L'Assommoir by Émile Zola (1840 - 1902)


  • 53 - Chapter XI, part five

53 - Chapter XI, part five

Thursday 1st January 1970

Discover the latest chapter analysis of L'Assommoir by Émile Zola on Learn about Nana's triumphs and downfalls in her neighbourhood and the impact on those around her.
18 minutes

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L'Assommoir by Émile Zola (1840 - 1902)
Sobriety Day by Day
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The Rise and Fall of Nana in L'Assommoir by Émile Zola: A Chapter XI, Part Five Analysis

The worst of the matter was that this obstinate tipler demolished himself more and more each time so that, from relapse to relapse, one could foresee the final tumble, the last cracking of this shaky cask, all the hoops of which were breaking away one after the other.
In chapter XI, part five of L'Assommoir, Nana's return and repentance elicit a range of reactions from the other characters in her neighbourhood. The laurelers are amused while others turn their backs on her. Nana's preferred jumping-places in the neighbourhood are revealed, which only serve to further alienate her from the community. The deterioration of Coupeau's health is also explored, highlighting the destructive power of alcohol.
The chapter delves into themes of social class and morality, as well as the significance of the policeman's appearance. The reader is left with a thought-provoking quote that embodies the chapter's themes, and a call-to-action to listen to the episode now here on