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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fate, Destiny and Dreams.

In literature, I always loved Initiatic tales. It is the next best thing after a great movie. I love to  read about someone else life, with all the interesting details, the philosophical questions about fate and destiny. 

My favorite Initiatic tale is  from Honore de Balzac, Le Père Goriot. I loved that story. I was also tested on that Book at my Oral French Literature exam in High School. And I had an excellent grade thanks to Monsieur De Balzac!! I was so proud because  I could  discuss well about French literature even if it was not my native language and my writing was not flawless. That day  I mastered French in all its subtility and nuances.  

Balzac gives a lot of details about his characters so you can feel their humanity and misery. His work is labeled as a collection on Humane Comedy. It is as painfully as  funny it gets. It is realistic. The story is about an elderly retired man named Jean-Joachim Goriot and a young man named Rastignac. Who moved to Paris from the south of France, then becomes attracted to the upper class. He is a social climber willing to use any means to better his situation. The old man, Goriot is ridiculed and he will end up learning that he has bankrupted himself to support his two well-married daughters.He dies of sadness after a stroke.
Only Rastignac and two maids attend his funeral. It is about social stratification, corruption, family relations and the influence of Paris. In summary, you must come from money or go to Paris to succeed. It all depends on how much you are willing to lose in order to gain, or climb to that upper class.

  At Goriot's funeral, Rastignac realizes that the old Goriot died for nothing. All the pretending and money did not matter. He died and his beloved daughters did not show up after all his sacrifices. Rastignac learns that even if his social status is already established, he is the master of his life and destiny. Goriot's death is the waking up of Rastignac. 

 Paulo Coelho in the Alchemist, beautifully says "the treasure is where the heart belongs". Rastignac's  affection for Goriot did grow more than his desire to succeed. The real treasure was the teaching he received from Goriot's life.To conclude I will quote Paulo Coelho "when you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true".  We prepare our fate everyday in every actions. Let's not forget that we all are children of the universe and that our dreams are not negotiable.

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