L'Assommoir by Émile Zola (1840 - 1902)


  • 54 - Chapter XII, part one

54 - Chapter XII, part one

Thursday 1st January 1970

Join LibriVox as they explore the harsh realities of life in L'Assommoir by Émile Zola in Chapter XII. Discover the lengths one woman goes to survive in this gripping episode.
16 minutes

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L'Assommoir by Émile Zola (1840 - 1902)
Sobriety Day by Day
Relationships & Community
Sexual Empowerment & Identity
Family Recovery from Addiction
Financial Health in Recovery
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The Struggle for Survival in L'Assommoir by Émile Zola: A Deep Dive into Chapter XII

Certainly there was nothing gay to look at in the four corners of the hovel, the perfect kennel now, where greyhounds who wear wrappers in the street would not even have lived in effigy.
In Chapter XII of L'Assommoir by Émile Zola, we see the depths of desperation that poverty can drive people to. Gervaise, the main character, is faced with the possibility of being evicted from her home if she cannot come up with the overdue rent. Her hunger and desperation lead her to steal food, scavenge for scraps, and rely on the unreliable income of her alcoholic partner. The relationships between the characters are strained by their shared desperation and survival instincts.
Through Zola's vivid descriptions, we see the impact that poverty has on mental health and the lengths people will go to survive. This episode from LibriVox is a thought-provoking and engaging exploration of the harsh realities of life in 19th century France. Listen to the episode now here on and discover the depths of the human spirit in the face of adversity.