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Great Books Discussion: Pere Goriot

 Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac

The story of its title character Goriot; a mysterious criminal-in-hiding named Vautrin; and a naive law student named Eugène de Rastignac. We are introduced to the characters at Maison Vauquer, a boarding house owned by the widow Madame Vauquer. Central to the theme of the book is the struggle to achieve upper-class status in society. Rastignac is eager to achieve this upper-class standing but is unfamiliar to the ways of Parisian society. Vautrin tries to convince Rastignac to pursue an unmarried woman named Victorine, a dubious suggestion which involves the disposal of her brother who blocks the woman's fortune. The failings to achieve this upper-class status are exemplified by Goriot who has bankrupted himself to support his two well-married daughters, yet they reject him. A classic and tragic story, this is one of the most pivotal works in Balzac's sweeping novel sequence "La Comédie Humaine", which endeavors to depict the effects of society on the entirety of the human condition.

About Great Books Discussion Style

The Great Books discussion is structured so that the evening’s selected reading is discussed in a think tank environment with the intention of gaining insight from other readers that one would not have by reading alone. The seminar facilitator asks questions of the participants about the reading selection and helps the discussion stay focused. Our main goal is to have fun and take many interpretations from the group in order to enjoy a greater understanding of a selected reading.

Discussions are open to everyone and free of charge.  For a list of past and future discussion books and to contact the group visit, http://mail.salticid.com/mailman/listinfo/forbes_great_books_salticid.com.

About the facilitator:

Hilary Caws-Elwitt has her BA in English & American Literature from Harvard, MLS from University of Arizona, and ran Susquehanna County Reads for its first 4 years. But mostly she loves reading and discussing the books!

Monday, July 17, 2017
7:00pm - 8:30pm
Community Room
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