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 do the miners hate the supervisors?

2. Where does La Maheude go to ask for help?

3. How old is Etienne Lantier?

4. Who is the overman who hires Étienne Lantier?

5. What does Chaval do as Etienne is getting ready to kiss Catherine?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does the company tell the miners about the mine at Voreux in February?

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

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

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

5. Why does Etienne Lantier set up a meeting with the miners and what happens at that meeting?

6. What is the Advantage and what happens there?

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

8. How do the miners get to their jobs?

9. After eating dinner in the second chapter what does Etienne do and why?

10. How did Etienne get a job and what will he be doing?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There seems to be a huge gap between the rich and poor in this novel.

1. How is this difference shown in the book?

2. Do you see this gap existing in America today? Why or why not?

3. Do you see any morality issue with the gap between the very rich and the very poor?

Use examples to illustrate your answer.

Essay Topic 2

As the miners march toward Montsou, their numbers grow; the more they grow, the more they feel certain of their success. This anticipated success leads the striking miners to commit acts they would not have the strength to perform individually.

1. How do the miners demonstrate the power of a crowd?

2. There are also examples of the power of an individual in the book. What were two of them?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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