Pleasures and Pastimes of the Bourgeoisie


The Social Climbing Bourgeoisie
~ Pre -revolution

~Fashion in Les Mis

~Rise in Popularity
~Economic and Social Symbolism
~Representation in Les Mis

Gardens ~17th Century ~18th Century ~19th Century ~Versailles

Gambling ~Pre-Revolutionary ~Cafés & Cercles

Opéra & Theatre
~The Revolution
~Social Status
~Les Misérables

Etiquette ~Promenade ~Dances ~Dinner ~Casinos and Salons

Bibliography ~Fashion ~Etiquette ~Restaurants ~Opéra ~Picture Bibliography


Welcome to the world of the bourgeoisie, a class that walked the line between middle class and aristocracy with image as its balancing pole. The bourgeoisie was a class fighting for freedom from the aristocracy while simultaneously striving to attain theprivilege of that class. For the social climbing bouregoisie, image was everything.


Members of the bourgeoisie utilized fashion to mimic the air of the aristocracy, outings to the theater and the opera to inflate their public image, and appearances at restaurants and casinos to demonstrate their economic status and their aristocratic taste. In addition, members of the bourgeoisie spent many hours promenading through gardens. But in all places a social climbing bourgeoisie must behave with grace in order to fully mimic the noble image, thus proper etiquette was essential. This ironic mix of revolutionary spirit and high society aspirations forms the essence of the bourgeoisie.

Page created by Ruby Littman, Kelly Hughes, and Lee Haviland, February 24, 2001