La Grande Breteche Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 40 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of La Grande Breteche.
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Betrayal

One of the most pronounced themes in "La Grande Bretèche" is betrayal. But Balzac resists the impulse to portray the act of betrayal as black and white. Instead, the story offers a complex and nuanced consideration of what it means to betray a vow or another human being. The primary act of betrayal occurs between Madame and Monsieur de Merret, but careful readers will notice how this act spawns several other betrayals as well.

Even the original betrayal is not as simple as it seems at first. Yes, Madame de Merret betrays her husband and her marriage vows by taking the Spanish lover. But it quickly becomes more complicated than that. She betrays her religious faith by making a false vow on the crucifix. Finally, in what is the most horrifying act of betrayal in the story, she betrays her lover by allowing her husband...

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This section contains 668 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the La Grande Breteche Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
La Grande Breteche from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.