Lesson 1 (from Pages 5 - 148)
Pages 5 - 148: In Cousin Bette, the main action of the narrative takes place in Paris beginning in the year 1838. The narrator and characters constantly allude to the Empire and its demise as well as the July Revolution of 1830. The historical time period directly affects the relationships between the characters and the choices they make throughout the novel. Additionally, the narrator draws a contrast between the city and provinces, highlighting issues of social class that are central to the major conflict. The decadent home of the Hulots contrasts with the luxurious dwellings of Baron Hulot's mistresses and strikes a contrast with the austere lifestyle of the antagonist, Lisbeth. The objective of this lesson is a study of the setting.
1) Class Discussion: What is setting? What elements are included in setting? Where is this novel set? When does the action take place? Why is the setting significant...
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