Thing is, not everyone can find love. It’s just the reality of a complex system that not every wish can be granted.
So one of the consolation prizes to retain meaning in a life without love of a unique other is to pursue justice. Pursuing excellence in the arts and crafts is another.
Everyone needs meaning in life to keep getting up in the morning.
So if love is beyond you, you seek out something different.
In each case it is something creative; the problems arise when an individual, or group, seek out a destructive way to recompense for the lack of romantic/sexual love
And, unfortunately, in the most severe cases, some resort to seeking fame by committing mass murder.
Yeah, well. Étienne is the classic activist. Comes into town, riles up the natives, creates chaos and disaster, and then heads out to his next activist gig.
I declare that there is no such thing as justice. Only injustice.
Indeed, or the least-worst injustice.
Interesting article but I wish now I had’nt read it and had read the book instead.
Zola is a bit of a hero of mine for writing ‘J’accuse’ in the Dreyfus affair and facing exile, he was a courageous writer.
I agree, if you haven’t already read the box this is a massive spoiler (is there another word more emphatic than spoiler?), but I would still recommend reading it, even in translation the language shines through.
Interesting that this writer describes the plot quite objectively then describes the foreign workers as ‘scabs’. Did Zola use a similarly offensive pejorative in French to described them – or does this show the politics of this writer?
”Attempting to save face, they abandon their plan to implement foreign scabs”
Honestly, it just sounds like one of those preachy moral train wreck stories where the characters are less people than actors on stage and the coincidences and messages are a subtle as a brick to the face.
Connor- sorry to be publicly blunt- but your grammar is atrocious. Could not see a clear path to reading a book with that sort of recommendation.
Thanks for sharing your high school book report, F Boi!
The title of the book harks back to the name for April in revolutionary France when the religious were persecuted and Notre Dame was turned into a store room. Zola is describing, with little apparent consciousness, a brutish post-Christian world. The girls of the family sleep with their large band of brothers as well as Etienne and receive no sensitivity or respect. There is a priest but he is powerless and demoralised. It’s a window on a society in which people function like animals. The hero, like Zola, has faith in science. But for the poor science offers no redemption.