Balzac has often been coopted by leftist critics of capitalism, since he depicts so vividly the corrosive influence that money has on social life, including family life. Several of my students, having read Cousin Bette , point out that Balzac sees money more as a means for the achievement of desires that are not themselves dependent upon money. Money gives opportunity for people to fulfill their lusts, rather than being responsible for inciting those lusts.
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