Vautrin, meanwhile, tries to convince Rastignac to pursue an unmarried woman named Victorine, whose family fortune is blocked only by her brother. He will then arrange for the death of her brother so that she will become her father's sole heir, and she and Rastignac will become very wealthy. At a crucial moment of filial sentiment in Balzac's novel, Vautrin breaks in singing "O Richard, O mon roi"—the royalist anthem that precipitated the October Days of and the eventual downfall of Louis XVI—a connection that would have been powerful to Balzac's readers in the s.
It is, in a way, less a story of old Goriot himself an old man, almost destitute, living in a run-down boarding house on the seedier side of Paris, visited occasionally by two beautiful young women who he claims are his daughters as it is of Eugene Rastignac, the young student who shares the boarding house with Goriot and a host of richly drawn supporting characters.
Ten thousand francs of pension! Goriot is the father of the Comtesse de Restaud, and further promises Eugene her assistance in breaking into the enchanting world he is just beginning to taste.
Her reaction is described, in part, thusly: "Inevitably, she went farther in hostility than she had ever gone in friendship.
Vauterin tests Eugene's honesty, and Goriot's treatment by his daughters and their husbands, among other things, opens Eugene's eyes to the often vicious nature of Parisian high society.