Animalistic Passion

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  • Topic: Émile Zola, Science, Thérèse Raquin
  • Pages : 3 (1059 words )
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  • Published : January 21, 2013
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In the novel Therese Raquin by Emile Zola, Zola's use of naturalism causes Therese and Laurent to fall victim to their own animalistic passion. Zola's masterful use of naturalism creates the idea that Therese and Laurent are merely animals acting out of instinct, unable to control their emotions or actions. This natural instinct is what lead to Therese's affair with Laurent; they were drawn together as two wild animals would be, logistics could not stop this act from occurring. This same natural instinct is what lead to the lovers killing Camille it had to happen regardless of the effects it may entail. This uncontrollable passion turns on them after the murder, an instinctive fear sets in, controlling the lovers and driving them to insanity.

Zola claimed Therese Raquin to be a scientific experiment, this is a hoax. The novel started out with reasonable possibilities, however his romanticism would overcome him in his writing. Zola realizes this and claims naturalism as the cause for the romance, then furthers his naturalism idea by creating a need for violence because the romance needed to continue its natural course. The result of violence was considered a natural reaction to committing a crime, self inflicted punishment. (Bryfonski 585) For a book to be written as a resultant of a scientific experiment, the experiment needs the ability to be duplicated. There is no experiment to be duplicated in this novel it was just an attempt to create social reform. To Zola the claim of naturalism made his novel more factual, thus holding more weight in the public's eye for social reform; naturalism did not prove anything though and critics questioned the validity of this “experiment”. (Bryfonski 585-586)

Zola wanted to be called a naturalist and utilized the theme in every way possible, Philo M. Buck states “Zola never ceased to call himself a naturalist. But he learned in his maturity to use his naturalism as a means to an end, and discovered, through it...
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