Nice Work David Lodge

Romantic idealism and individualism are abandoned ,and make room for materialist philosophies and realism ,art and imagiantion become "capitalist " in the sense that their aspirations resemble those of capitalist economy , the novelist immitating mass production in his work , both Balzac and Zola , for example being the authors of very voluminous works , La Comdie Humaine and Les Rougon Macquart , which through the great number of characters and through the very careful and faithful representation of society as a whole , attempt to give a total and faultless view of immediate reality . This aspiration towards production and representation , rather than towards creation is perhaps the central aspect of the nineteenth century literature .This aspect influnced thus , in the first place, literary production in what regards its form – prose and the novel , most of all , became predominant , as compared to poetry . This is very well illustrated in the fate of the poet who is the central figure of Illusions Perdues , Lucien , whose temperament and destiny could very well be that of any of the Romantic geniuses and , a destiny which is also greatly responsible for the title of the novel – as it is filled with dissilusionment , a term that very well describes the epoch of realism , where the illusions of genius and artisic merit are constantly baffled by the rules of a mediocre society , where noblity , political interests , social status , all prevail upon the true qualities of the individual .
Realism in France was , as Victorian literature in England , to a great extent the product of a whole range of scientific , social , political and economical transformations that took place in the nineteenth century. These transformations regard first of all industralization and the beggining of technological and scientific progress , the expansion of education , of mass media , all decisively bringing the human race itself into focus , giving it confidence in its own power . These transformations affect on the one hand , the political scene of the age , where the same orientation towards mass culture is observed , through the attempts to change the form of government from the absolute monarchy to the republic , wherethe social classes could be abolished .Thus , in France , the lapse of time between the French Revolution in 1789 until 1900 , is characterized by periodical political shifts between two alternative forms of government monarchy to republic and back to monarchy again . These political shifts were the cause of great struggles among the social classes of the time, between the nobility and the bourgeoisie , most of all .This struggle is clearly illustrated in Balzac’s Illusions perdues , where Lucien Chardon or Lucien du Rubempre , the name he takes in the pursuit of his ambitious designs to attain fame and a high social status through his talent and genius as a poet.
In the first part of the novel , Balzac depicts the provincial lives of the " two poets " and friends , at the same time , Lucien Chardon , the