Germinal Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why does Chaval almost instantly dislike Etienne?

2. What does Bonnemort mean?

3. How does Léon Grégoire make his money?

4. What does Deneulin ask of Gregoire?

5. What does Etienne see during his walk?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Etienne do after he is rescued?

2. Who is Denneulin and what does he want from Léon Grégoire?

3. What happens when Etienne knows he can no longer control the crowd of miners at Voreux?

4. What has La Maheude troubled and what does she do about it?

5. What happens to Etienne as he works in the mines, as far as his job is concerned?

6. Why has Etienne come to the mine?

7. How does Chaval's actions affect Catherine and how does Etienne feel about it?

8. What does Etienne see Jeanlin do one night and what does Etienne do and find out?

9. What happens in the Maheu house that makes the situation so desperate and deadly?

10. What do the Jean-Bart miners face on the surface?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The situation is desperate, with the miners having no food or heat. Zola draws an analogy of lack of coal as a source of collective energy (for the houses), which is correlated with the lack of food, a source of personal energy (for the body).

1. Discuss two other analogies that Zola uses in the miners' situation.

2. Do you think Zola's analogies are meant to be ambivalent to be powerful? Why or why not?

3. Would he have strengthened his position better with more concrete writing?

Essay Topic 2

In a last burst of hope mixed with anger, the miners confront the army of guards in front of the mining pit. The miners lose. When two groups are opposed, the one that is most organized and structured ultimately wins.

1. Compare the situation of the miners with a situation in American history, for example the American Indians opposing the white man.

2. Do you believe the most powerful and organized always wins? Can the flea make the lion surrender?

3. How would this situation correlate with guerrilla warfare?

Essay Topic 3

The army is now occupying Montsou, which means that the miners are powerless, a situation which fuels even more ambivalent anger.

1. How do you think powerlessness engenders anger?

2. What are alternatives to anger to deal with powerlessness?

3. Do you believe the anger seen in some civil rights groups in the 1960s in America stemmed from feeling powerless? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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