Romantic Ideals in 19th Century European Politics Book Review by Labyrinth

Romantic Ideals in 19th Century European Politics
A review of Stendhal's "The Red and the Black."
# 29940 | 959 words | 1 source | MLA | 2001 | US
Published on Aug 17, 2003 in Literature (French) , History (European - 19th century)

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This paper focuses primarily on Stendhal's famous novel, "The Red and the Black" and the ways in which it reflects the manifestation of romantic ideals in nineteenth century European Politics. It closely studies the character of Julien Sorel and takes a look at the motivations behind his behavior. It also touches on Napoleon Bonaparte's rise from obscurity and the growing interest of 19th century Europeans to escape class caste systems.

From the Paper:

"In The Red and Black, Julien Sorel is clearly a Romantic character. He is motivated by a Romantic drive to escape his past and to reestablish himself in a heroic light. Julien has big dreams, and he possesses a strong sense of the type of life he would like to lead--a life much unlike the one he finds himself living in Verrieres. It is natural that Juilen idolizes and aligns himself with the recently exiled Napoleon Bonoparte. Napoleon Bonoparte was a great champion of the middle class, and he rose from obscurity to become one of the most infamous military leaders in all history. Napoleon set a precedent, because the majority of military leaders preceding him had been of noble birth. Julien wishes to follow Napoleon's example and rise through the social ranks in much the same way."

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