Germinal Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 43 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Germinal.
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Social Movement

Germinal is a novel about the birth of political ideas and social movement in a society. Zola's masterpiece is set in the French society of the 1860's; the action happens during the early stages of the rise of the working class against the aristocratic middle class establishment (called the "bourgeoisie"). The title of the novel itself points to the idea of germination in plants. In Zola's analogy, social and political ideas behave much like wild seeds in the natural world: sowed in a fertile soil and given the right conditions and, ideas will grow and develop into something much bigger and stronger than their initial state might suggest. Ideas will also spread around them and contaminate their surrounding, and eventually take a life of their own. In Zola's novel, the seed of political revolution is planted, quite literally, in a hole in the ground: the Voreux mining...

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This section contains 1,527 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Germinal Study Guide
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