"Germinal" - Novel and Film Analytical Essay by Metro

Analysis of Emile Zola's novel "Germinal" and Claude Berri s film of the same name.
# 150372 | 1,391 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2012 | NZ
Published on Feb 05, 2012 in Literature (French) , Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.)

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This paper analyzes and reviews two different formats for the same story entitled "Germinal", considering both the novel by Emile Zola and the 1993 film directed by Claude Berri. According to the paper, both novel and film contain a standard love triangle between three of its main characters Etienne, Catherine and Chaval. For the duration of both the novel and film, the reader and audience becomes witness to two men constantly fighting over Catherine. The review further points out that though the triangle may be a standard one, it is not treated conventionally by either Zola or Berri, and this is largely due to the violent nature which emerges from the characters and their passions. The paper continues by comparing and contrasting how this love triangle is portrayed in the novel and film. The paper concludes by stating that this love triangle is important to both the novel and film, as it creates empathy between the reader and audience and Etienne, while making clear the distinction between the hero and villain early within the narrative.

From the Paper:

"The love triangle in Emile Zola s Germinal is set up early in the novel, and is immediately recognisable as a standard one which will be a driving force behind many characters and their behaviours. When Etienne goes down into the mine for the first time Catherine is friendly towards him, and does not become short tempered at his shortcomings. After sharing her lunch with Etienne the reader gets their first glimpse into the beginning of the romance; "She was really very nice. As soon as she d finished her sandwich he d take her in his arms and kiss her thick, pink lips" (48). Etienne goes on to say how she "both excited and inhibited him" (49). However, the intimate moment which we assume was to come is halted by the arrival of Chaval; the third part of the love triangle in the novel. Unlike Etienne, there is no compassion or genuine feelings of love in his actions, for he is described to have "grabbed her by the shoulders, pulled her head back and crushed her mouth with a brutal kiss, quite coldly... There was, in this kiss, a sort of claim to ownership" (49). This scene immediately sets up Etienne and Chaval as the competing men who will fight for Catherine s love..."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Berri, Claude, et al. Germinal. Renn Productions: Umbrella Entertainment, 1993
  • Zola, Emile. Germinal. Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 2008

Cite this Analytical Essay:

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"Germinal" - Novel and Film (2012, February 05) Retrieved January 29, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/germinal-novel-and-film-150372/

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