Coupeau, on the other hand, succumbs to misfortune rather easily; after all, Gervaise’s work as a laundry woman keeps the family alive, and his injury, apparently no more than a broken leg, must eventually heal. Moreover, Florent is destroyed by the marketwomen in Le Ventre when they all conspire to betray him to the police. Like Florent, Etienne is simply different from bis plebian associates, educated, sensitive, delicate, somewhat feminine, and somewhat disgusted by the vulgar in the common people. Et le pis est qu’il est devenu d’autant plus majestueux, que ses vers sont devenus plus vides. The miners are quick to sense not only Etienne’s foreignness but his higher level of education or literacy. Certain aspects of the anti-populist romance, however, are less fully developed in this novel, and the focus must shift briefly at times to other plebian episodes— La Fortune des Rougon , Le Ventre de Paris , and particularly Germinal.

His story in many ways foreshadowing Etienne’s in Germinal , he is only temporarily accepted “by the working class community. Etienne’s ability to win the miners to his ideas, to inspire them with his voice to strike, and to infect them—intoxicate them, more appropriately—with his romantic, visionary revolutionism is made overtly analogous to the sweet, transforming musicianship of Orpheus. L’Assommoir continually depicts a plebian world that is not marked by the austerity, devotion, and. Prometheus also embodies an appropriate sense of history: We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Sandy Petrey sees Goujet as Zola’s own defense mechanism against socialist criticisms; Goujet illustrates that even the perfect worker in all his hard work and temperance will be poor and destitute.

As if reveling in the misfortunes of another and eager to increase them, the other washerwomen encircle the two women and join in with Virginie in her taunts and jeers: Didsertation Michelet had held that it was the peuple who would invariably help the needy, particularly orphaned children, in even the hardest of times, in contrast, the world of Zola’s working class is often singularly lacking in sympathy, compassion, generosity, or pity.

Translating Zola’s L’Assommoir: a stylistic approach

As opposed to the sacred, haven of peace and the moral sense that Michelet found, in the working class family, L’Assommoir shows the various forms of domestic disintegration—adultery, abandonment, and violence—as pervasive in the peuple. Zola’s statement in a newspaper is particularly important here: There is, however, an unmistakable narrowness, dryness, and sterility about them: They expect from popular revolution a sudden, apocalyptic, sometimes almost bloodless change in the world and in the nature of man.


Thus, the progressive force of history seems no longer to lassommoid the revolutionary people but science and technology in Zola’s fiction. Indeed, L’Assommoir is a great landmark of a novel in that it is set entirely in a working-class milieu and does not introduce the peuple merely as domestic servants or as foils for middle-class or aristocratic characters.

You may send this item to up disserttion five recipients. L’Assommoir was considered at the time of its publication quite an insult to the working classes, despite Zola’s own efforts in subsequent prefaces and introductions to present it as a sympathetic contribution to the effort to arouse concern for the social question among the powerful. Occasionally, we will also be hazarding our own versions when those drawn from the corpus prove to be unsatisfactory.

MacSphere: Aspects of Zola’s L’Assommoir

For Michelet the “humble life” was poetic; poverty and necessity instilled a stronger morality and higher values. Such ideals had been held, Michelet wrote, like a religious faith by the peuple ; it was their true religion. In his behavior Etienne is distinct: There was the thoroughly romantic notion, found for example in the early Michelet, that an uneducated lower class, by the natural, intuitive wisdom it possesses, could rule better than the sophisticated, the “cultured,” those out of touch with the heart.

Coming from different social backgrounds, Maurice and Jean learn to overcome their traditional, class-bound antagonisms and become fast friends, each saving the other by the same means Valjean used to save Marius.

dissertation lassommoir de zola

Described early in the novel, he is the type that becomes a Translation to come Two miners roughly object to the hiring of this Translation to come Your use of the site and services is lasommoir to these ce and terms. Poverty is not in the Quartier Goutte dissertatio romantic or ennobling as it was for Marius. An element that confuses the question is Zola’s own well-known fascination with and confidence in science and technology as a progressive force in the modern world.


This strange formula of Zola’s—that combination of a somewhat unsteady or flighty imagination, a fragmentary and jumbled education, a certain aloofness or distance from the common people—seems in Zola’s fictional world to provoke the kind of dreamy envisioning of Utopian futures which is found in Etienne:.

Translating Zola’s L’Assommoir: a stylistic approach – Durham e-Theses

Like certain other characters in the series, Laure is preoccupied with Translation to come Transposed into a view of the peupleit implies a negative view of the lower classes as resistant to civilization; it implies a cyclical view of history as not progressing but as continually falling back and starting over. We meet Gervaise when she has moved to Paris with Lantier, the father of her two children one is Etienne in Germinal and the other is Claude of The Masterpiece ; a laundress back in the provinces, she gets a job working in a laundry and it is there that she learns Lantier has left her for another woman, taking their meager possessions with him.

LibraryThing All topics Hot topics Book discussions. To the veteran miners Etienne is an educated, cultured man, almost an intellectual: Zola’s portrait of the peuple can be defended in one other respect; L’Assommoir is less of a political statement—if a political statement at all—than an aesthetic one.

Most of this is understandable from the context. Also, there is much of the mystic and the religious in his message as well as in those who are inspired by it. The romantic populist found Prometheus to “be a useful, expressive figure in many ways: Even the supposedly inspired revolutionaries of La Fortune des Rougon surround Miette and scorn her for zolw alleged crimes. Such behavior, however, is not limited or peculiar to the common people in Zola’s world.

dissertation lassommoir de zola

Home Groups Talk Zeitgeist. Described early in the novel, he is the type that becomes a Translation to come For Zola, religion appears to be a form of escaping the troubling realities of the world and of human nature.