Sentimental Education - Part Two, Chapters 1 and 2 Summary & Analysis

Gustave Flaubert and Mary Ruefle
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Part Two, Chapters 1 and 2 Summary

Frederic returns to Paris; the city appears to have changed. As he entered the city, the feel of Paris returned, but he found that that the Arnoux's shop was empty. Apparently the Arnoux's have moved; Frederic scrambles to locate their address. He finds Regimbart, who knows where they are; Frederic bolts to their new residence. He finds Marie and Jacques; they now have a son along with their older daughter. Frederic announces that he is in Paris to stay. Frederic is overjoyed to see Marie but realizes that he is less impressed by her. His attraction has ebbed; he vows to focus on his career.

Frederic discovers that Charles failed law school; Charles is poor but is delighted to learn that Frederic is rich. Frederic is insulted by Charles's assumption that he would be able to share Frederic's money. Jacques is now a pottery dealer, and sold his magazine to Hussonnet, who made it a political journal. Frederic dresses up and decides to visit the Damreuses. Before arriving, he decides to see the Arnoux's. Marie recognizes him. And as Jacques leaves, Frederic notices tension between them. Frederic begins to wander the house and finds Pellerin. They strike up a conversation. A woman named Rosanette hosts a dinner party and Pellerin points out various community figures. We are introduced to Rosanette, the house owner, Delmar an actor, Monsieur Oudry and Mademoiselle Vatnaz. The party turns wild and lasts into the wee hours. Jacques and Frederic leave together. Frederic is happy to experience his new life of wealth.

Frederic buys a mansion and overspends decorating it. He visits the Dambreuses and is impressed by their wealth. However, he finds their conversation pretentious. Madame Dambruese is pleased enough with Frederic that she invites him back regularly. Next Frederic visits Rosanette, who turns out to be Jacques's mistress. She is bantering with Mademoiselle Vatnaz. Frederic wonders if Rosanette is flirting with him. He leaves and visits Marie. Upon seeing her, his love rekindles. She asks him about Jacques subtly, seeming aware of his affair. Frederic is overjoyed by her suspicion. Frederic returns to see his friends. who are happy that Frederic is rich. They want him to contribute to Hussonnett's journal. The friends argue about politics; Senecal attacks capitalism. They visit Frederic's mansion and ridicule his decorations and book collection. Frederic learns that Jacques owns a porcelain factory. Jacques becomes friendlier to Frederic and often invites him to Rosanette's. Frederic regularly visit both houses and is drawn to both Rosanette and Marie, who seem to have opposing personalities. Later, Frederic learns that Rosanette wants Jacques to buy her an expensive shawl, but Jacques resists. One day, Frederic perceives that Rosanette is making advances on him; he decides to pursue her but she rebuffs him because she knows that he loves Marie. Frederic conceives of a plan to break up Jacques's marriage by encouraging Jacques to spend more time with Rosanette so that he can have more time alone with Marie.

Madame Moreau sends Frederic a letter telling of her budding relationship with Roque. She encourages him to make use of his connection to Dambruese. He sees the Dambrueses soon thereafter. The socialite at dinner reject the rising tide of socialism and republicanism; they instead defend the crown and traditional religion. Frederic observes, hoping to make a good enough impression to garner a position as Council of State. He leaves the party and finds himself delighted with Madame Dambreuse; he considers whether he could acquire her as a mistress. The next day he vists Rosanette's but she doesn't let him in. Mademoiselle Vatnaz finds Frederic outside and it becomes clear during the conversation that Rosanette is sleeping with Delmar, who Mademoiselle Vatnaz desires. She tells Frederic the gossip about Rosanette. Next Frederic visits Marie and Jacques; they are arguing; Marie confronts Jacques about the affair. Jacques had bought Rosanette the cashmere shawl and Marie found out. Jacques leaves and Frederic comforts Marie; he feels a linked to her.

Part Two, Chapters 1 and 2 Analysis

The next two chapters reintegrate Frederic into Parisian life. He is now a rich man and his relationships to others have changed. He is able to command more respect and make new connections, particularly with the Dambreuses. He has his sights set on garnering a political position through networking with Monsieur Dambreuse. We see Frederic with a new confidence. His life seems less aimless, now that he has a goal. He sees Marie often, but his obsession with her has weakened. He learns that Jacques is having an affair with a woman named Rosanette. Due to his newfound confidence, Frederic believes that he can have Rosanette as a mistress. When she rejects him, he decides to encourage Jacques to spend more time with her so that he can pursue Marie. He even at one point considers attempting to make Madame Dambreuse his mistress. Frederic acquires a kind of swagger and deviousness. He wishes to acquire a prominent political position and a mistress, but preferably Marie.

Because Frederic's social status has changed, he plays a new role vis-à-vis his old friends. They now look to him for loansand donations. Charles wants to live at Frederic's expense and Hussonnett wants him to provide financial support to his political periodical. Thus, the primary story of the beginning of Part II is the increasing confidence and prominence of Frederic.

However, the main storyline moves forward. Marie confronts Jacques about the affair and Frederic sees their marriage falling apart. Frederic even pushes it along. He grows increasingly close to Marie during this time, all the while Jacques suspecting nothing. He is too busy with his own affair and running his new factory.

This section contains 957 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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