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Old Goriot was Balzac's favorite and is considered by many to be his most important novel. The author takes a close look at French society after the revolution through highly detailed descriptions of Paris and its environs, and within the entangled lives of his three main characters - Old Goriot, a criminal named Vautrin, and a young law student from the provinces. Central to the story is the struggle to achieve upper-class status and to shun all associations, including family, with lower stations in society.
Subject: English & College Success -> English -> Fiction