The Ladies Paradise by Émile Zola

1712 Words7 Pages
The Ladies Paradise by Émile Zola Zola's portrayal of men and their attitudes towards women may be the relation between that of, the controller and the controlled. One is made to believe that it is the men who control the women, and although this is the case in most instances of the Ladies Paradise, there are two people who ensue in resisting against all odds, at being run over by the machine that captivated and engulfed the late nineteenth century bourgeois household unit. They are the elegant Mademoiselle Boudu and the brushy eye browed Monsieur Bourras. One of the main characters Monsieur Mouret ("governor" of the Ladies Paradise) spectacularly uses the lower classes as a tool to increase the perception of happenings in his store. So as to invoke middle class ladies of France not only to enter his palatial trap set for the nineteenth century consumer, but as well to create their desire of acquiring greater material possessions than they may actually need. Another implication is the insatiable consumer appetite created by Mouret results in the development of kleptomania, exemplified in the latter stages of the book by a bourgeois wife of a Magistrate, Madame de Boves, as well as long time employees of the department store. Mouret is the quintessential renaissance man of France with his dashing ways of charming women and subduing them to his desires whilst having them believe that his actions are in their favor and interest at all times. Monsieur Mouret had the utmost respect for women and their habits; this is the case until his boredom with them in his private life overwhelms his desires for them, in which case he moves on to the next victim. In the public arena he continually portrays himself as a gentleman of gentlem... ... middle of paper ... ... to be filled none-the-less, so it was only fitting for Mouret to do it. It took the irreverence for filial morality to achieve the contemporary model for doing business. Denise saw this new functioning of enterprise, and even though she had her reservation from seeing the degeneration of social order, she still was a participant of it. Not only that, she implored others to follow, for she was aware that its momentum would overcome them had they not heeded to her advice. And this is exactly what happened to, Monsieur Bourras, her uncle Boudu and his family, as well as the other small shops of "old" Paris. And as for the misfortunate thievery that was going which did not discriminate by class or position, they were merely trifling consequences of modern achievement. They would be dealt with naturally just like the organic evolution of nineteenth century establishment.
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