Bel Ami Quotes

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In Paris, it is better to have no bed than no clothes.
-- Forestier (Chapter 1)

Importance: Forestier’s advice to Duroy shows just how clothes are as a symbol of status in Parisian high society. If Duroy wishes to make his name in their world, he must abide by their rules and customs which, according to Forestier, includes looking one’s best.

You see, my dear fellow, all depends on assurance, here. A shrewd, observing man can sometimes become a minister. You must obtrude yourself and yet not ask anything.
-- Forestier (Chapter 1)

Importance: Forestier’s contradictory advice is symbolic of the counterintuitive nature of Parisian high society. If Georges wishes to earn people’s trust, he must be as dishonest as can be. Forestier urges Georges to be shrewd and silent, implying that a calculating nature thrives best in this world.

He had on a new suit but he was uncomfortable. He felt that it was defective...
-- Narrator (Chapter 2)

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This section contains 1,291 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Bel Ami Study Guide
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