Germinal by Emile Zola - Book Report/Review Example

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The focus of this paper is on Germinal as one of the most significant novels of Zola. The paper analyzes Zola’s depictions of various forms of protest provoked by industrialization and how they were shaped by gender and class positions as well as by repression…
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Germinal by Emile Zola
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Download file to see previous pages The paper explains why Germinal is valuable in order to understand the social and cultural values of French society of that period but also to make significant assumptions regarding the protest against the capital as it was formulated the particular period. These assumptions do not have just historical value but they can be used in order to understand modern social structures and forms of protest against the capital as this protest is being developed throughout the world. It should be noticed that in order to write Germinal, Zola has studied carefully all aspects of the coal mining industry. In this context, it is mentioned by Ellis, referring to Zola, (Introduction, 2nd and 3rd lines) that ‘For six months he traveled about the coal-mining district in northern France and Belgium, especially the Borinage around Mons, note-book in hand’. It is for this reason that Germinal represents with accuracy all aspects of the life of workers in the particular industry being one of the few novels in which such an issue is developed. The general story developed throughout Germinal could be described as following: Etienne Lantier is a young man that decides to go and live in a mining village. Soon, Etienne begins to work in the mine. However, after a while, the daily problems of miners lead Etienne to urge them to protest against the capital (miner’s owners). In the meantime, Etienne – because of his capabilities has become a leader of miners and his view influences them. It is for this reason that influenced by Etienne miners decide for their first time to protest against the capital. Their protest, which has the form of a strike, causes severe financial losses to the miner’s owners and their reactions are characterized by violence and brutality. The story of the novel is ‘enriched’ by the extended reference to the daily life of a particular family of the village, the Maheu family.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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