Society and Class Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"The person who presents himself there before you is Dr. Des Rogis, who, full of rage at not having made a name for himself, has written a book of medical pornography, and willingly blacks people's boots in society, while he is at the same time discreet." (1.7.180)
This information, which is passed along to Frederick at Rosanette's wild party, is typical of the kind of gossip the Sentimental Education folks spend their time passing along. Like Dr. Des Rogis, everyone is a social climber and everyone is a gossip. And of course, everyone's a critic.
And the Sphinx drank brandy, screamed out with her throat full, and wriggled like a demon. Suddenly her jaws swelled, and no longer being able to keep down the blood which rushed to her head and nearly choked her, she pressed her napkin against her lips, and threw herself under the table. (1.7.218)
The party that Arnoux takes Frederick to shows the underbelly of the upper-middle class. These people party to excess, which both excites and repulses Frederick. Which emotion wins out?
[I]t was as if he had caught sight of whole worlds of misery and despair—the charcoal stove beside the truckle-bed, the corpses at the morgue in their leather aprons, with the cold tap-water trickling over their hair. (1.7.253)
Frederick finds these parties fascinating if not a little depressing. He's definitely not in Nogent anymore—but is it Paris or the people that make the party?