How he tortured the bourgeois sensibility as not other director. Here he lays all of its habitus for all to see as he exposes the various stains on the white sheets to full inspection. Within the 21st Century perhaps the moral cogntive dissonance no longer appears so shocking?
We have the old "father" locked into foot fetishism, intertwined with his desires that he bypasses the real world, and in true pomp manages to depart this mortal coil in his eternal quest. Then there is the "chambermaid2 herself who is a mystique, sensuality, careering into her early 30's with a full knowledge of her impact upon men she represents a siren. Upon her beauty they are all willing to shipwreck themselves, but for her, she is detached and gives it away willingly to those who seek her charms.
Joseph the main head of the servant household is a man who loves France, to the extent who wants to evacuate its kooks and spooks elsewhere. Bunuel shows how the rot set in before 1940 and the roots of the collaboration were not just being defeated but a willingness to conspire. Joseph is the rotten underbelly of France that proclaims its virtues as strengths but in reality it is the seething disorder which wants to replace its nihilism and violence as the central force and then make everyone bow to its whims. The film focuses upon this growing sense spreading throughout the film. Bunuel has made a very political film poking at the raw entrails of France exposed in the aftermath of WW2.