L'Assommoir Symbols & Objects

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The Distilling Machine

Père Colombe’s Assommoir houses a distilling machine, from which the old bar keep extracts his very own brand of rotgut, the choice high proof liquor for many drinkers in the neighborhood. Zola describes Gervaise’s interaction with the machine: “And [Gervaise] kept casting sidelong glances at the boozing machine behind her. That bloody great pot, as round as the belly of a fat tinker’s wife, with its thrusting, twisting south, send shivers down her back, shivers of fear mixed with longing. Yes, it was like the metallic innards of some gigantic whore, of some sorceress who was distilling, drop by drop, the fie that burned in her gut, A pretty source of poison, an operation so shameless, so foul, it should have been bored away deep down inside a cellar! But in spite of what she felt, Gervaise would have liked...

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This section contains 1,759 words
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