Part 3, Chapter 1 Summary

Lantier continues working in the pit and acclimates to the routines that had once seemed so strange. Days, weeks, and months pass by, and now he gets up at three in the morning like the rest and warms his back at the changing-room fire. He no longer notices the cables or the clanging of the cages as they ascend and descend, and he does not worry about a possible crash. He sees the same people doing the same things, and the discomforts he used to experience no longer bother him. He works hard, without complaining, and is now seen as a true miner “even as the crushing mould of daily routine gradually reduces him to the level of a machine.”

Maheu respects Lantier for his learning and ideas and his resolve to do what he...

(The entire section is 780 words.)