Study Guide

The Red and the Black Part 2, Chapter 44

By Stendhal (Marie-Henri Beyle)

Part 2, Chapter 44

  • After Madame de RĂȘnal has left his cell, Julien can hear Mathilde coming to visit. He wishes that he didn't have to see her. Everything she does is now irritating to him.
  • Horror of horrors, Julien's estranged father visits him and berates him for being such a miserable coward and a failure.
  • The visit seems to break whatever spirit is left in Julien, because after this he's not as eager to seek an appeal for his conviction.
  • Julien spends the rest of his days tolerating visits from Mathilde and philosophizing about the meaning of his life. His final verdict isn't a good one.
  • He concludes that life is mostly absurd and that the world is run by a bunch of hypocrites.