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The Act of Revolting: Germinal by Emile Zola Essay

Decent Essays
Germinal, written by Emile Zola is about a man, Etienne, who receives a mining job at Le Voreux, a coal mine. While working, Etienne discovers the harsh working conditions, and the malnourishment men and women have. As the status of these workers continues to deplete, Etienne is motivated to start a revolt in hope of gaining better working conditions and wages so he and the other workers can live proper lives.
I think Zola wrote this novel to promote the act of revolting, in necessary conditions. Throughout the novel, there are various scenes which depict the hard lives of people living under the harsh conditions. “Choked by a violent cough, he spat, and his spittle left a black stain on the ground.” The reason this man, Bonnemort, was
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I agree with some of the events throughout the novel, many I disagree with. I think Etienne made a wise choice in working at Le Voreux. If Etienne did not go down into the mines and observe the condition of the people that were working, then I believe there would not have been a revolution. “Just two loaves, Monsieur Maigrat. I’m a reasonable woman, I’m not asking for coffee or anything… Just two three-pound loaves a day.” Without Etienne, workers would have continued to work long hours of extremely physical work, and accept the bare minimum wages, enough to feed themselves and/or their families. In fact, the primary goal of these workers was to acquire food. Overall, I thought a revolution was necessary.
I disagreed with the Company’s decision to lower the wages of the workers. The men and women were suffering from starvation, straining their bodies to the bone, and were living in poorly constructed houses. The reason they lived like this was because of the iron law of wages. “Wage levels are fixed by the iron law of the irreducible minimum.” The Company kept the wages at the bare minimum in which the workers can eat, and reproduce. The Company was exploiting these miners who literally put spilled their blood and sweat just to suffer. The Company, knowing their workers were not living sufficiently, decided to lower
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