Germinal Questions and Answers
by Émile Zola

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In what ways is the theme of light and dark explored in Germinal by Zola?

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There are several ways in which the theme of light and dark is explored in Emile Zola's Naturalistic novel Germinal.

Given that the setting of the novel is built around multiple small villages and mines, the theme is most illuminated by the fact that life in the mine is spent in darkness and life above is spent in light.

Etienne Lantier is an outsider who comes into a village and begins to try to lead the mining people out of the oppressive workplace. One could look at Etienne as an image of light and the village and mine being one of dark.

The theme...

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