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. How does Etienne feel about the miners with whom he is working?

2. Where do the Grégoires live?

3. Why do the Maheus invite Etienne to live with them?

4. Who is Zacharie?

5. Why does Etienne Lantier go for a walk?

Short Essay Questions

1. What happens to the strike of the miners as time goes by?

2. What does Deneulin ask of Chaval and what is the result?

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

4. What do Etienne and Catherine decide to do after the tragedy?

5. Why do Chaval and Etienne not get along?

6. What does Lantier see Jeanlin do and how does he help the boy?

7. How does the company seem after the killing of the miners by the soldiers and what does it say?

8. What do the women of the community try to get from Maigrat?

9. What causes an accident in the mine after the miners go back to work?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The third section of the novel draws a portrait of the events that lead the miners to go on strike. It also shows the evolution of Étienne Lantier's political ideas.

1. What do you see as the stages in the evolution of Lantier's thinking from sympathy with the miners to action?

2. How might Etienne Lantier's own weaknesses have pushed him to organize the miners?

3. How did his strengths help him?

Use examples from the book to support your opinions.

Essay Topic 2

In GERMINAL, there is a constant struggle between individualism and collectivism.

1. Give two examples of this struggle.

2. Do you think individualism is more destructive than collectivism? Why or why not?

3. Do you think the collective thinking of the miners caused more problems than it solved? Why or why not?

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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