Study Guide

The Red and the Black Part 1, Chapter 17

By Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle)

Part 1, Chapter 17

The First Deputy

  • One evening, Julien hangs out alone with Madame de RĂȘnal and watches the sunset. He thinks out loud about how poor his upbringing was. Madame frowns at this because she doesn't like to be reminded that she's sleeping with a peasant.
  • Julien begins to ask Madame how things work in the upper class world. The more he learns, the more he realizes how ignorant he is of high society. He especially learns about local politics and how certain men get put in certain positions of authority.
  • Madame is confident that some day, Julien will become a great man.

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