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. What is a ducasse?

2. Why does Chaval believe he owns Catherine?

3. Why do the Maheus see Catherine moving out as a traitor act to the family?

4. With whom does Bonnemort live?

5. Why is La Maheude upset about her family?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Etienne tell Catherine about himself on his first day of work?

2. What does Mrs. Hennebeau do in the second section of the book?

3. Where does Etienne move in August and why?

4. On pay day in October what angers the miners and what do they do about it?

5. Why does Catherine return home during the strike and what does she see?

6. Why were the Montsou miners angry at the Jean-Bart miners?

7. What do the miners demand of Mr. Hennebeau?

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

9. How is Chaval feeling about Catherine and Lantier with Etienne living there and what does he do about it?

10. What happens outside the mine after the mine is flooded?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Grégoire summarizes the entire position of the typical bourgeois.

1. What do you see as his position?

2. What parts of Gregoire's position do you believe is true? What parts do you see as false?

3. Do you believe the wealthy class in America today would agree with Gregoire's position on the miners? Why or why not?

Use examples from the text to support your answer.

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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