Goriot starts off as a man of modest means, but makes his fortune manufacturing pasta and other grain products. He is a widower with two married daughters, and his intense love for them makes him susceptible to folly. In order to give money to his daughters, at the start of the novel, Goriot is living in a cheap boarding house.
Rastignac is a young man from a modest family with some lingering aristocratic connections. He comes to Paris to study law, and lives as a boarder at Madame Vauquer's lodgings.
Madame Vauquer is a widow who runs a boarding house, and is very focused on earning a profit.
Vautrin is a man in his forties who lives as a boarder at the Vauquer boarding house. He is a mysterious and sometimes sinister presence; it is later revealed that he is a notorious criminal living under an alias.
Madame Couture is a widow who lives in the Vauquer boardinghouse with Victorine Taillefer. She was a distant relative of Victorine's mother, and now acts as the guardian of the young girl.
Victorine is a young girl who has been disowned by her wealthy father, and now lives in the Vauquer boardinghouse with her guardian, Madame Couture. After her brother's death, she is eventually reconciled with her father and becomes a wealthy heiress.
Sylvie is a woman who works at the Vauquer boardinghouse.
Poiret is an elderly man who lives at the Vauquer boardinghouse, and is attracted to Madamoiselle Michonneau.
Mlle. Michonneau is a woman who lives at the Vauquer boardinghouse. She ends up betraying Vautrin to the police in exchange for money.
Christophe is a man who works as a servant at the Vauquer boardinghouse.
Madame de Beauseant
Madame de Beauseant is a wealthy woman and a distant relative of Rastignac. She gives him advice about breaking into Parisian society.
Duchesse de Langeais
The Duchesse de Langeais is a wealthy Parisian aristocrat and friend of Madame de Beauseant.
Anastasie de Restaud
Anastasie de Restaud is Goriot's elder daughter and the sister of Delphine. She is married to the Comte de Restaud.
Delphine de Nucingen
Delphine is Goriot's younger daughter and the wife of a wealthy German banker named Baron de Nucingen.
Comte de Restaud
The Comte is Anastasie's husband and Goriot's son-in-law.
Baron de Nucingen
The Baron is Delphine's husband and Goriot's son-in-law.
Maxime de Trailles
Maxime de Trailles is a wealthy, young French aristocrat who is having an affair with Anastasie de Restaud.
The Marquis d'Ajuda is a Portuguese nobleman who has an affair with Madame de Beauseant but eventually chooses to marry another woman.
Bianchon is a medical student and friend of Rastignac.
Gondureau is the police official who contracts Mlle. Michonneau and Poiret about helping him to arrest Vautrin.
Pere Goriot Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Pere Goriot is a great
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