Life Of Middle And Lower Class Essay examples

1190 Words Nov 4th, 2015 5 Pages
Emile Zola details the lives of middle and lower class individuals in the fictional novel Germinal. In doing so, he reveals much about the effects class and gender have on people 's lives in mid nineteenth century France. According to Zola and the information contained in Germinal in mid nineteenth century Europe class and gender were determinants for how individuals and families behaved, influencing every part of a person’s life. In the novel, class and gender influence minor day to day activities, as well as major institutions such as marriage and family life. Zola creates many contrasting characters within his work and these contrasts serve to highlight the differences between lower and middle class people. The contrasting roles of men and women also become apparent as he describes the daily routine of lower and middle class families within the novel as well as societal institutions, specifically marriage and different roles in the home.
The daily routines and home environment of working class families, specifically the morning routine of the Maheus shows how class rank shapes life during this time period. This in comparison with upper class families, the Gregoires and Hennebeaus, certainly displays the stark contrasts between their lifestyles. Immediately one difference becomes clear; the overcrowding of working class homes. Every member of the Maheu family shares a bed with another individual, all in the same small apartment as opposed to the Hennebeaus in which…

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