Part 7, Chapter 2 Summary

Sunday night, Lantier walks along the canal, as he often does. He never sees anyone else and is annoyed to see a man coming towards him tonight. Neither man recognizes the other until they meet. Lantier and Souvarine then walk in silence, each man consumed with his own thoughts.

Eventually Lantier tells Souvarine that Pluchart has had great success in Paris; Souvarine is not interested in such smooth-talking types. Lantier talks about Darwin and his theory, expressing his hope that the strong will one day rise up and “devour a worn-out bourgeoisie.” Souvarine interrupts and denounces Darwin, the “scientific apostle of inequality whose great notion of natural selection might as well be the philosophy of an...

(The entire section is 755 words.)