"'Have you watched
them have you had the patience to question them, to burrow behind their
lowering brows to get at the truth?'"
Laboring Classes and Dangerous Classes (p. 72)
view on the lower classes was that the criminal world was one
and apart of all the others. Part of this is due to the fact
his themes rely on an older time of crime, that of the Ancien
Regime. The criminals of the Ancien Regime were definitely viewed
as being a closed society. (Chevalier
73). Because the dangerous classes keep to themselves in
the novel, they do not spark the same dramatic fear as Hugo's
underclasses who daily interact with all other classes. Because
he has separated the classes, he is able to have a lighter hearted
view on the lower classes. Also contrasting Hugo, his works
are devoid of all Romantcisim.
the best known of Balzac's characters, "Vautrin is Vidocq."
He is a well known criminal who is well known for his
"fantastic side" (Chevalier
75). His character is wrought with residue from the conditions
of the early years of the restoration. Throughout the Comedie
Humaine, becomes an "'embodiment of the people in revolt
against the laws'" (Chevalier
popular crime was expressed in the characters themselves, who
are exceptional and do not belong to the people at all, though
it is not possible to distinguish the element in them that is
personal adventure from the element of collective destiny"
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