The Belly of Paris - Study Guide Chapter 1 Summary & Analysis

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Émile Zola's The Belly of Paris is set in mid-nineteenth century Paris. It is the story of Florent Quenu, a mild-mannered individual who is wrongly accused of murder and participating in an insurrection orchestrated by Louis-Napoleon in December, 1851. Florent is deported and sent to Devil's Island in Dutch Guiana. After he escapes from "Cayenne" as the penal colony is called, Florent Quenu returns to Paris to find that the entire city has changed. There are new streets, new taxes, a new government. The old Marché des Innocents (Market of the Innocents) has been replaced by the monolithic markets of Les Halles. The Paris Florent once loved has become a feeding ground for the petits-bourgeois. Merchants and shopkeepers, small-time bureaucrats and loyalists in support of the new Empire have turned the Les Halles neighborhood into a gluttonous, fear-driven den of hypocrisy and pettiness. The Belly of Paris follows...

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This section contains 1,432 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Belly of Paris Study Guide
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