M. de Rênal appears as the unsympathetic dupe and answers to the definition of the ridiculous character in that he contributes to his own downfall. His materialistic values are the antithesis of those of the "happy few." In Stendhal's view, the French of his time played the role of duped or of duper. M. de Rênal is, of course, in the former category. M. de Rênal is doubtless Stendhal's repudiation of his own father.