Monday, April 16, 2007

A Sentimental Education - post V

Although A Sentimental Education uses the backdrop of the 1848 French Revolution throughout the book it is only in the last stages that it erupts with fighting on the streets of Paris, the monarchy swept from power and Frederic and his connections changed by the shift of control to the people.

Thanks to the joys of the Internet finding out about the revolution is no problem and Wikipedia has the details but in terms of the influence on the characters it shows how allegiances can change rapidly when the political situation is so uncertain. Against that background Frederic is continuing to come under pressure to resolve his love life.

Bullet points between pages 310 – 378

* With fighting on the streets breaking out Frederic is drawn away from the bed of his mistress and heads out to see what is happening in Paris and meets old friends who are either fighting (Arnoux) or commentating on it (Hussonnet)

* On the urging of some friends Frederic considers putting his name forward for election and he goes to a meeting to get support but his decision not to provide the money to help his old friend Deslauriers comes back to haunt him and he is not accepted

* He decides to take his mistress Rosanette away from Paris and they head into the country and he feels, for want of anything to rival it, that this is a great love affair, but when he reads that fighting is continuing and when he discovers that Dussardier, another long standing friend has been wounded he heads back to the capital

* Once there he immerses himself with the cares of his injured friend but then it emerges he is hiding from Louise who has come up from the country with her father

* But he cannot hide from her forever and he meets her at a function at the Dambreuse home and also bumps into Madame Arnoux there and so is surrounded with those who love him and those who he loves

Who will win his heart? What will become of those wrapped up in the revolution? More tomorrow…

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