , and h e r  debts p l a g u e d her.  She spent a l l h e r time  c o n c e a l i n g h e r a c t i o n s and h i d i n g b e h i n d excuses and a l i b i s . was two women i n the one: she was a l o y a l s e r v a n t  She  to Mademoiselle,  who d i d h e r job w i t h care and c o n s i d e r a t i o n , and she was a h a r l o t , a woman o f t h e s t r e e t s , who debased h e r s e l f i n o r d e r t o s a t i s f y her l u s t and p h y s i c a l torment. E l l e menait a i n s i comme deux e x i s t e n c e s . Elle e t a i t comme deux femmes e t , a. f o r c e d ' g n e r g i e , d'adresse, de d i p l o m a t i e f e m i n i n e avec un s a n g f r o i d t o u j o u r s p r e s e n t dans l e t r o u b l e meme de.^lalbo'isson, e l l e p a r v i n t a. s e p a r e r ces deux e x i s t e n c e s , a. l e s v i v r e t o u t e s l e s deux sans l e s meler, a. ne pas l a i s s e r se confondre l e s deux femmes q u i e t a i t en e l l e , a r e s t e r aupres de M i l e de V a r a n d e u i l l a f i l l e honnete e t rangge q u ' e l l e a v a i t §t&, a. s o r t i r de l ' o r g i e sans en emporter l e gout, a. montrer quand e l l e v e n a i t de q u i t t e r s o n  69 amant une s o r t e de pudeur de v i e i l l e f i l l e dSgoutee du s c a n d a l e des a u t r e s "bonnes. That she was a b l e t o a c c o m p l i s h t h i s d e c e p t i o n s u c c e s s f u l l y s e r v e s t o emphasize her care and c o n s i d e r a t i o n c o n c e r n i n g Mademoiselle and the concept o f honour which she s t i l l  retained  i n s p i t e o f her decadence.  Never once d i d a word o f her  or  A l l o f her h i d d e n , f r u s t r a t e d  d i s t r e s s g i v e her away.  torment life  remained l o c k e d i n s i d e , e a t i n g away a t those l a s t remnants o f s e l f - r e s p e c t and honour. De sa n a t u r e passionn£e, d£bordSe, q u i se v e r s a i t s i n a t u r e H e m e n t dans 1'expansion, jamais ne s ' S c h a p p a i t une p h r a s e , un mot qui f u t un S c l a i r , une l u e u r . Dgboires, mgpris, c h a g r i n s , s a c r i f i c e s , mort de son e n f a n t , t r a h i s o n s de son amant, agonie de son amour, t o u t demeura en e l l e s i l e n c i e u x , 6touff§, comme s i e l l e a p p u y a i t des deux mains sur son coeur.-^- 1  Even i n the agony which accompanied her lyingmand  her  c h e a t i n g o f her m i s t r e s s , Germinie's c o n s c i e n c e was appeased by the thought t h a t Mademoiselle would c o n t i n u e to l o v e and honour her.  T h i s was a b s o l u t e l y n e c e s s a r y t o Germinie's  self-preserva-  tion. I  I I ne v e n a i t pas d'une d u p l i c i t y p e r v e r s e , d'un c a l c u l corrompu: c ' S t a i t son a f f e c t i o n pour m a d e m o i s i l i e : q u i . " ' l a ^ f a i s a i t e t r e ce q u ' e l l e S t a i t chez e l l e . . . . E l l e l a t r o m p a i t uniquement pour g a r d e r sa t e n d r e s s e , avec une s o r t e de r e s p e c t ; e t dans 1 ' h o r r i b l e comSdie q u ' e l l e j o u a i t , un s e n t i m e n t p i e u x , presque r e l i g i e u x , se g l i s s a i t p a r e i l au s e n t i m e n t d'une f i l l e mentant aux yeux de^ sa mere pour ne pas l u i d S s o l e r l e coeur.  Germinie's concept o f honour was  that of a c h i l d .  She  d e s i r e d s i m p l y t h a t o t h e r s l o v e and honour her and she d i d not possess the e x p e r i e n c e t o enhance the n o t i o n o f honour to i n c l u d e  70  s o c i e t y ' s concept as w e l l .  Rente's a t t i t u d e towards honour was  a more a d u l t one, which i n c l u d e d the r e s p e c t and d i s c i p l i n e r e q u i r e d by s o c i e t y . Each woman regarded  h e r concept o f honour and l o v e  w i t h i n the bounds o f h e r own knowledge. as she d i d was r e a s o n a b l e surroundings  F o r each woman t o a c t  and i n c h a r a c t e r , g i v e n h e r p a r t i c u l a r  and a t t i t u d e s .  The Goncourt B r o t h e r s remained i n  c o n s t a n t touch w i t h r e a l i t y and w i t h t h e p o r t r a y a l o f t r u t h . Avec l e s Goncourt, nous demeurons t o u j o u r s au c o n t a c t d e e l a r S a l i t S . Dans l e u r roman, on r e n c o n t r e a. t o u t e page l e document v£cu, l e s o u v e n i r £voque\-53 The c o n s t a n t c o n t a c t w i t h r e a l i t y t h a t the Goncourt Brothers maintained  i n t h e i r n o v e l s a l l o w e d the r e a d e r t o the  events l e a d i n g t o Rente's and.Germinie's p e n u l t i m a t e  frustration.  F o r each woman, t h i s f r u s t r a t i o n was the same and was a d e c i s i o n which c h a l l e n g e d them, w h i l e a t the same t i m e , prompted resentment i n the i n e v i t a b i l i t y o f t h e i r course  of action.  Both RenSe and Germinie were c h a l l e n g i n g the course o f j u s t i c e ; each woman was p l a c e d i n a s i t u a t i o n which f o r c e d h e r to contemplate h e r own s i t u a t i o n , and come t o h e r own c o n c l u s i o n s . Each woman was c h a l l e n g i n g a j u s t i c e which p e r t a i n e d t o h e r a l o n e : d i d she condemn s o c i e t y f o r l e a d i n g h e r i n t o h e r own p e r s o n a l h e l l o f f r u s t r a t i o n and b i t t e r n e s s , o r d i d she condemn h e r s e l f f o r b e i n g l e d and e a s i l y swayed?  However, the c h a l l e n g e o f t h i s  j u s t i c e i s an empty one, f o r i n a c t u a l f a c t , n e i t h e r woman had any c h o i c e i n h e r d e c i s i o n . made, b u t the course  The d e c i s i o n i t s e l f c o u l d be  o f a c t i o n had been d e t e r m i n e d by f a t a l i t y  and n o t h i n g would o r c o u l d be changed.  71  C e t t e s e n s a t i o n de d^terminisme, de f a t a l ite" q u i pese s u r l e s e t r e s r e v i e n t dans t o u t e s l e s oeuvres des Goncourt comme un l e i t - m o t i v . I l s pensent v o l o n t i e r s que l e d e s t i n de c h a cun e s t t r a c e d'avance e t qu'une des e r r e u r s de l'homme e s t de c r o i r e q u ' i l peut y Schapper.-54 Each woman r e a l i z e d and a c c e p t e d h e r f a t e i n a d i f f e r e n t way.  I n each c a s e , i t i s i m p o r t a n t t o examine  t h i s fate i n view  of i t s t r a g i c e f f e c t s upon t h e i r l i v e s and on the l i v e s o f those around them.  D e s t i n y can sometimes he c r u e l and f r u s t r a t i n g .  For Ren£e and G e r m i n i e , d e a t h i s the u l t i m a t e f r u s t r a t i o n .  72  NOTES: 1.  M. B o r e l y , Le Genie f e m i n i n f'raneais 1917), P- 10.  2.  M. Immergluck, court (Paris:  3.  E. Caramaschi, Rgalisme e t Impressionnisme dans l ' o e u v r e des F r e r e s Goncourt ( P i s a : L i b r a r i a G o l i a r d i c a , s. d . ) , p. 118.  k.  M. Immergluck, p. 61.  5.  E. & J . de Goncourt, 1929), pp. 56-57-  6.  M. Immergluck, p. 60.  7.  E. & J . de Goncourt, Renie Mauperin. e t C i e , I875), P- 33-  8.  E. & J . de Goncourt,  9.  I b i d . , p. 33.  10.  E. Z o l a , p. 70.  E. de B o c a r d ,  11.  E. & J . de Goncourt,  12.  I b i d . , p. 76.  13.  I b i d . , p. 119.  Ik.  I b i d . , pp. 60-61.  15.  I b i d . , p. 70.  16.  I b i d . , p. 90.  17.  I b i d . , p. .75.  18.  G. G r e e r , The Female Eunuch 1 9 7 D , P. 170.  19.  E. & J . de Goncourt,  20.  I b i d . , p. 80.  21.  P. S a b a t i e r ,  L a Q u e s t i o n s o c i a l e dans l ' o e u v r e des GonL e s B e l l e s L e t t r e s , 193°)> P« 59- ^ ~  Mes Haines  1948), p. 62.  (Paris:  Germinie L a c e r t e u x  (Paris:  (Paris:  Flammarion,  Artheme F a y a r d  Ren£e Mauperin, p. 3k.  (Paris:  B i b l i o t h e q u e C h a r p e n t i e r , 1923),  Germinie L a c e r t e u x , p. 62.  (Frogmore, E n g l a n d : P a l a d i n ,  Germinie L a c e r t e u x , p. 9k.  Germinie L a c e r t e u x des Goncourt  (Paris:  Sfelt,  73  22.  E. & J . de Goncourt,  23-  I b i d . , p. 107.  24.  I b i d . , p. 131.  25-  I b i d . , p. 152.  26.  I b i d . , p. 154.  27-  I b i d . , p. 158.  28.  I b i d . , p. 159-  29.  I b i d . , p. 164.  30.  G. G r e e r , p. 266.  31.  E. & J . de Goncourt,  32.  I b i d . , p. 213.  33-  I b i d . , pp. 208-209.  Germinie L a c e r t e u x , p. 105.  Germinie L a c e r t e u x , p. 196.  I b i d . , p. 25535-  G. G r e e r , p. 156.  36.  E. & J . de Goncourt,  37-  P. S a b a t i e r , p. 62.  38.  E. & J . de Goncourt,  39-  I b i d . , p.  40.  I b i d . , p. 67.  41.  I b i d . , p. 26.  42.  I b i d . , p.  Germinie L a c e r t e u x , p. 233-  Renee Mauperin?••• p.  48.  14.  48.  P. S a b a t i e r , p. 2744.  E. & J . de Goncourt, I b i d . , p. 72.  46.  I b i d . , p. 72.  ^7-  I b i d . , p. 75-  48.  I b i d . , p. 76.  Renge M a u p e r i n , p. 71.  74  49-  I b i d . , p. 86. -  50.  E. & J . de  51.  I b i d . , p.  52.  I b i d . , p. 1 7 0 .  53.  P. S a b a t i e r , p. 77-  54.  I b i d . , p.  Goncourt, I67.  78.  Germinie L a c e r t e u x , pp.  I68-I69.  75  Chapter I I I The P o r t r a i t o f Death  Death i s an i n t e g r a l and i n e v i t a b l e f a c t o f l i f e . I t cannot be escaped.  The Goncourt B r o t h e r s were f a s c i n a t e d by  the m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of death as i t a f f e c t e d each of t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s and i t i s an i m p o r t a n t f a c e t o f t h e i r works.  Each o f t h e i r  c h a r a c t e r s r e g a r d e d death from a d i f f e r e n t p o i n t o f view, making the p o r t r a i t of death a d i s t i n c t i v e and v a r i e d f e a t u r e of each o f the n o v e l s . Few people w i s h t o d i e .  The thought o f death i s a d i s -  t u r b i n g and awesome phenomenon which p r o v i d e d the Goncourt B r o t hers w i t h a w e a l t h o f o b s e r v a t i o n s c o n c e r n i n g the human mind i n t u r m o i l and the changes i n the p r o c e s s e s o f thought which  result.  The Goncourt B r o t h e r s used the phenomenon o f death t o p e n e t r a t e the i n t i m a t e thoughts o f t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s .  T h i s h i g h l i g h t e d the  mental and e m o t i o n a l s t a t e s o f the c h a r a c t e r s which from t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n of e x t e r n a l e v e n t s .  resulted  This i n t u r n embroiled  the r e a d e r i n the d e s c r i p t i o n making him undergo the e m o t i o n a l a n g u i s h t h a t i s s u f f e r e d by the c h a r a c t e r s .  Thus, death p r e s e n t -  ed to the Goncourt B r o t h e r s the u l t i m a t e p o r t r a i t o f the human mind under s t r e s s . . . . ce q u i 1 [es] i n t S r e s s e , ce s o n t l e s phSnomenes q u i se p a s s e n t a. une certaine:>pr.ofondeur de l ' e t r e , a i n s i que l e s m o d i f i c a t i o n s qu'app o r t e n t a c e u x - c i l e s changements dans l ' e s p a c e e t dans l e temps.1 However, the Goncourt B r o t h e r s were r e l a t i v e l y u n i n t e r e s t e d i n t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s ' p h y s i c a l death as a phenomenon.  What  was more i n t e r e s t i n g and y i e l d e d f a r more u s e f u l m a t e r i a l . f o r  76  s t u d y was the concept o f death as a p r o c e s s which provoked i n the minds o f t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s .  anguish  They d e s i r e d t o examine the  p h y s i c a l and e m o t i o n a l r e a c t i o n s o f t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s d u r i n g the time l e a d i n g up t o t h e i r d e a t h s , t h a t knowledge e x h i b i t e d as a p e r s o n approaches  death and, i n a sense, i s a c t u a l l y l i v i n g  death.  The Goncourt B r o t h e r s sought t o d e s c r i b e death f o r t h e p r o g r e s s i v e decomposition inherent i n i t s path. I l s aiment l a mort e t l e s e t r e s en t r a i n de m o u r i r : mais c ' e s t justement pour l e s s a i s i r en t r a i n de v i v r e l e u r m a l a d i e , l e u r v i c e ou l e u r mort, done t o u t simplement de v i v r e . Pourrissement e t c o r r u p t i o n l e s a t t i r e n t p a r t o u t e l a c h a l e u r v i t a l e que n g c e s s a i r e m e n t i l s d<§ gagent • ... 2  They were n o t morbid i n t h e i r c u r i o s i t y .  Each event  d e s c r i b e d by the Goncourt B r o t h e r s brought t o l i g h t an emotion or  a r e a c t i o n on the p a r t o f t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s which was i m p o r t a n t  to  the p o r t r a i t o f human e x p e r i e n c e .  They p r e s e n t e d a l i v i n g ,  b r e a t h i n g p o r t r a i t o f t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s i n the p r o c e s s o f a c c e p t ing  and coming t o terms w i t h t h e i r impending death.  The Goncourt  B r o t h e r s ' a t t i t u d e was one o f c o n c e n t r a t i n g t h e i r n o v e l s "...a r e c h e r c h e r l a v i e au coeur meme de l a mort."^  I n t h i s way, the  p o r t r a i t o f the Goncourt B r o t h e r s ' c h a r a c t e r s was a t once as p o i g n a n t and as r e a l i s t i c as p o s s i b l e . Each woman i n the Goncourt B r o t h e r s ' n o v e l s had f a c e d death, e i t h e r the death o f a p e r s o n o r the death o f a concept o r b e l i e f , s e v e r a l times d u r i n g h e r l i f e .  Each o c c u r r e n c e was t o  p l a y a major r o l e i n h e r o u t l o o k and a t t i t u d e b o t h towards and towards  death.  life  Each was a t u r n i n g p o i n t , c a u s i n g a n g u i s h and  g r i e f , b u t a l s o r e - e s t a b l i s h i n g each woman's u l t i m a t e i n t e r i o r  77  strength. C'est dans l a d o u l e u r , devant l a d o u l e u r , c o n t r e l a d o u l e u r que l'ame de l a femme se m a n i f e s t e l e p l u s e t l e mieux, comme s i c'6t a i t la. s a f o n c t i o n t e r r e s t r e s o u y e r a i n e , 1'autre <§tant de contempler Dieu.^" By f o l l o w i n g the p r o g r e s s i o n o f t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s ' death, the Goncourt B r o t h e r s showed the s p i r i t u a l p u r g i n g i n h e r e n t i n each woman's death agony.  I n the a n g u i s h o f death i s r e v e a l e d a  c e r t a i n r a t i o n a l e , determined and a c c e p t e d by each o f the women. I n t h e i r d e s c r i p t i o n o f Renee and Germinie as they  approached  t h e i r death, the Goncourt B r o t h e r s showed them s t r o n g and w e l l able t o a c c e p t t h e i r f a t e , even more so perhaps t e r s , who surrounded  them.  than the c h a r a c -  Ren§e and Germinie were a b l e t o a c c e p t  t h e i r d e s t i n y because they were a b l e t o v i e w t h e i r p a s t i n p e r s p e c t i v e w i t h the a b i l i t y t o r a t i o n a l i z e each event w i t h r e s p e c t to t h e o t h e r s . their suffering.  These women acknowledged t h e i r p a s t and a c c e p t e d I n so d o i n g , they t r a n s c e n d e d  it.  L a t r a n s m u t a t i o n de l a d o u l e u r en j o i e s u r n a t u r e l l e , du mal en b i e n , c ' e s t l e p r i n c i p e de l.-'iame f e m i n i n e .5 However, the p r o c e s s o f a c c e p t i n g s u f f e r i n g and a c c o r d i n g i t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f v i r t u e and n e c e s s i t y was a l o n g and a hard one f o r each o f the women.  D u r i n g t h e i r l i f e t i m e , they were  c o n f r o n t e d w i t h death o f o t h e r s around them, which s e r v e d t o prepare them f o r t h e i r own death.  They were a l s o w i t n e s s t o the  death o f some o f t h e i r most i m p o r t a n t concepts and b e l i e f s ,  which  f o r c e d them t o r e c o n s i d e r t h e i r a t t i t u d e towards l i f e and s o c i e t y . Thus, the Goncourt B r o t h e r s e s t a b l i s h e d s e v e r a l t y p e s o f death w i t h i n t h e i r n o v e l s ;  death o f the s p i r i t , death o f  78  sentiment  and death o f the p h y s i c a l body.  Not every one can  be  c o n s i d e r e d an a c t u a l death i n the t r u e sense o f the word, s i n c e n o t h i n g p h y s i c a l i s l o s t , and.nothing o f the c h a r a c t e r h e r s e l f .  changes e x c e p t the a t t i t u d e  However, the l o s s o f a thought or a  p o s s i b l e event or the abandonment o f an a c t i o n on the p a r t o f the c h a r a c t e r might be c o n s i d e r e d to be e q u a l l y i m p o r t a n t ing  i n examin-  death as a phenomenon i n the works o f the Goncourt B r o t h e r s . Germinie's  l i f e was  one  case, the concept o f death i n l i f e experienced  of m a n i f o l d t r a g e d y .  I n her  i s a p r o p h e t i c one,  f o r she  death a t a v e r y e a r l y age, and almost c o n t i n u o u s l y  u n t i l her own  death.  Germinie's  mother d i e d when she was  years o l d , l e a v i n g a f a m i l y i l l - e q u i p p e d to look a f t e r A l r e a d y she was  being prepared  f o r her own  five  itself.  death: her mother's  death d e p r i v e d her of l o v e and a f f e c t i o n and l e f t her a t the mercy of her f a m i l y , her s i s t e r s , her b r o t h e r and her ne'er-dow e l l father.-  Both her s i s t e r s were j e a l o u s o f the p l a c e Germinie  had h e l d i n her mother's h e a r t , and w i t h her death, they began to  tease t h e i r s m a l l s i s t e r .  Germinie's  e l d e r b r o t h e r saved t h i s  s m a l l c h i l d and p r o v i d e d as many l u x u r i e s as he c o u l d i n o r d e r to  ease her sense o f l o n e l i n e s s and d e p r i v a t i o n .  eyes, her b r o t h e r was  In  Germinie's  a s a i n t and she l o v e d him f o r the  and s a c r i f i c e s he made f o r her b e n e f i t .  Her f a t h e r , on the  hand, she r e g a r d e d w i t h a c e r t a i n d i s d a i n . he f e l t l i k e i t , and was  devotion  He o n l y worked when  unable to p r o v i d e f o r h i s f a m i l y .  death d i d not r e a l l y a f f e c t the f a m i l y f o r t u n e s and l i t t l e ed Germinie's The  other  His affect-  life. death of Germinie's  b r o t h e r deeply a f f e c t e d her  79  however.  She was l e f t a l o n e , a t t h e t e n d e r age o f f o u r t e e n ,  to make h e r way i n the w o r l d . Germinie was the l o s e r .  I n the break-up o f the f a m i l y ,  She no l o n g e r had anyone t o l o o k a f t e r  her, s i n c e b o t h h e r s i s t e r s were o c c u p i e d i n e a r n i n g t h e i r own living.  I n h e r b r o t h e r ' s death was a p a t t e r n which was t o r e p e a t  i t s e l f i n the death o f o t h e r people death.  around her, and i n h e r own  The p e r s o n she l o v e d above a l l e l s e d i e d , l e a v i n g h e r a t  the mercy o f c r u e l o r u n s y m p a t h e t i c people  who c o u l d n o t g i v e h e r  the support she needed i n h e r time o f c r i s i s . she  I n h e r own death,  i s s t i l l a t the mercy o f o t h e r s who a t t a c k and r e v i l e h e r .  I n t h i s way, she began t o l o o k a t the dead as the f o r t u n a t e ones, and saw i n the p o s s i b i l i t y o f h e r own death the r e l e a s e and e s cape from the h o r r o r s o f l i v i n g . The  deaths o f h e r mother, h e r f a t h e r and h e r b r o t h e r  s h a t t e r e d the innocence o f h e r c h i l d h o o d .  Germinie had t o f a c e  the r e a l i t i e s o f l i f e and she was s e n t t o work i n a P a r i s i a n restaurant.  I n t h a t r e s t a u r a n t , she e x p e r i e n c e d  the f i n a l  death  o f h e r c h i l d h o o d and the growing knowledge o f h e r womanhood. The  death o f h e r c h i l d h o o d was b r u t a l and c r u e l .  Exposed as  she was t o t h e rough, r i b a l d men i n the c a f S , she became aware o f h e r budding s e x u a l i t y and the e f f e c t s a woman might have on a man.  Through h e r innocence and h e r i n a b i l i t y t o e x p l a i n h e r  w o r r i e s and doubts t o h e r s i s t e r s , she became the v i c t i m o f an o l d man's l u s t . L a p e t i t e v o u l a i t se c o n f i e r a s e s s o e u r s , e l l e n ' o s a i t . Comme, avec l a n o u r r i t u r e , i l l u i v e n a i t un peu de c h a i r au c o r p s , u n peu de c o u l e u r aux j o u e s , une apparence de femme, l e s l i b e r t S s augmentaient'.e t s ' e n h a r d i s s a i e n t . I I y a v a i t des f a m i l i a r i t S s , des g e s t e s , des  80  approches, auxquels e l l e g c h a p p a i t e t dont e l l e se s a v a i t p u r e , m a i s ' q u i alt£rait s a candeur en e f f l e u r a n t son innocence. Rudoyee, grondee, b r u t a l i s ^ e p a r l e m a i t r e de l'e"tabl i s s e r a e n t habitue" a abuser de ses bonnes,... The death o f her innocence through these c o n d i t i o n s and the p h y s i c a l a t t a c k by a loathsome man on the young Germinie.  through  l e f t a l a s t i n g impression  I t c o l o u r e d her p e r c e p t i o n o f men  and  l e f t her w i t h memories o f h o r r o r and shame, not o n l y o f h e r s e l f but of what men sex was  signified.  T h i s f i r s t c o n t a c t w i t h the o p p o s i t e  to b l i n d Germinie and cause her t o c a r r y m i s c o n c e p t i o n s  about men,  l o v e and l u s t t o her  deathbed.  That mightThave been the end of the i n c i d e n t ,  and  Germinie might have been a b l e t o f o r g e t i t i n t i m e , but she  dis-  covered t h a t she was pregnant as a r e s u l t of the o l d man's a t t a c k . When her s i s t e r s were t o l d o f her c o n d i t i o n , G e r m i n i e ' s hope o f u n d e r s t a n d i n g and s u p p o r t d i e d w i t h the blows o f her outraged sisters. Les r g v o l t e s d ' o r g u e i l i n t r a i t a b l e s e t b r u t a l e s qu'a. l'honneur du p e u p l e , l e s se"v£rit£s i m p l a e a b l e s de l a d e v o t i o n , S c l a t e r e n t chez l e s deux femmes en c o l e r e s indigne"es. L e u r c o n f u s i o n se t o u r n a en rage. Germinie r e p r i t c o n n a i s s a n c e sous l e u r s coups, sous l e u r s i n j u r e s , sous l e s b l e s s u r e s de l e u r s mains, sous l e s outrages de l e u r bouche. I I y a v a i t l a son b e a u - f r e r e q u i ne l u i pardonn a i t pas 1'argent q u i a v a i t coute son voyage e t q u i l a r e g a r d a i t d'un a i r goguenard avec une j o i e s u r n o i s e e t f S r o c e d'Auvergnat, avec un r i r e q u i m i t aux joues de l a :jeune f i l l e p l u s de rouge encore que l e s s o u f f l e t s de ses s o e u r s . ' She was a g a i n l e f t to s t a n d by h e r s e l f and f a c e the knowing s m i l e s o f those around her who  were aware o f her shame.  For  G e r m i n i e , an i n t e n s e l y withdrawn p e r s o n , the r e c r i m i n a t i o n s o f  81  those around h e r brought h e r more anguish, t h a n h e r a c t u a l  condi-  tion. G e r m i n i e ' s c h i l d was b o r n dead.  Another death f o r Ger-  m i n i e t o f a c e , a l t h o u g h i n t r u t h , i t was a b l e s s i n g .  Had t h i s  c h i l d l i v e d , i t would have been a c o n s t a n t r e m i n d e r o f h e r shame and d i s h o n o u r .  T h i s c h i l d c o u l d never have brought h e r happiness  and contentment because o f the c i r c u m s t a n c e s under which i t was brought t o l i f e .  As i t was, Germinie f e l t " . . . l a j p i e d'une g  s o r t i e de p r i s o n . "  She was f r e e t o recommence h e r l i f e and t o  e s t a b l i s h h e r s e l f anew.  She had no t i e s w i t h the f a t h e r and  she had l o s t no l o v e ; she had merely been f r e e d from t o r m e n t i n g circumstances. Her f i r s t c h i l d l i t t l e a f f e c t e d G e r m i n i e ' s s p i r i t .  She  had been tormented u n t i l the c h i l d ' s b i r t h , b u t w i t h i t s d e a t h , she had been l i b e r a t e d and g i v e n a f r e s h s t a r t . minie reacted  However, Ger-  i n a t o t a l l y d i f f e r e n t manner t o the d e a t h o f h e r  n i e c e , and t o the deaths o f h e r own second and t h i r d c h i l d r e n . These c h i l d r e n o f l o v e , t h a t i s , Germinie devoted h e r s e l f t o them, and i n the case o f h e r own c h i l d r e n , l o v e d  the f a t h e r as  well. I n l o s i n g these c h i l d r e n , whose Innocence gave t h e i r l o v e a s p e c i a l q u a l i t y , Germinie was made b r u t a l l y aware o f herl a c k o f v i s i o n and h e r l a c k o f judgement c o n c e r n i n g h e r commitment t o h e r s e l f .  U n t i l death caused h e r t o t h i n k and c o n t e m p l a t e ,  she had been c o n t e n t t o remain c o n v i n c e d t h a t her s a l v a t i o n l a y i n h e r c h i l d r e n and t h a t b e i n g a mother would c o n t r o l a l l those emotions which tormented h e r s o u l .  82  P l e u r a n t s a f i l l e , l a malheureuse se p l e u r a i t elle-meme. Une v o i x l u i murmurait que, c e t e n f a n t v i v a n t , e l l e S t a i t sauv£e: que c e t e n f a n t a aimer, c ' S t a i t s a P r o v i d e n c e ; que t o u t ce q u ' e l l e r e d o u t a i t d'elle-meme i r a i t s u r c e t t e t e t e e t s'y s a n c t i f i e r a i t , ses t e n d r e s s e s , ses <§lancements, ses a r d e u r s , tous l e s f e u x de s a n a t u r e . I I l u i s e m b l a i t sent i r d'avance son coeur de mere a p a i s e r e t p u r i f i e r son coeur de femme. Dans sa f i l l e , e l l e v o y a i t je ne s a i s q u o i de c e l e s t e q u i l a r a c h e t e r a i t e t l a g u e " r i r a i t , comme un p e t i t ange de d S l i v r a n c e , s o r t i de ses f a u t e s p o u r l a d i s p u t e r e t l a reprendre aux i n f l u e n c e s mauvaises q u i l a p o u r s u i v a i e n t e t dont e l l e se c r o y a i t p a r f o i s possedSe. Quand e l l e comme.nga a s o r t i r de ce p r e m i e r a n e a n t i s s e m e n t de son de"sespoir, quand, l a p e r c e p t i o n de l a v i e e t l a s e n s a t i o n des choses l u i r e v e n a n t , e l l e r e g a r d a a u t o u r d ' e l l e ave.c des yeux q u i v o y a i e n t . . . ' The  deaths o f her c h i l d r e n brought Germinie a h i n t o f the  self-  r e a l i z a t i o n w i t h which she would e v e n t u a l l y r a t i o n a l i z e her tence.  She  exis-  began to u n d e r s t a n d t h a t her s a l v a t i o n l a y w i t h i n  h e r s e l f , not w i t h the b e l i e f t h a t o t h e r s would h e l p her i f o n l y she devoted h e r s e l f to them.  These o t h e r s were g r a d u a l l y b e i n g  t a k e n away from her, f o r c i n g her to make her own to  a c c e p t the r e s u l t s of them.  down by c i r c u m s t a n c e s , ledge  t h a t she was  decisions  G e r m i n i e ' s s p i r i t was  and  b e i n g worn  but she grew i n s t r e n g t h with ;.the know-  capable  of c l e a r v i s i o n and  rationalization  of her e x i s t e n c e . The  d e a t h of s e n t i m e n t a l concepts of l o v e and m a r r i a g e  c o n t r i b u t e d i n t h e i r way an i n d i v i d u a l .  She  was  to G e r m i n i e ' s growth and m a t u r a t i o n  as  p r o f o u n d l y a f f e c t e d by the l o s s of s e n t i -  m e n t a l , i f not c o n j u g a l , l o v e . Her l o v e and her e x p e c t a t i o n of m a r r i a g e to J u p i l l o n were doomed to d i e , s i n c e the r e l a t i o n s h i p was  one-sided.  She  83  had g i v e n a l l her l o v e , s a c r i f i c e d her s a v i n g s and s t i l l n o t buy h i s t o t a l commitment" .to h e r . :  her l o v e r w e l l e i t h e r .  could  However, she had n o t chosen  She had been b l i n d e d by her  overwhelming  d e s i r e f o r l o v e and companionship, and she d i d n o t n o t i c e a t f i r s t t h a t J u p i l l o n was t o t a l l y u n r e s p o n s i v e and t h a t L ' amour n ' a v a i t £te" pour l e jeune J u p i l l o n que l a s a t i s f a c t i o n d'une c e r t a i n e c u r i o s i t e du mal, c h e r c h a n t dans l a c o n n a i s s a n c e e t l a p o s s e s s i o n d'une femme l e d r o i t e t l e p l a i s i r de l a m.gpriser.10 She gave t o t a l l y o f h e r s e l f , unaware t h a t she was f e e d i n g an i n s a t i a b l e beast.  I n h i s l a c k o f a t t e n t i o n t o her d e v o t i o n ,  she  grew c o n f u s e d , unable t o hide her i n c o h e r e n c e and her v u l n e r a b i l ity.  T h i s gave J u p i l l o n the means t o degrade her.  As a r e s u l t ,  the l o v e which she so d e s i r e d soured and became a h a t r e d o f a l l things associated with J u p i l l o n .  Love's d e a t h brought w i t h i t  a r e a l i z a t i o n o f the t r u e c h a r a c t e r o f J u p i l l o n . E l l e v o y a i t q u ' e l l e n ' a v a i t pu a t t a c h e r J u p i l l o n p a r l e denouement de son amour, l e d g p o u i l l e m e n t de t o u t ce q u ' e l l e a v a i t , t o u t ces s a c r i f i c e s d'argent q u i e n g a g e a i e n t s a v i e dans l'embarras e t l e s t r a n s e s d'une dette impossible a payer. E l l e s e n t a i t q U ' i l l u i a p p o r t a i t a. r e g r e t son amour, un amour ou i l m e t t a i t 1 ' h u m i l i a t i o n d'une c h a r i t e . H Love's death a l s o brought a d e s c e n t i n t o the h e l l o f u n r e q u i t e d p a s s i o n , f o r l o v e had been c a s t a s i d e as u s e l e s s and  traitorous.  The death o f s e n t i m e n t as something m e a n i n g f u l and noble caused Germinie t o l o s e s i g h t o f h e r s e l f and the commitment she had t o herself. L'amour q u i l u i manquait, e t a u q u e l e l l e a v a i t l a volonte" de se r e f u s e r , d e v i n t a l o r s l a t o r t u r e de s a v i e , un s u p p l i c e i n c e s s a n t e t abominable. E l l e e u t a se dSfendre c o n t r e l e s f i e v r e s de son corps e t l e s i r r i t a t i o n s  84 du dehors, c o n t r e l e s emotions f a c i l e s e t l e s m o l l e s . l a c h e t i s de s a c h a i r , c o n t r e t o u t e s l e s s o l l i c i t a t i o n s de n a t u r e q u i 1'assaillaient. 1 2  The d e s i r e s o f h e r body overwhelmed h e r s p i r i t . thought she c o u l d hide b e h i n d h e r d e s i r e s .  F o r a t i m e , she  She had wanted t o  be l o v e d f o r h e r s e l f , b u t she had reached a p o i n t where, i n h e r t o r t u r e and condemnation, base debauchery  she c o u l d o n l y degrade h e r s e l f i n the  o f a s e r i e s o f o n e - n i g h t s t a n d s , whose o n l y p u r -  pose was t o s a t i s f y c a r n a l i n s t i n c t .  Even i n h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p  w i t h Gautruche, the p a i n t e r , the p h y s i c a l a s p e c t s o f the encount e r were more i m p o r t a n t t h a n any o t h e r s : l o v e was n o t i n v o l v e d in this relationship.  When Gautruche suggested m a r r i a g e , the  force^.of Germinie' s sarcasm proved c o n c l u s i v e l y t h a t she no l o n g e r b e l i e v e d i r i r t h e . e s e n t i m e n t a l concepts o f l o v e and m a r r i a g e . T h i s death o f s e n t i m e n t i s i m p o r t a n t i n G e r m i n i e ' s development and i n h e r u l t i m a t e acceptance o f d e a t h as h e r f a t e . F r e e d from h e r s e l f - i m p o s e d concepts o f s e n t i m e n t , and h a v i n g e x p e r i e n c e d s p i r i t u a l death, Germinie had been l i b e r a t e d from the a r t i f i c i a l bondage o f s o c i e t y .  She was capable o f e x a m i n i n g  her s i t u a t i o n from the r e a l i t y o f h e r own p o s i t i o n i n i t ,  unaf-  f e c t e d by the o p i n i o n s and a t t i t u d e s o f those around h e r . As she approached  the end o f h e r l i f e , Germinie had  r a t i o n a l i z e d her s i t u a t i o n .  She was c o n v i n c e d t h a t t h e r e was  happiness f o r some, and y e t some people were doomed t o a v i c a r i o u s e x i s t e n c e , o b t a i n i n g happiness through the observed e x p e r iences of others. . . . e l l e se d i s a i t q u ' e l l e £tait de ces m a l heureuses vouees en n a i s s a n t a. une g t e r n i t e " de m i s e r e , de c e l l e s pour l e s q u e l l e s l e bon-  85  heur n ' e s t pas f a i t e t q u i ne l e c o n n a i s s e n t qu'en l ' e n v i a n t aux a u t r e s . ^3 That she was one o f these people she had no doubt.  She  had spent h e r whole l i f e s e a r c h i n g f o r h a p p i n e s s , contentment and l o v e , and had found n o t h i n g b u t despondency, crimination.  depress ion-.'and r e -  She thought o f death as an escape.  She wished  and hoped f o r d e a t h , and even c o n s i d e r e d s u i c i d e as a way t o e s cape from the r e a l i t i e s o f h e r e x i s t e n c e . ...une idSe q u i n*'.»avait f a i t j u s q u e - l a que t o u r n e r a u t o u r d ' e l l e : l'id£e de s u i c i d e . Elle se m e t t a i t a. e c o u t e r , l a t e t e dans l e s deux mains, ce q u i l u i p a r l a i t de d S l i v r a n c e . Elle l a i s s a i t v e n i r a s o n o r e i l l e ce b r u i t doux de l a mort qu'on entend d e r r i e r e l a v i e comme une chute l o i n t a i n e de grandes eaux qui tombent, en s ' S t e i g n a r i t , dans du v i d e . The thought o f suicideemoved Germinie c l o s e r t o death. However, even w i t h the t h o u g h t " o f death, Germinie would have t o pay the p i p e r and p l a y ^ t h e charade o f h e r e x i s t e n c e t o i t s u l t i mate c o n c l u s i o n : she would n o t be p e r m i t t e d the l u x u r y o f e n d i n g her l i f e b e f o r e the f i n a l a c t c o u l d be p l a y e d o u t . For  G e r m i n i e , death would be a r e l e a s e and an escape  from the c o u n t l e s s eyes which watched h e r e v e r y s t e p , w a i t i n g for  a h i n t o r an i n d i c a t i o n t h a t she would be unable•tt6r repay." t  her enormous debt.  Faced w i t h t h i s knowledge,  s t r e n g t h and endurance of  death.  Germinie e x h i b i t e d  i n h e r s p i r a l l i n g descent i n t o the peace  Never once d i d she u t t e r a word o f h e r p r e v i o u s l i f e ;  she hardened h e r s e l f t o a l l p h y s i c a l p a i n and the m e n t a l a n g u i s h she s u f f e r e d and was s u f f e r i n g remained l o c k e d w i t h i n her.  She  had t o m a i n t a i n appearances, b o t h t o b o l s t e r h e r own s e n s e s . o f honour and d i g n i t y , and a l s o i n o r d e r n o t t o d i s c l o s e h e r shame  86  and d i s t r e s s t o M a d e m o i s e l l e . C e t t e comedie h o r r i b l e e t n S c e s s a i r e , e l l e l a s o u t i n t . E l l e f u t herolque a. f a i r e ment i r son c o r p s , r e d r e s s a n t , devant l e s boutiques q u i l ' i p i a i e n t , sa t a i l l e affaissee, p r e s s a n t s o n pas t r a i n a n t , se f r o t t a n t l e s joues, avant de descendre, avec une s e r v i e t t e rude pour y r a p p e l e r l a c o u l e u r du sang, pour f a r d e r s u r son v i s a g e l e s p a l e u r s de s o n mal e t l e masque de s a mort 11-5 Germinie was aware o f h e r impending d e a t h and a c c e p t e d i t as the o n l y j u s t i f i c a t i o n t o h e r s o r d i d e x i s t e n c e . was absorbed by h e r l i f e ,  As she  so she was absorbed by h e r death.  She  was unaware o f the e x t e r n a l w o r l d , as i f she were a l r e a d y caught by the s o o t h i n g v o i d o f o b l i v i o n .  ,  Au m i l i e u des i n q u i e t u d e s desesperges que d o n n a i t a M i l e de V a r a n d e u i l l a maladie de s a bonne, se g l i s s a i t une i m p r e s s i o n s i n g u l i e r e , une c e r t a i n e peur devant l ' e t r e nouveau, inconnu, m y s t e r i e u x , que l e mal a v a i t f a i t l e v e r du fond de Germinie. Mademoiselle r e s s e n t a i t comme un m a l a i s e aupres de c e t t e f i g u r e enfoncee, enterr£e, presque d i s p a r u e dans une i m p l a c a b l e d u r e t e , e t q u i ne semb l a i t r e v e n i r . a. elle-meme e t se r e t r o u v e r que f u g i t i v e m e n t , p a r l u e u r s , dans 1 ' e f f o r t d'un p a l e s o u r i r e . L a v i e i l l e femme a v a i t vu b i e n des gens m o u r i r ; s a longue e t d o u l e u r euse mgmoire l u i r a p p e l a i t b i e n des e x p r e s s i o n s de mort t r i s t e s , a c c a b i e e s , d e s o l g e s , mais aucun des v i s a g e s dont e l l e se s o u v e n a i t n ' a v a i t p r i s en s ' e t e i g n a n t ce sombre c a r a c t e r e d'un v i s a g e q u i s'enferme e t se r e t i r e en lui-meme. Toute serr§e dans s a s o u f f r a n c e , Germinie se t e n a i t f a r o u c h e , r a i d i e , c o n c e n t r e d , impenetrable. E l l e a v a i t des i m m o b i l i t e s de bronze. E n l a r e g a r d a n t , mademoiselle se demandait ce q u ' e l l e c o u v a i t a i n s i sans bouger, s i c ' e t a i t l a r e v o l t e de s a v i e , l ' h o r r e u r de m o u r i r , ou b i e n un s e c r e t , un remords. R i e n d ' e x t e r i e u r ne s e m b l a i t p l u s t o u c h e r l a malade . L a s e n s a t i o n des "choses s ' en a l l a i t d ' e l l e . Son corps d e v e n a i t i n d i f f e r e n t a. t o u t , ne demandait p l u s a. e t r e s o u l a g e , ne p a r a i s s a i t p l u s d g s i r e r g u e r i r . E l l e ne se  87  p l a i g n a i t de r i e n . Ses b e s o i n s de t e n d r e s s e eux-memes l ' a v a i e n t q u i t t e d . E l l e ne d o n n a i t p l u s s i g n e de c a r e s s e e t , chaque j o u r , quelque chose d'humain q u i t t a i t c e t t e ame de femme q u i p a r a i s s a i t se p e t r i f i e r . Souvent e l l e s.'abimait dans des s i l e n c e s q u i f a i s a i e n t a t t e n d r e l e d^chirement d'un c r i , d'une par o l e ; p u i s , apres a v o i r promene" l e r e g a r d a u t o u r d ' e l l e , e l l e ne d i s a i t r i e n e t recommengait a r e g a r d e r au meme e n d r o i t , dans l e v i d e , devant e l l e f i x e m e n t , <§ternellement. Quand mademoiselle r e n t r a i t de chez l'amie ou e l l e a l l a i t d i n e r , e l l e t r o u v a i t Germinie dans 1 ' o b s c u r i t y , sans l u m i e r e , a f f a i s s S e dans un f a u t e u i l , l e s jambes allong<§es s u r une c h a i s e , l a t e t e penchSe s u r s a p o i t r i n e , e t s i profondement absorbed que p a r f o i s - e l l e n ' e n t e n d a i t pas l a p o r t e s ' o u v r i r . Dans l a chambre, e n a v a n g a n t , i l s e m b l a i t a M i l e de V a r a n d e u i l deranger un Spouvantable t e t e - a t e t e de l a M a l a d i e e t de 1'Ombre, ou Germin i e c h e r c h a i t d£ja dans l a t e r r e u r de 1 ' i n v i s i b l e 1'aveuglement de l a tombe e t l a n u i t de l a mort.16 Germinie r e g a r d e d her impending death i n a d i f f e r e n t manner t h a n might have been e x p e c t e d .  She d i d n o t f i g h t f o r  her l i f e and she made no attempt t o c o n t r o l h e r m e n t a l o r p h y s i c a l state.  By so m i n u t e l y d e s c r i b i n g G e r m i n i e ' s a t t i t u d e and n o t i n g  her p h y s i c a l appearance, so u n l i k e those n o r m a l l y p r e c e d i n g death, the Goncourt B r o t h e r s emphasize m i n i e 's acceptance o f her f a t e .  the completeness o f Ger-  There would be no f u r t h e r attempt  to h a l t death's p r o g r e s s , f o r Germinie had r e a c h e d the k n i f e - e d g e between l i f e and death. I n t h e i r d e s c r i p t i o n of G e r m i n i e ' s s o r d i d l i t t l e room on the s i x t h f l o o r o f M a d e m o i s e l l e ' s apartment b u i l d i n g , the r e a d e r i s c o m p e l l e d t o an- u n d e r s t a n d i n g and a sympathy f o r Germ i n i e ' s death.  By e s c a p i n g the p r i s o n o f t h i s room and o f h e r  l i f e , Germinie would f i n a l l y be f r e e o f a s o c i e t y and a s i t u a t i o n which d i d n o t even g i v e her room t o d i e , and which had, s i n c e  her  88  c h i l d h o o d , been t i g h t e n i n g i t s s t r a n g l e h o l d upon her.  The  Goncourt B r o t h e r s ' d e s c r i p t i o n equated the s o r d i d , e n c l o s e d room w i t h the base, d e g r a d i n g  life  Germinie had been f o r c e d t o l i v e .  M a d e m o i s e l l e s ' a s s i t e t r e s t a quelques i n s t a n t s r e g a r d a n t cetteumisS'rable chambre de domestique, une de ces chambres ou l e mSdecin est oblige" de p o s e r son chapeau s u r l e l i t , et ou i l y a a p e i n e l a p l a c e pour m o u r i r l C ' S t a i t une mansarde de quelques p i e d s c a r r ^ s sans chemin£e, ou l a t a b a t i e r e a. cr£maillere l a i s s a i t p a s s e r l ' h a l e i n e des s a i s o n s , l e chaud de l ' e t e , l e f r o i d de l ' h i v e r . Les d S b a r r a s , de v i e i l l e s m a l l e s , des sacs de n u i t , un p a n i e r de b a i n , l e p e t i t l i t de f e r ou Germinie a v a i t couche" s a n i e c e , e t a i e n t e n t a s s ^ s sous l e pan coupe" du mur. Le l i t , une c h a i s e e t une p e t i t e t o i l e t t e b o i t e u s e avec une c u v e t t e cassSe, f a i s a i e n t t o u t l e m o b i l i e r . Au-dessus du l i t e"tait pendu, dans un cadre p e i n t a l a f a c o n du p a l i s s a n d r e , un daguerreotype d'homme.17 The  c o n f u s i o n o f the o b j e c t s i n the room, and the b r o k e n , u s e l e s s  ornaments were a r e f l e c t i o n o f Germinie's  life.  Her d e a t h i n the h o s p i t a l o f L a r i b o i s i e r e , t o o , emphasized the c o n d i t i o n s o f Germinie's l e a s e from her p a s t agony. impersonal  l i f e and the i m p o s s i b i l i t y o f a r e - , The  hospital i t s e l f , with i t s long,  wards, . . . l ' h o p i t a l ou on meurt dans 1 ' i n d i f f e r e n c e a d m i n i s t r a t i v e de 1 ' g t a t - c i v i l , de l a f o s s e commune ou v o n t p o u r r i r pele-mele dans un espace mesure" au minimum pour l e temps l e s r e s t e s de ceux auquels l a v i e a i n t e r d i t de s ' C l e v e r jusqu'a un minimum d ' a i s a n c e , t o u t e s l e s h o r r e u r s d i s o n s - l e , dans 1 ' e s p r i t des Goncourt e t a i e n t v o u l u e s , c u l t i v S e s , malgre" l'amertume e t l a s o u f f r a n c e q u ' i l s en §prouvaient...18 The  Goncourt B r o t h e r s i n t r o d u c e d a l l these h o r r o r s t o  make the r e a d e r r e g a r d Germinie w i t h a modicum o f humanity to  a c c e p t her c h o i c e of death not as a weak, s e l f i s h one,  and but  8  9  r a t h e r as a c h o i c e made w i t h s t r e n g t h and f o r e s i g h t .  Germinie's  v i s i t o r s , a l l those people t o whom she owed money, came t o make Germinie's l a s t moments ones o f torment and e m o t i o n a l  anguish.  T h i s emphasized the s i t u a t i o n o f h e r f i n a l moments and the l a c k o f sympathy and u n d e r s t a n d i n g  w i t h which she was r e g a r d e d .  That  she was so degraded h i g h l i g h t s the poignancy o f h e r e x p e r i e n c e s . C'est que ces v i s i t e s q u ' e l l e v e n a i t de r e c e v o i r , c'gtaient la' f r u i t i e r e , l ' S p i c i e r , l a marchande de h e u r r e , l a h l a n c h i s s e u s e , t o u t e s ses d e t t e s v i v a n t e s l Ces b a i s e r s , c ' g t a i e n t l e s b a i s e r s de t o u s s e s cr§anciers venant dans toe embrassade, f l a i r e r l e u r s c r i a n c e s e t f a i r e c h a n t e r son a g o n i e 1 1 9 G e r m i n i e ' s b u r i a l i n an unmarked grave r e v e a l e d the u l t i m a t e unimportance o f h e r e x i s t e n c e and h e r e f f e c t upon the conduct o f s o c i e t y .  She had d i e d as she had l i v e d , w i t h no one  to remark upon h e r e x i s t e n c e and no one t o care f o r h e r o r a l l e v i a t e her s u f f e r i n g .  She had been a l o n e , i n a s e l f i s h s o c i e t y  which had n o t n o t i c e d the s t r u g g l e o f a woman who d e s i r e d o n l y to be happy and c o n t e n t . M a d e m o i s e l l e se m i t a remonter ces c r o i x , se penchant s u r chacune, S p e l a n t l e s d a t e s , c h e r chant l e s noms avec ses mauvais yeux. E l l e a r r i v a a. des c r o i x du 8 novembre: c'e'tait l a v e i l l e de l a mort de Germinie, Germinie dev a i t e t r e a. c o t e . .11 y a v a i t c i n q c r o i x du 9 novembre, c i n q c r o i x t o u t e s s e r r g e s : Germinie n ' S t a i t pas dans l e t a s . M i l e de Varand e u i l a l i a un peu -plus l o i n , aux c r o i x du 1 0 , p u i s aux c r o i x du 1 1 , p u i s aux c r o i x du 1 2 . E l l e r e v i n t au 8, r e g a r d a encore p a r t o u t : i l n'y a v a i t r i e n , absolument r i e n . . . G e r m i n i e a v a i t 6t£ e n t e r r S e sans une c r o i x ! On n ' a v a i t pas meme p l a n t s un morceau de b o i s pour l a reconnaitre! A l a f i n , l a v i e i l l e d e m o i s e l l e se l a i s s a tomber a. genoux dans l a n e i g e , e n t r e deux c r o i x dont l'une p o r t a i t 9 novembre e t 1 ' a u t r e 10 novembre. Ce q u i d e v a i t r e s t e r de Germinie  90  d e v a i t e t r e a. peu p r e s l a . Sa tombe vague e t a i t ce t e r r a i n vague. Pour p r i e r s u r e l l e , i l f ' a l l a i t p r i e r au p e t i t bonheur e n t r e deux d a t e s , - comme s i l a d e s t i n e d de l a pauvre f i l l e a v a i t v o u l u q u ' i l n^y e u t , s u r l a t e r r e , pas p l u s de p l a c e pour son c o r p s que pour son coeur.20 M a d e m o i s e l l e was brought t o a r e a l i z a t i o n o f the s i t u a t i o n o f her maid.  She had a t f i r s t f e l t angry and b e t r a y e d ,  c u r s i n g and d e n i g r a t i n g what she had c o n s i d e r e d the l y i n g and d e c e i t f u l l i f e her maid had l e d .  But u l t i m a t e l y , she came t o  r e a l i z e t h a t G e r m i n i e ' s s i t u a t i o n was n o t . t o t a l l y h e r f a u l t ,  that  o u t w a r d l y Germinie had t r i e d t o overcome the e f f e c t s o f a s o c i e t y which had r e p r e s s e d her and c o n t r i b u t e d t o her d o w n f a l l .  However,  Germinie a l o n e had n o t been s t r o n g enough to overcome the power of  t h a t s o c i e t y and the p e o p l e w i t h i n i t .  She had had t o a c t  i n whatever way she c o u l d , based on what her own veyed to h e r . v i s i o n , who  instincts  con-  Germinie had needed the guidance o f p e o p l e w i t h  were d e d i c a t e d t o h e l p i n g o t h e r s , but t h e r e was  one around her who u n d e r s t o o d .  no  Even M a d e m o i s e l l e h e r s e l f had n o t  been open t o the c o n f i d e n c e s o f her maid, and she had been b l i n d to  the s i l e n t p l e a s f o r h e l p . In  the f i n a l a n a l y s i s , M a d e m o i s e l l e r e a l i z e d t h a t Ger-  m i n i e had a c t e d as her concepts o f honour and d i g n i t y had her she s h o u l d .  told  Germinie was p o s s e s s e d o f "...une P a s s i o n de 21  honte q u i n ' o s a i t demander pardon qu'avec son s i l e n c e ! "  By  m a i n t a i n i n g her s i l e n c e , Germinie had p r o t e c t e d M a d e m o i s e l l e i n the o n l y way  she knew how and she had b o r n the b r u n t o f the  horror herself.  She had p r e v e n t e d M a d e m o i s e l l e from becoming  i n v o l v e d i n her decadent l i f e .  I n the end, M a d e m o i s e l l e  pardoned  91  G e r m i n i e , the f i r s t and o n l y o c c a s i o n i n which anyone e x h i b i t e d humanity and u n d e r s t a n d i n g towards h e r , a l t h o u g h f o r Germinie i t came too l a t e .  However, p a r d o n i n g Germinie had opened Made-  m o i s e l l e ' s eyes and made her examine the c i r c u m s t a n c e s around  her.  E l l e se demandait s i l a pauvre f i l l e g t a i t a u s s i coupable que d ' a u t r e s , s i e l l e a v a i t c h o i s i l e mal, s i l a v i e , l e s c i r c o n s t a n c e s , l e malheur de son corps e t de s a d e s t i n e e , n ' a v a i t pas f a i t d ' e l l e l a c r e a t u r e qu'ellep„ a v a i t <§t£, un e t r e d'amour e t de d o u l e u r . . . By a s k i n g these q u e s t i o n s o f h e r s e l f , Mademoiselle i n r e a l i t y v o i c i n g thoughts which the Goncourt B r o t h e r s had e x p r e s s e d .  was  themselves  I n w r i t i n g a n o v e l o f such a woman, they had  hoped t o f o r c e an awareness o f the s i t u a t i o n o f l e s s f o r t u n a t e people upon the r e a d e r , and e x t r a c t from the r e a d e r a moral ment.  The Goncourt B r o t h e r s d e s i r e d t o have the r e a d e r ask the  same q u e s t i o n s Mademoiselle  had asked i n o r d e r t h a t they might  examine the s i t u a t i o n around them and perhaps purge t h e i r of  judge-  some o f i t s e v i l s .  I n t h i s way,  society  Germinie's d e a t h would  serve  some purpose. The p r o t r a i t o f Rente's of  Germinie.  death i n no way resembles  that  Germinie d i e d i n s o r d i d , s o l i t a r y c i r c u m s t a n c e s ,  w i t h each event d e p i c t e d i n a manner which r e i n f o r c e d the por-. trait.  Rente's  death, however, was  the c e n t r a l element  g l o r i f i e d p o t r a i t o f a young, i n n o c e n t g i r l , who because the overwhelming extraordinary s a c r i f i c e s .  in a  died solely  b e l i e f i n her i d e a l s caused her to make I n no way  the n o v e l s e r v e t o t a r n i s h Rente's  d i d the events d e s c r i b e d i n  image.  Dans l a th§rapeutique q u ' i n v e n t e n t l e s romanc i e r s comme dans 1 ' i m p r e c i s i o n des symptomes  92 e t dans c e t t e mort id<§alis£e de Ren<§e, on surprend l e meme p a r t i p r i s de ne p o i n t enl a i d i r l e u r h e r o i n e p a r des s o i n s ou des souf'f'ranees i n d i g n e s d ' e l l e . 3 2  Each s i t u a t i o n s e r v e d t o s p o t l i g h t  the i d e a l i s t i c v i e w of Rente's  character. Ren6e  had "been l i t t l e exposed to death i n her  l i v i n g as she d i d , an easy and c a r e f r e e l i f e .  childhood,  As she grew o l d e r ,  she became aware of d e a t h o n l y as i t p e r t a i n e d to the death of the s p i r i t u a l and s e n t i m e n t a l i l l u s i o n s which had been a p a r t o f her c h i l d h o o d and which she had d i s c o v e r e d to be d e c e p t i v e  and  misleading. Her s p i r i t u a l b e l i e f i n r e l i g i o n d i e d when she the manner i n which the abbe" Blampoix conducted h i s l i f e religious l i f e b o u r g e o i s i e who  of h i s c o n g r e g a t i o n .  examined and  the  The members of the upper  went to the abbe"'s c o n f e s s i o n a l were c o s s e t t e d  and f o r g i v e n f o r t h e i r s i n s w i t h o u t ever h a v i n g to make any of e f f o r t f o r t h e i r redemption. s h o u l d be r e s p o n s i b l e f o r h i s own  RenSe b e l i e v e d t h a t each p e r s o n a c t i o n s w i t h o u t n e e d i n g them  s o f t e n e d or made l e s s p a i n f u l by an i n t e r m e d i a r y . of the b o u r g e o i s i e , RenSe saw  quality  I n d i v i d u a l i t y was  f o l l o w e d the p r e c e p t s  of i n d i v i d u a l i t y was  I n the f a i t h  o n l y the weakness of the people as  a r e s u l t of the abbe"'s t e a c h i n g s . e n t i t y among those who  kind  an unknown  of t h i s p r i e s t .  i n h e r e n t i n Rente's c h a r a c t e r  This  and  the d e a t h of her s p i r i t u a l f a i t h i n r e l i g i o n gave her the freedom to examine her s i t u a t i o n w i t h o u t the i d e a s r e c e i v e d from the Catholic r e l i g i o n . The important  death of her i l l u s i o n of s e n t i m e n t a l l o v e was  i n p r e p a r i n g Ren§e f o r d e a t h i t s e l f .  She  d i d not  also be-  93  l i e v e i n s e n t i m e n t a l l o v e f o r two r e a s o n s .  She knew t h a t no  man  would be a b l e t o g i v e her the l o v e w h i c h her f a t h e r a l r e a d y gave her,  and t h a t t o ask f o r such a s a c r i f i c e from a n o t h e r man  be a s e l f i s h and f o o l i s h a c t i o n .  would  Nor would she be a p a r t y t o a  marriage made s o l e l y f o r b e n e f i t , s i n c e w i t h o u t l o v e and mutual r e s p e c t , the p a r t i e s to the m a r r i a g e would s u f f e r . ing  Her abandon-  o f marriage and o f the chance t o have c h i l d r e n was a s a c r i f i c e  she was w i l l i n g and eager t o make. The s p i r i t u a l and s e n t i m e n t a l d e a t h o f her i l l u s i o n s p u r i f i e d Rente's t h o u g h t s . l i f e and was  She had matured  i n her o u t l o o k on  capable o f e x a m i n i n g her s i t u a t i o n , a l t h o u g h her  i d e a l s tat.t t h i s p o i n t were s t i l l  only concepts.  They had y e t  to be t e s t e d and a n a l y s e d by t h i s i n t e l l i g e n t but i n n o c e n t g i r l . The death o f Rente's b r o t h e r , her f i r s t e n c o u n t e r w i t h the  death o f a p e r s o n , was a g r e a t shock t o h e r .  I n t h i s event,  she f a c e d a s i t u a t i o n which she had i n s t i g a t e d , a l t h o u g h she c o u l d i n no way be blamed f o r i t .  However, even though she  had  a c t e d i n innocence and i n defense of concepts which were i m p o r t ant t o h e r , she would be s o l e l y r e s p o n s i b l e . of  F o r h e r , the d e a t h  her b r o t h e r r e p r e s e n t e d a new l o o k a t r e a l i t y , one which she  would be c o m p e l l e d t o a c t upon and c h a l l e n g e .  F o r the f i r s t t i m e ,  i n s t e a d of m e r e l y b e l i e v i n g i n a concept, she would a c t u a l l y have to a n a l y s e i t and a c t upon her a n a l y s i s . a t t i t u d e almost overnight. e x p i a t e her b r o t h e r ' s death.  RenSe matured  i n her  I n her mind, she knew t h a t she must I n the i l l n e s s which f o l l o w e d the  news o f her b r o t h e r ' s d e a t h , Ren6e found the s u f f e r i n g she have to endure and a c c e p t e d i t w i t h grace and  honour.  would  94  Car Renee, p o u r . m o u r i r , s'y prend autrement que B a r n i e r ou~Germinie: l a s o u f f r a n e e l a change, l a p u r i f i e , l a m u r i t , l a d g p o u i l l e de t o u t e s l e s s c o r i e s de l'humain: en un sens e l l e a c c e p t e s a mort au l i e u de l a subir.24 The  Goncourt B r o t h e r s  s t r e s s the p u r i f i c a t i o n o f Rente's  s o u l i n t h e i r a n a l y s i s o f h e r death.  Rened becomes the epitome  o f young womanhood, s o f t and m a l l e a b l e , and y e t s t i l l  possessed  of the s t r e n g t h t o s u s t a i n o t h e r s as d e a t h g r a d u a l l y conquers. L'arne de Rened. se t r a n s f i g u r e au m i l i e u des r u i n e s de s o n c o r p s . I I se f a i t en e l l e des changements d i v i n s . L ' e n f a n t h a r d i e t moqueur redev-ienifctune v i e r g e t i m i d e . Comme une g u e r r i e r e b l e s s e d q u i r e d e m a n d e r a i t ses vetements de femme, Rened r e p r e n d , pour m o u r i r , l a f a i b l e s s e e t l a douceur de s o n sexe. Son e s p r i t de l u t i n , b r i l l a n t e t m o b i l e , r e v i e n t encore s u r ses l e v r e s , mais tendre m a i n t e n a n t e t m S l a n c o l i q u e : On d i r a i t un f e u f o l l e t dansant s u r une tombe....Cependant l a mort s'avance; a. mesure q u d l l e approche l e r e d i t s ' S i e v e e t se s a n c t i f i e . Les p a r o l e s de l a malade d e v i e n n e n t p l u s r a r e s e t p l u s s o l e n n e l l e s . De grands s i l e n c e s se f o n t dans s a chambre. On n'y entend p l u s que l e s o u p i r de c e l l e q u i s o u f f r e e t l e s a n g l o t de c e l u i q u i v e i l l e . . . . 25 Rened no l o n g e r h e l d immovable i d e a l s and t h o u g h t s . was p r e p a r e d t o s t o p and spend time i n c o n t e m p l a t i o n . ness o f the p a s t was- tempered by books w h i c h . p r e s e n t e d which provokedttho.ughtaabomtnnebulousfldreajiilike tender,  She  Her r a s h ideas  q u a l i t i e s and  emotional s i t u a t i o n s . A p e i n e s i , p a r i n s t a n t s , une e x p r e s s i o n du pass£ l u i r e v e n a i t ; a l o r s e l l e d i s a i t en s o u r i a n t : "C'est de l a v i e i l l e Rened, c e l a l . . . " E l l e se r a p p e l a i t des p a r o l e s q u ' e l l e a v a i t d i t e s , des audaces q u ' e l l e a v a i t eues, l e t o n q u ' e l l e p r e n a i t , s a f a m i l i a r i t e " avec l e s jeunes gens; e l l e n ' a u r a i t p l u s ose de c e l a . E l l e s ' e t o n n a i t d'elle-meme, e t ne se r e c o n n a i s s a i t p l u s . E l l e a v a i t quitte" ses l e c -  95  t u r e s de l i v r e s s S r i e u x ou amusants; e l l e n ' a i m a i t p l u s que l e s oeuvres q u i f o n t r e v e r l a pens£e» l e s . l i v r e s q u i ont des i d S e s tendres. ° 2  A l r e a d y she was c o n t e m p l a t i n g the r e l e a s e t h a t d e a t h would b r i n g .  Her thoughts were f r e e , no l o n g e r t r a p p e d by the  r e v o l t and anger a g a i n s t r e s t r i c t i n g c o n v e n t i o n .  She had become  mature enough t o a c c e p t and r e s i g n h e r s e l f t o the course o f d e a t h and f i n d w i t h i n h e r r e s i g n a t i o n calm s t r e n g t h . Ren§e, a t t h i s p o i n t , was capable o f s h a r i n g h e r s t r e n g t h w i t h those who w i t n e s s e d h e r q u i e t d e a t h . i  She had the courage t o -  a s s u r e those around h e r t h a t she d i d n o t hate d e a t h , and t h a t i t was n o t w i t h o u t meaning. Moi, v o i s , je me r S s i g n e . . . N o n , i l ne f a u t pas en v o u l o i r t a n t que c e l a a l a s o u f f r a n c e . . . E l l e nous a St£ donn£e pour quelque chose, on ne nous f a i t pas seulement s o u f f r i r pour souffrir. 27  She was a l s o capable o f s e n s i n g the i n s i g h t s which d e a t h c o u l d b r i n g i f one was w i l l i n g , t o a n a l y s e a a n d contemplate i t u n f l i n c h ingly.  Death alone, reduces a l l human b e i n g s t o the same l e v e l :  no one can escape d e a t h and t h e r e f o r e everyone, i n the f i n a l lysis,  ana-  i s brought t o the same l e v e l o f humanity. E l l e p a r l a encore de l a s o u f f r a n c e comme du mal q u i nous ote l ' o r g u e i l , q u i nous r a p p e l l e n o t r e i n f i r m i t y , q u i nous f a i t humains, q u i nous mele a. tous ceux q u i s o u f f r e n t , q u i nous enfonce l a c h a r i t e dans l a c h a i r . "Et p u i s , sans e l l e , a j o u t a - t - e l l e , i l nous manquerait quelque chose'.. . . d' e t r e triste... ° 2  I n t h i s way, she r e a s s u r e d h e r f a t h e r , who watched  over  her so d i l i g e n t l y and w i t h so much sadness, t h a t i n death was s t r e n g t h o f c h a r a c t e r and the v i r t u e o f awareness, o f the s e l f and o f o t h e r s .  9.6  The  Goncourt B r o t h e r s d e s c r i b e d the f e e l i n g s o f Rente's  f a t h e r d u r i n g her i l l n e s s .  He was  death o f h i s b e l o v e d daughter,  d e e p l y a f f e c t e d by the coming  and the s u f f e r i n g o f the f a t h e r  emphasized the sublime s u f f e r i n g o f the daughter.  I t was  double agony o f . t h e s u f f e r e r and o f the o b s e r v e r which  the  reinforced  the s a c r i f i c e and s e l f - d e n i a l o f the p a t i e n t . ... .M>. M a u p e r i n e s t l e pere dont 1* h e r o i n e du l i v r e a v a i t b e s o i n pour p o u v o i r . s ' e p a n o u i r dans t o u t e sa s p o n t a n e i t y . I I e s t l ' e t r e capable de p o l a r i s e r t o u t e s l e s p u i s s a n c e s d ' a f f e c t i o n de l a jeune f i l l e e t en presence duquel s'ouvre e t r S v e l e son ame d e l i c a t e e t f i e r e : l e r e g a r d i n d u l g e n t , l e s o u r i r e comp l i c e sous l e q u e l se t r o u v e a l e u r a i s e ses vivacit£s e t ses g a m i n e r i e s : l e p o i n t de vue q u i o u v r i r a aux a u t e u r s l e s p e r s p e c t i v e s l e s p l u s d i r e c t e s , l e u r perme.ttraales p r i s e s de vue l e s p l u s p o i g n a n t e s s u r son agonie e t s a mort, quand nous aurons l a double agonie de l ' e t r e q u i meurt e t de l ' e t r e q u i v o i t m o u r i r . Ce p e r e , command^ dans son comportement p a r l a l o g i q u e de 1'ensemble, e s t employe" avec d i s c r e t i o n dans l e s scenes de moeurs (sans qu'on p u i s s e l e q u a l i f i e r d ' u t i l i t e ) pour assumer e t i n c a r n e r e n s u i t e peu a peu, v e r s l a f i n du l i v r e , t o u t e l a d o u l e u r humaine.29 Renee's death was  a death o f sad and sombre  poignancy.  She was  t r a n s f o r m e d and e l e v a t e d by the a n g e l i c q u a l i t y o f her  death.  She  was  a g i r l o f immense courage who  o f c h a r a c t e r w i t h an open h e a r t .  faced t h i s f i n a l  test  I n t h e i r d e s c r i p t i o n o f her  f i n a l moments, the Goncourt B r o t h e r s emphasize the  spiritual  e c s t a s y o f her s u r r e n d e r t o the s o l a c e o f o b l i v i o n . En quelques m i n u t e s , l a m a l a d i e , l e s s i g n e s e t 1 ' a n x i e t y de l a s o u f f r a n c e s ' S t a i e n t e f f a c e s s u r l a f i g u r e a m a i g r i e de RenSe. Une beaute d'extase e t de supreme d£livrance, dev a n t l a q u e l l e , son p e r e , sa mere, son ami e t a i e n t tombSs a. genoux. L a douceur, l a p a i x d'un r a v i s s e m e n t e t a i t descendue s u r e l l e . Un reve s e m b l a i t mollement r e n v e r s e r sa t e t e  97  sur l e s o r e i l l e r s . Ses yeux grands o u v e r t s , tournSs en haut, p a r a i s s a i e n t s ' e m p l i r d ' i n f i n i , s o n r e g a r d , i^peu a peu, p r e n a i t l a f i x i t s des choses S t e r n e l l e s . De tous ses t r a i t s se l e v a i t comme une a s p i r a t i o n b i e n h e u r e u s e . Un r e s t e de v i e , un d e r n i e r s o u f f l e t r e m b l a i t au b o r d de s a bouche endormie, e n t r ' o u v e r t e e t s o u r i a n t e . Son t e i n t e t a i t devenu b l a n c . Une p a l e u r argentSe d o n n a i t a s a peau, d o n n a i t a s o n f r o n t une mate s p l e n d e u r . On e u t d i t q u ' e l l e t o u c h a i t dSja. de l a t e t e un a u t r e j o u r que l e n o t r e : l a Mort s ' a p p r o c h a i t d ' e l l e comme une l u m i e r e . C ' e t a i t l a t r a n s f i g u r a t i o n de ces m a l a d i e s de coeur q u i e n s e v e l i s s e n t l e s mourantes dans l a beauts de l e u r ame, e t emportent au c i e l l e v i s a g e des jeunes mortesl3° Rente's death was a t r i b u t e t o h e r s t a l w a r t and c o u r a geous c h a r a c t e r .  She had t r a v e r s e d the p a t h from c h i l d t o woman  w i t h h e r s o l e d e s i r e b e i n g t o a c h i e v e the most p o s s i b l e as a p e r s o n . Her m a t u r i t y and f o r t h r i g h t a t t i t u d e towards h e r f a t e h e l p r e v e a l the p u r i f i c a t i o n o f h e r thoughts and i d e a l s , and s e r v e d as a j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r h e r u l t i m a t e r e l e a s e from the bonds w h i c h  tied  her t o h e r s e l f and t o s o c i e t y . F o r these two h e r o i n e s , d e a t h had a s p e c i a l meaning. Neither died u n j u s t i f i e d nor u n j u s t i f i a b l y . was an escape and a condemnation:  F o r Germinie, death  unable t o c o n t r o l h e r p h y s i c a l  and mental a n g u i s h , h u m i l i a t e d by h e r debts and h e r debauchery, she c o u l d o n l y r a t i o n a l i z e the events o f h e r l i f e by a l l o w i n g h e r f a t e t o f o l l o w i t s t r u e c o u r s e , t o a d e a t h which would b r i n g h e r to freedom from g u i l t and prompt u n d e r s t a n d i n g and f o r g i v e n e s s from those who were l e f t b e h i n d .  F o r RenSe, death was a r e l e a s e  and a p u r i f i c a t i o n : she was p e r m i t t e d a t l a s t t o r i d e  herself  o f the r e v o l t a g a i n s t a r t i f i c i a l concepts o f s o c i e t y and t o become a p e r s o n whose c o n v i c t i o n s were honest and honoured.  Each h e r o i n e ' s  9 A  d e a t h b r o u g h t the r e a d e r a complete p o r t r a i t o f a modern woman. The r e a d e r i s c o m p e l l e d t o examine each woman's s t r u g g l e t o l i v e l i f e f u l l y and h o n e s t l y , and w h i l e the common r e s u l t o f t h i s s t r u g g l e was d e a t h , i t was a d e a t h w i t h e x c e p t i o n a l meaning and social  implications. I n g e n e r a l , the Goncourt B r o t h e r s ' female c h a r a c t e r s  were t r e a t e d w i t h sympathy and humanity.  The r e a d e r i s e n l i g h t e n e d  by the s t r u g g l e s o f each woman t o a c h i e v e f u l f i l l m e n t and a c c e p t tance o f h e r d e s t i n y . Le l e c t e u r se s e n t ' e n f a c e d'une f a t a l i t e i n e x o r a b l e , mais i l Sprouve en meme temps intensement 1'humanity du personnage - e t c e l l e des a u t e u r s . Death was the t r u e t e s t o f each woman's c h a r a c t e r , b u t i t was a l s o h e r u l t i m a t e f r u s t r a t i o n .  E a c h was f a c e d w i t h a  s i t u a t i o n about which she c o u l d do n o t h i n g e x c e p t concede t o the superiority of fate.  She was p r e v e n t e d i n some way from j u s t i f y -  i n g h e r a c t i o n t o o t h e r s , a l t h o u g h i n h e r own mind, she was s a t i s f i e d w i t h h e r r e a s o n s f o r death.  E a c h was p r o t e c t i n g those  i n n o c e n t p e o p l e around h e r who would o t h e r w i s e be made t o s u f f e r the consequences o f h e r a c t i o n s .  I n d e a t h , n e i t h e r would be  a b l e t o r e f u t e the s p e c u l a t i o n and rumour w h i c h would f o l l o w h e r death.  J u s t i c e i n t t h e - eyes o f o t h e r s would be beyond r e a c h . Le personnage q u i en e s t v i c t i m e v o i t s o n mal s ' a g g r a v e r i n e x o r a b l e m e n t ; quelques chapi t r e s de roman s u f f i s e n t a l e s u r p r e n d r e aux d i v e r s e s Stapes descendantes de s o n avance"e v e r s l a mort. M a i s de chap.itre en c h a p i t r e , de phase en phase, aucun l i e n r S e l , aucune s u g g e s t i o n comme dans l e s m e i l l e u r e s r S u s s i t e s de Z o l a d'une f o r c e h S r e d i t a i r e q u i s o u l e v e e t mine a l a f o i s l e s e t r e s e t l e s d e s t i n i e s , ou comme chez F l a u b e r t d'un temps q u i f a t i g u e  9.9  e t marque t o u t e r£alit£ de s a fundamentale u s u r e ; ou encore d'une S n e r g i e q u i comme chez B a l z a c ronge e t d e " t r u i t l e s hommes, mais r e s t e l e u r energie'. C'est une f a t a l i t e " t o u t e x t e r i e u r e , done p a r f a i t e m e n t inhumaine q u i v i e n t a "bout des personnages des Goncourt; e t ce n'est p o i n t hasard s i cette f a t a l i t e revet l e p l u s souvent une apparence m S d i c a l e q u i en mScanise encore davantage l a p r o g r e s s i o n . Ce mal q u i l e s tue ne l e u r a p p a r t i e n t pas, i l ne f a i t que l e s occuper a v a n t de l e s d S t r u i r e . l a p o u r r i t u r e se depose s u r eux e t l e s gagne sans q u ' i l s a i e n t seulement 1 ' o c c a s i o n d'en f a i r e l e u r p o u r r i t u r e , de se l ' a s s i m i l e r e t de l a v i v r e comme une u l t i m e e x p e r i e n c e . E t d ' a i l l e u r s on ne l e s v o i t p l u s que de f o r t l o i n , absorbed p a r l e mal, a b s e n t s , i n e x p l i c a b l e s : tous v i c t i m e s du meme c a n c e r . S i b i e n qu'a t r a v e r s l a p e i n t u r e des Spuisements e t des decadences l e s Goncourt p a r v i e n n e n t seulement a se s i g n i f i e r a eux-memes 1'avancSe o b j e c t i v e , i m p e r s o n n e l l e de l e u r mort. L'Schec de l e u r s he"ros l e s r e n v o i e a l e u r p r o p r e Schec.32  Death d i d i n one way d e f e a t the Goncourt B r o t h e r s .  Death  was one e x p e r i e n c e t h a t n e i t h e r would be a b l e t o document from personal experience.  They would n e v e r be a b l e t o f e e l and  trans-  m i t the f e e l i n g s and emotions f e l t i n t h a t f l e e t i n g i n s t a n t when the body and s o u l b a l a n c e p r e c a r i o u s l y between l i f e and death. F o r the Goncourt B r o t h e r s , as f o r us a l l , remains i n v i n c i b l e and e t e r n a l .  the mystery o f d e a t h  100  NOTES: 1.  A. J . S a l v a n , "L'Essence du r S a l i s m e f r a n g a i s , " L i t e r a t u r e I I I , p. 231-  2.  J-P. R i c h a r d , "Deux E c r i v a i n s S p i d e r m i q u e s : Edmond e t J u l e s de Goncourt," L i t t S r a t u r e e t S e n s a t i o n ( P a r i s : Editions du S e u i l , 1954), p. 279-  3-  I b i d . , p. 280.  4.  L. Daudet, p.- 258.-  5-  I b i d . , p. 258.  6.  E. & J . de Goncourt, 1929), p. 45-  7-  I b i d . , p. 47.  8.  I b i d . , p. 49.  9.  I b i d . , pp. 128-129.  10.  I b i d . , p. 94.  11.  I b i d . , p. 155.  12.  I b i d . , p. 195.  13.  I b i d . , p. 198.  14.  I b i d . , p. 216.  15.  I b i d . , pp. 245-246.  16.  I b i d . , pp. 252-253.  17-  I b i d . , pp. 254-255-  18.  P. S a b a t i e r , Germinie L a c e r t e u x des Goncourt 1948), p. 92.  19.  E. &. J . de Goncourt,  20.  I b i d . , pp. 281-282.  21.  I b i d . , p. 274.  22.  I b i d . , p. 275-  23.  R- R i c a t t e , "Les Romans des Goncourt e t l a MSdecine," Revue des s c i e n c e s humaines, ( j a n v . - mars, 1954), p. 37.  L a Femme e t 1'Amour  Comparative  ( P a r i s : " . Flammarion, 1930) ,  Germinie L a c e r t e u x  (Paris:  Flammarion,  (Paris:  Sfelt,  Germinie L a c e r t e u x . p. 262.  101  24.  E, Caramaschi, Le Realisme romanesque des Goncourt E d i t r i c e L i b r a r i a G o l i a r d i c a , 1 9 6 4 ) , p. 9 6 .  25.  I b i d . , p. 1 3 2 .  26.  E. & J . de Goncourt, et  Cie,  1875,) , p.  RenSe M a u p e r i n  (Paris:  (Pisa:  Artheme F a y a r d  117.  27-  I b i d . , p. 1 2 0 .  28.  Loc. c i t .  29'  E. Caramaschi,  30.  E. Caramaschi, Realisme e t Impressionnisme dans l ' o e u v r e des F r e r e s Goncourt ( P i s a : L i b r a r i a G o l i a r d i c a , s. d . ) , p. 242.  31.  E. &. J . de Goncourt,  32.  J-P. R i c h a r d , "Notes s u r l e s Goncourt," humaines, ( j a n v . - mars, 1 9 5 3 ) , P' 56.  Le RSalisme romanesque des Goncourt, p.. 96.  RenSe M a u p e r i n , p. 1 2 4 . Revue des s c i e n c e s  102 Conclusion  As M a r t i n o p o i n t e d out, the Goncourt B r o t h e r s g o a l was • • • 0 0 i n t r o d u i r e dans 1 ' i n v e n t i o n l a r e a l i t S du document humain, a f a i r e e n t r e r dans l e roman un peu de c e t t e h i s t o i r e i n d i v i d u e l l e q u i dans l ' h i s t o i r e n'a pas d ' h i s t o r i e n . 1 They d e s i r e d t o w r i t e about people f i r s t and foremost, d e s c r i b e events and c i r c u m s t a n c e s of these p e o p l e .  w i t h r e s p e c t t o the r e a c t i o n s  T h e i r female c h a r a c t e r s e p i t o m i z e d  Brothers' i n v e s t i g a t i o n  and t o  o f human n a t u r e  the Goncourt  and t h e i r c l e a r ,  concise  documentation o f the i n t i m a t e d e t a i l s o f e x i s t e n c e . U s i n g the medium o f N a t u r a l i s m , the Goncourt B r o t h e r s have t a k e n t h e i r r e a d e r s  on a journey through the human mind,  documenting i t s most i n t i m a t e s e n s a t i o n s and the p e r c e p t i o n o f r e a l i t y through the eyes o f t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s .  T h e i r d e s i r e was  to approach the s o u l and c r e a t e f o r the r e a d e r as c l o s e a por:-^ t r a i t as p o s s i b l e o f an event, emotional  so as t o evoke a p h y s i c a l and  response s i m i l a r t o t h a t f e l t by the c h a r a c t e r . ... i t i s o f the s e n s a t i o n s t h a t they have r e s o l v e d t o be the h i s t o r i a n s ; n o t o f a c t i o n , nor o f emotion, p r o p e r l y s p e a k i n g , n o r o f moral c o n c e p t i o n s , b u t o f an i n n e r l i f e which i s a l l made o f the p e r c e p t i o n s o f the senses.2 I n t h e i r works, they sought a r e a l i s t i c p o r t r a i t o f the  people o f an age.  They d e s i r e d t o p o r t r a y the l i v e s o f t h e i r •  c h a r a c t e r s as they r e a l l y were, e x a m i n i n g i n depth the s i t u a t i o n s which i n f l u e n c e d t h e i r d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g once t h e i r d e c i s i o n s had been made. court Brothers was  processes  and t h e i r a c t i o n s  More i m p o r t a n t  t o t h e Gon-  t h a n the simple documentation o f e x t e r n a l e v e n t s  the p e r c e p t i o n o f these events i n the minds o f t h e i r  charac-  103  ters.  They f o l l o w e d t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s through  the course  of their  l i v e s and t h e i r d e s t i n i e s , n e i t h e r e m b e l l i s h i n g n o r n e g l e c t i n g important f a c e t s of t h e i r e x i s t e n c e s .  The Goncourt B r o t h e r s were  . . . l a r g e l y concerned .with t r u t h - t r u t h t o the minute d e t a i l s o f human c h a r a c t e r , sensat i o n , and c i r c u m s t a n c e , and a l s o o f the document, the e x a c t words, o f the p a s t ; b u t t h i s d e v o t i o n t o f a c t , t o the c u r i o s i t i e s o f f a c t , has been u n i t e d w i t h an even more p e r s i s t e n t d e v o t i o n t o the c u r i o s i t i e s o f e x p r e s s i o n . 3 The female c h a r a c t e r s p o r t r a y e d i n the n o v e l s  Renee  M a u p e r i n and Germinie L a c e r t e u x were each based on a woman known w e l l by the Goncourt B r o t h e r s .  They became i m p o r t a n t  t o the Gon-  c o u r t B r o t h e r s due t o the s o c i a l impact the d o c u m e n t a t i o n o f t h e i r l i v e s might have upon s o c i e t y .  The Goncourt B r o t h e r s '  two-fold  purpose was t o p o r t r a y each woman's l i f e as i t was l e d , as t r u t h f u l l y as p o s s i b l e , and y e t convey t o the r e a d e r the d e m o r a l i z i n g e f f e c t which s o c i e t y ' s conventions on i n n o c e n t  and a r t i f i c i a l m o r a l i t y had  people. . . . l e s Goncourt s ' S l e v e n t c o n t r e l ' e s c l a v a g e de 1 ' e s p r i t e t de l a p a r o l e dans l e q u e l on t e n a i t l a jeune f i l l e de l e u r temps.^  The woman the Goncourt B r o t h e r s chose t o w r i t e about p e r s o n i f i e d the e n s l a v e d , d i s p i r i t e d woman.  Renee and Germinie  were women o f t h e i r e r a , b u t , u n l i k e the g r e a t m a j o r i t y o f women of the p e r i o d , RenSe and Germinie sought t o o v e r t h r o w s o c i e t y ' s predetermined  course  and attempt t o a c h i e v e a n autonomy which  would p e r m i t them t o l e a d f u l f i l l i n g and happy l i v e s .  They were  h e r a l d s o f modern woman, a woman eager t o make h e r way i n t h e w o r l d and t o become a c t i v e i n d e t e r m i n i n g h e r p e r s o n a l p a r a m e t e r s . They d e s i r e d t o be a l l o w e d t o a c c e p t the consequences o f t h e i r  104 a c t i o n s f r e e l y , w i t h no i n t e r m e d i a r y t o c u s h i o n o r excuse the consequences.  T h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n examines the course o f Rente's and G e r m i n i e ' s l i v e s from a s o c i o l o g i c a l v i e w p o i n t i n p a r a l l e l w i t h the  Goncourts' own v i e w o f these women.  Each woman's background  i s d i s c u s s e d w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o how h e r environment produced f r u s t r a t i o n and agony f o r h e r .  The theme o f f r u s t r a t i o n , a major  t o p i c i n the works o f the Goncourt B r o t h e r s , shows the g r a d u a l development o f each woman from an i n n o c e n t , c h i l d - l i k e  creature  who examined her.xsurroundings from a o n e - d i m e n s i o n a l p o i n t o f view, t o a more mature, a n a l y t i c a l a d u l t , capable o f e n v i s u a l i z i n g f u t u r e consequences.  A t t h e i r d e a t h , the r e a d e r i s w i t n e s s t o  the  f i n a l s t e p i n t h e i r development, a t r a n s i t i o n w h i c h comes  far  too l a t e t o save the women, b u t which a f f o r d s a p r i c e l e s s  f i n a l moment o f awareness. RenSe and Germinie grew up i n t o t a l l y d i f f e r e n t  settings.  Rente's c h i l d h o o d was one o f r e l a t i v e l u x u r y , surrounded by the warmth o f h e r f a t h e r ' s devoted l o v e .  G e r m i n i e , however, was a  c h i l d o f the p r o v i n c e s where h e r f a m i l y l a b o u r e d hard t o o b t a i n enough o f l i f e ' s n e c e s s i t i e s .  She was d e n i e d the l o v e o f h e r  mother when she d i e d e a r l y i n h e r l i f e , and a l t h o u g h h e r f a m i l y c a r e d f o r h e r , they were busy k e e p i n g body and s o u l t o g e t h e r . The f a m i l y broke a p a r t upon the deaths o f h e r f a t h e r and h e r o l d e r brother;;. A t t h i s p o i n t , Germinie was shunted from p i l l a r t o p o s t , u n t i l she was f i n a l l y p l a c e d i n a cafe" t o e a r n h e r l i v i n g .  105  Renee had the freedom  t o e n j o y h e r y o u t h , c o s s e t t e d and i n d u l g e d  "by h e r f a t h e r . From these backgrounds women.  developed two v e r y d i f f e r e n t  However, they d i d have one t h i n g i n common.  Both were  d i s s a t i s f i e d w i t h t h e i r s i t u a t i o n and they had problems to  and a c c e p t i n g t h e i r d e s t i n e d p l a c e i n s o c i e t y . Germinie's l i f e was a s e r i e s o f t r a g e d i e s .  to  adjusting  She wanted  be l o v e d and d e s i r e d , as a c r e a t u r e capable o f d e v o t i n g h e r -  s e l f u n s t i n t i n g l y t o someone who would r e t u r n h e r l o v e i n k i n d . She found B i t t e r d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t i n h e r d e v o t i o n t o h e r f a i t h , unable t o a c c e p t t h a t the p r i e s t was n o t a p e r s o n i f i c a t i o n o f God who would devote h i m s e l f e x c l u s i v e l y t o her.  Her f a i t h i n  the s e n t i m e n t a l concepts o f l o v e and marriage was s e v e r e l y t e s t ed i n h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h J u p i l l o n and l a t e r w i t h Gautruche. In  h e r d e s p e r a t e need, she was i n c a p a b l e o f examining e i t h e r man's  u l t e r i o r m o t i v e s , and as a r e s u l t she was duped and t r i c k e d by t h e i r apparent s i n c e r i t y .  F i n a l l y , as the power o f these f r u s -  t r a t i o n s wore h e r down and d r a i n e d h e r s p i r i t , she began t o glimpse the r e a l i t y o f l i f e . to  r a t i o n a l i z e her existence.  Her thoughts matured and she began Suddenly, she was capable o f  a c c e p t i n g w i t h grace h e r u l t i m a t e d e s t i n y . Renee's f r u s t r a t i o n stemmed from the r e s t r a i n t s s o c i e t y had p l a c e d on the l i f e  of i t s people.  which  She had been  r a i s e d i n a l i b e r a l , open-minded f a m i l y where l i t t l e was h i d d e n from her.  She was capable o f examining the i n s t i t u t i o n s  touched h e r l i f e ,  which  i n o r d e r t o determine t h e i r i n f l u e n c e upon h e r .  Her f r u s t r a t i o n w i t h r e l i g i o n came from the d e c e p t i o n i t p r a c t i s e d  106 on the r i c h , who were c o n v i n c e d t h a t they c o u l d he redeemed f o r v e r y l i t t l e e f f o r t and a c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the Church.  She was  a l s o angered by the i n f l u e n c e w h i c h the Church had over i t s members.  The p r i e s t had the power t o approve o r deny a m a r r i a g e ,  and sometimes  a c t e d as a matchmaker i n a m a r r i a g e which had as  i t s basis f i n a n c i a l or material gain.  She was f r u s t r a t e d  by the  concept o f honour, w h i c h more o f t e n t h a n n o t was based upon wealth r a t h e r than v i r t u e . By d e s c r i b i n g i n such d e t a i l how each woman r e a c t e d t o the  frustrations  of her l i f e ,  the Goncourt B r o t h e r s b r o u g h t  t h e i r c h a r a c t e r s c l o s e r t o the epitome o f a modern woman.  RenSe  and Germinie as modern women r e a c t e d t o each s u c c e e d i n g e v e n t by c h a n g i n g i m p e r c e p t i b l y u n t i l each o f them had a c c e p t e d the c h a l lenge o f l i f e and the i n e v i t a b i l i t y o f d e s t i n y .  U n t i l that point,  they had been e x a m i n i n g c i r c u m s t a n c e s from a s e l f i s h p o i n t o f view, a v o i d i n g t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s f o r t h e i r own achievement. I n d e a t h , each woman had embraced  her fate,  finally  r e a l i z i n g t h a t f u l f i l l m e n t was n o t o n l y the a c t o f d e t e r m i n i n g the parameters by which one l i v e d one's l i f e , b u t was a l s o the h o n o u r i n g o f one's commitment t o l i f e . i n s t r e n g t h from the acknowledgement  RenSe and Germinie g a i n e d  o f t h e i r commitment.  Each  woman was a b l e t o p r o t e c t those p e o p l e c l o s e s t t o them from the p a i n o f knowing the r e a l cause o f h e r d e a t h .  F o r each woman,  d e a t h was the u l t i m a t e f r u s t r a t i o n because i t p r e v e n t e d them from r e v e a l i n g t h e i r way t o s e l f - a w a r e n e s s and from j u s t i f y i n g t o o t h e r s t h e i r reasons f o r p u r s u i n g t h e i r  fate.  The Goncourt B r o t h e r s succeeded i n p o r t r a y i n g what t h e y  107  c o n s i d e r e d the e s s e n t i a l v S r i t S moderne, " . . . l e p o i g n a n t des choses q u i nous t o u c h e n t , nous f o n t v i b r e r l e s n e r f s e t s a i g n e r l e coeur."5 T h i s they a c c o m p l i s h e d by a s t r i c t adherence t o d e t a i l and by a precise  description  characters, delving  <3f the most i n t i m a t e  thoughts o f t h e i r  i n t o the most minute d e t a i l s o f human e x p e r -  ience .  . .. • . T h e i r g o a l s were a c c o m p l i s h e d w i t h the w r i t i n g o f the  n o v e l s RenSe M a u p e r i n and Germinie L a c e r t e u x .  They a c h i e v e d  e x a c t i n g and complex p o r t r a i t s o f a s i t u a t i o n as i t e x i s t e d at. the time.  They t a c k l e d  the i n f i n i t e s i m a l , r e a c h i n g i n t o the  nebulous r e g i o n s o f the human mind i n o r d e r t o a c h i e v e the ultimate  r e a l i t y o f the s o u l . To quote an e a r l y , b u t a s t u t e B r i t i s h o b s e r v e r o f the  period,  the Goncourt B r o t h e r s were ...not m e r e l y n o v e l i s t s ( i n v e n t i n g a new k i n d of n o v e l ) , b u t h i s t o r i a n s ; n o t merely h i s t o r i a n s , b u t the h i s t o r i a n s o f a p a r t i c u l a r c e n t u r y , and o f what was i n t i m a t e and what i s unknown i n i t ; t o be a l s o d i s c r i m i n a t i n g , . . . t h e i r b o l d n o v e l t y and t h e i r s c r u p u l o u s exactitude i n d e t a i l , are c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of what i s the f i n e s t i n the modern concept o f c u l t u r e and the modern i d e a l i n art.°  108  NOTES: 1.  P. M a r t i n o , Le Roman r e a l i s t e sous l e Second Empire ( P a r i s : L i b r a i r i e Hachette e t C i e , 1913), p. 2 3 4 .  2.  A. Symons, "Edmond e t J u l e s de Goncourt," The S y m b o l i s t Movement i n L i t e r a t u r e (New York: E. P. D u t t o n & Co. I n c . , 1919), p. 147-  3-  I b i d . , p. 146.  4.  M. Immergluck, L a Q u e s t i o n s o c i a l e dans l ' o e u v r e des Goncourt ( P a r i s : Les B e l l e s L e t t r e s , 1930), p. 120.  5.  G i v e n i n P. M a r t i n o , p. 2 3 2 .  6.  A. Symons, p. 146.  109  BIBLIOGRAPHY: P r i m a r y Sources de Goncourt, E. & J . RenSe M a u p e r i n . P a r i s : Artheme F a y a r d e t C i e , 1 8 7 5 • de Goncourt, E. & J . Germinie L a c e r t e u x . Paris: Flammarion, 1 9 2 9 Secondary  Sources  Auerbach, E. Mimesis• P r i n c e t o n , N. J . : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 5 3 ' B i l l B i l l y , A. L e s F r e r e s Goncourt. Paris: Flammarion, 1 9 5 4 . B o r S l y , M. Le G<§nie f g m i n i n f r a n g a i s . P a r i s : E. de B o c a r d , 1 9 1 7 " B o r i e , J . Le T y r a n t i m i d e . Le N a t u r a l i s m e de l a femme au x i x siecle. Paris: Klincksieck, 1973' e  Bornecque, J-H. " L ' I n f l u e n c e des S c r i v a i n s r e " a l i s t e s e t b n a t u r a l i s t e s s u r 1 ' e v o l u t i o n des c l a s s e s s o c i a l e s au x i x siecle." P h i l o l o g i c a P r a g e n s i a , I X , pp. 3 8 - 5 6 . Brun, Ch. Le Roman s o c i a l en France au x i x e Paris: Giard e t Briere, 1910.  e  siecle.  Caramaschi, E. Le Realisme romanesque des Goncourt. Pisa: E d i t r i c e L i b r a r i a Goliardica, 1964. Caramaschi, E. Realisme e t Impressionnisme dans l ' o e u v r e des F r e r e s Goncourt. P i s a : L i b r a r i a G o l i a r d i c a , s. d. C h a n t a v o i n e , E. "La L i t t e r a t u r e i n q u i e t e - Le Goncourtisme." Le C o r r e s p o n d a n t , CLXXXVI, pp. 1 6 8 - 1 7 5 C u n n i n g t o n , C. W. Feminine A t t i t u d e s i n the N i n e t e e n t h Century. London: W i l l i a m Heinemann L t d . , 1 9 3 6 . Daudet, L. L a Femme e t 1'Amour. Paris: Flammarion, 1 9 3 ° • de Goncourt, E. & J . Idees e t S e n s a t i o n s . P a r i s : L i b r a i r i e I n t e r n a t i o n a l e , 1866. G r e e r , G. The Female Eunuch. Frogmore, E n g l a n d : P a l a d i n , 1 9 7 1 •  110  Hemmings, F. W. J . "The O r i g i n o f the Terms N a t u r a l i s m e , N a t u r a l i s t e . " F r e n c h S t u d i e s , a v r . 195^Immergluck, M. L a Q u e s t i o n s o c i a l e dans l ' o e u v r e des Goncourt. P a r i s : Les B e l l e s L e t t r e s , 1 9 3 ° • Jarman, L. M. "The Goncourt B r o t h e r s : M o d e r n i s t s i n Abnormal P s y c h o l o g y . " The U n i v e r s i t y o f New Mexico B u l l e t i n . V o l . 6, No. 3, A p r i l 1 5 , 1939M a r t i n o , P. Le Roman r S a l i s t e sous l e Second Empire. P a r i s : L i b r a i r i e Hachette e t C i e , 1 9 1 3 • P r a j s , L. L a F a l l a c i t S de l ' o e u v r e romanesque des F r e r e s Goncourt. P a r i s : A. J . N i z e t , 1 9 7 4 . Rat, M. Grammariens e t Amateurs de beau langage. Paris: E d i t i o n s A l b i n Michel, 1963. R e y n i e r , G. L a Femme au x v i i siecle. P a r i s : E d i t i o n s J . T a l l a n d i e r , 1929e  R i c a t t e , R. "Les Romans des Goncourt e t l a MSdecine." Revue des s c i e n c e s humaines. j a n v . - mars, 1 9 5 4 . R i c h a r d , J-P. "Deux E c r i v a i n s 6p i d e rmatjaae's.*- Edmond e t J u l e s de Goncourt." L i t t S r a t u r e e t S e n s a t i o n . P a r i s : Editions du S e u i l , 1 9 5 4 . R i c h a r d , J-P. "Notes s u r l e s Goncourt." humaines, j a n v . - mars, 1953-  Revue des s c i e n c e s  Ridge, G. R.... "'The Femme F a t a l e ' i n F r e n c h Decadence." F r e n c h Review. XXXIV, pp. 3 5 2 - 2 6 0 . S a b a t i e r , P. Germinie L a c e r t e u x des Goncourt. P a r i s : S f e l t , 1948. S a l v a n , A. J . "L'Essence du RSalisme f r a n g a i s . " Comparative L i t e r a t u r e I I I , pp. 218-233* Symons, A. "Edmond e t J u l e s de Goncourt." The S y m b o l i s t Movement i n L i t e r a t u r e . New York: E. P. D u t t o n & Co. I n c . , 1919-  Z o l a , E. Le N a t u r a l i s m e au t h e a t r e . P a r i s : Bibliotheque Charpentier, 1912. Z o l a , E. Mes H a i n e s . P a r i s : B i b l i o t h e q u e C h a r p e n t i e r , 1923-  

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