Essay Topics/Writing Assignments
These 20 essay questions can be used as essay questions on a test, or as stand-alone essay topics for a take-home or in-class writing assignment. Students should have a full understanding of the text in order to answer these questions. They ask for a thorough analysis of the text.
1. Describe the overall setting for the novel. Why does Zola use the setting he does? What is the time period of the story? How important is the time period to the attitudes and issues of the characters?
2. Explain the role of women in the market class of the mid 1800s, the time period of the novel. What precedents do they feel compelled to follow? What restrictions do they have? What freedoms did they have that 21st century women do not have?
3. Gluttony is an important theme in...
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