Goriot vs. Vautrin: A Problem in the Reconstruction of Le Père Goriot's System of Values

This study sheds new light on the ambivalence in the value system (implied author) of Balzac's Le Père Goriot. On the one hand the values embodied by the characters are presented as tainted, on the other no alternative value system is realized, though there are hints to its existence. The reconstruction of the system of values and its ambivalence is demonstrated through an examination of the analogical patterns of criminality, associated with Vautrin, and paternity, associated with Goriot, which serve to refute the Goriot-Vautrin polarization accepted in criticism. (ND

Diengott, Nilli
Volume 1986-1987 Fall-Winter; 15(1-2): 70-76.