The Red and the Black (Penguin Classics)
by Stendhal
Paperback- $7.66

Charts the rise and fall of an ambitious young social climber in a cruel, monarchical society

Handsome, ambitious Julien Sorel is determined ...

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  "Stendhal, Le Rouge et le noir" by spacer5 (see profile) 12/21/14

In Le Rouge et le noir Stendhal presents a jaded view of the aristocratic and liberal society at the end of Bourbon Restoration. The novel, as its title suggests, is built from contrasting elements--the red of romantic love (not the military as some critics claim; blue is the color of the French military) and the black of church clerics (which provides a disguise for the main character\\\'s true ambitions), the restored but outdated aristocrats and the newly rich liberals who about to replace them, the rustic simplicity of provincial life in Verriere and the empty sophistication of aristocratic Paris. Our guide through these worlds is the bitter Jacobin Julian Sorel, who longs for the passion of the Napoleonic era and takes revenge on liberal society by seducing the wife of a provincial mayor and on aristocrats by seducing the daughter of the marquis who employs him. Even the composition of the novel involves contrasts--the restrained neo-classic style employed by Stendhal with its balanced sentences used to narrate Julian Sorel\\\'s search for passion and revenge.

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