L'avare is probably Molière's harshest play. Scheming love suits, openly rebellious children, an unloving father, a sordid theme hardly leave our sympathies any acceptable resting-place. Harpagon, moreover, is a monster who, unlike Tartuffe, is firmly anchored to the center of the stage. No jail, not even an omniscient King can rid the unhappy family of the man who is its head. His power may wither, as it must for the comedy to end on a note of relief, but his presence cannot be so decisively expunged from the lives of those around him. When Tartuffe is dragged to jail in Orgon's stead, justice is restored in the state, as is solidarity to the once bitterly divided family. Harpagon leaving the stage to go see his chère cassette is merely shedding his family without another thought, allowing it to find unhoped for reunion under the wing of a new father, Don Thomas d'Alburcy, as generous and loving as the real father had been mean and hateful.