In the first chapter, everything is set in the dark of night; the only lighting is provided either by the moonlight or by the fire burning inside the chunks of coal.
1. Why do you think GERMINAL starts at night?
2. How does the dark relate to the book's themes?
3. Did you see any foreshadowing from the darkness in the beginning of the book? Why or why not?
Zola uses a writing style and a combination of techniques that are equivalent to the painting style and techniques of the late nineteenth century impressionists.
1. How do you think Zola's writing style relates to the theme and plot of the book?
2. How do you think the impact of the book would change had Zola used a more concrete writing style?
The first chapter also introduces the "monster," which is the huge cone-like structure set over the pit that is described as a...
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