Honoré de Balzac is a famous writer who presented the world with the best work of his entire career – “Hobsek”. I am quite sure that Honoré de Balzac wrote it for a reason, and we will talk about this a little later. I first got acquainted with this work when I had a conversation with my foreign literature teacher, who advised me to familiarize myself with his work, and especially with the work “Hobsek”. At that time, I could not even imagine that this work would captivate me from the very first lines of reading, because Balzac’s skill was visible even from familiarization with the topic and idea of writing this work.
The work “Hobsek” contains the main character Hobsek, who seems to embody both the qualities of a philosopher and the qualities of a real miser. Recently, I was asked to write a reflection essay and express my own impressions about the work I read and to say who Hobsek is a “philosopher or a miser”. I rather adhere to the fact that the author showed the main character in the image of a miser and now I will prove this point.
Balzac endowed the image of Hobsek with certain character traits of a person who has an amazing breadth of his own thoughts and extreme miserliness, because he liked to constantly ponder the question: “How money affects the development of society and individual individuals.” Knowing the work at least a little, the reader should have noticed the peculiarity of the hero, who gave money at a high interest rate to his acquaintances, thereby robbing them, as it were. Hobsek constantly trembled over every coin that came into his hands, even when he borrowed money from other people at high interest. The image of Hobsek shows the reader that he was stingy not only with money, but also with spending his own emotions and experiences. The author showed that Gobsek did not even want to make unnecessary movements or raise his voice at someone, because he considered it a waste of his time.
Nobody knows Hobsek’s past, so it is impossible to draw conclusions about his behavior. The reader can once again ask himself a rhetorical question: “Where does a person have so much money?”, but it is impossible to answer this question.
I believe that it would be more appropriate to say about Hobsek that he is a miser. This conclusion can be proven by various facts that were given by Honore de Balzac in the work “Hobsek”.
Any reader who gets acquainted with the main character of the work “Hobsec” by Honore de Balzac will understand that even the author himself shows him more like a miser. He constantly symbolizes the image of a stingy person and tries to find any way for his own enrichment. The main character of the work lived alone, he had neither family nor close friends. His excessive thirst for constant enrichment led to the fact that he became stingy not only with money. Honore de Balzac accompanied the opinion of the main character, that he was stingy with the following statement: “Gold is the spiritual essence of the entire current society.” It is because of this saying that it can be clearly understood that the main character acted more like a miser, although he had notes of a philosopher. He liked to play with the fortunes of other people, giving them money at a high interest rate. It seems to me that the character clearly understood what it could lead to if he constantly gave money to other people in this way, but his own lust for wealth always came before moral principles. In addition to the money that dripped with interest, he also took absolutely everything that a person brought him. Honoré e Balzac demonstrated this in the following statement: “Accepted everything from a basket of fish offered by some poor man to a package of candles – a gift from stingy people, took table silver from rich people and gold snuff boxes from speculators.”
After his enrichment, Hobsek clearly conveyed the message that gold rules the world. So why should he be considered a philosopher and not a miser, if a person wants to constantly earn money from others?
Another side of his character tells the readers that he is a philosopher and this also has its confirmation. Honore de Balzac describes the main character as a person who constantly weighs all the pros and cons, and this is clearly visible during Hobsek’s conversation with Derville, when he makes the main character think about how to act in different situations. However, the philosopher’s position appears before the reader only at the moment of Hobsek’s communication with Derville. In all other cases, he appears as an ordinary miser who considers it necessary to break people’s souls and enrich himself at the same time on the poor.
So, I think it would be more appropriate to call Hobsek a miser. He did not have the philosophical qualities to be able to claim that he is a philosopher. His actions make readers understand that for him money and enrichment are the most important things in his life. That is why he lives and develops as a single man, having no family, no friends, no lover.