Émile Zola Writing Styles in Germinal

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Point of View

Germinal reads like a journalistic report on the events leading to a mine catastrophe. It combines in-depth descriptions of the situation of the people that are affected by the disaster and a collection of historical and technical facts related to the mining trade. It shows the confrontation between the owners of the capital (the mine owners and their managers) and the workers. The novel examines the living conditions of the miners and the managers and investors, as well as the needs and the political opinions and situation of each party. It describes in great details the conditions under which the miners live and work. In reporting the events, Germinal imposes no conclusion on the reader as to who is ultimately right or wrong in the long miners' strike that preceded the mine collapse; it leaves the conclusion opened, as if drawn by the facts themselves.

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This section contains 1,549 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Germinal Study Guide
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