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English 125D, Week 3: La Bete Humaine

by: Ali Lafferty

English 125D, Week 3: La Bete Humaine 125D

Marketplace > University of California Berkeley > English > 125D > English 125D Week 3 La Bete Humaine
Ali Lafferty
GPA 3.924

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About this Document

We're still reading La Bete Humaine by Emil Zola, surprise surprise! These notes cover Jacques Lantiers and his relationship with his train engine.
The 20th Century Novel
Professor Donna Jones
Class Notes
19th Century, Literature, french, english, modernism
25 ?




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This 1 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ali Lafferty on Friday September 16, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 125D at University of California Berkeley taught by Professor Donna Jones in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views. For similar materials see The 20th Century Novel in English at University of California Berkeley.


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Date Created: 09/16/16
*we only had class one time this week so notes are shorter* Summing up La Bete Humaine Zola tries to give us an account of our drives and passions through a realist prose methodology We can dissect and look dispassionately at human passions Jacques looks at his homicidal lust as an illness, a hereditary condition He uses quasi-scientific language (“that hereditary crack”) What does it mean to borrow these scientific methodologies and use them in a novel? It lends a different sort of credibility Joseph Conrad also experimented with novel form by bringing in other narratie forms, like accounts of exploration and empire Naturalism: reflecting on elements of new prose style, and new methodology jZola seems to anticipate the fascination with the criminal psyche when he writes about Jacques as such Jacques account of his own passions: his homicidal, misogynistic lust is atavistic, vestigial, something passed down through his bloodline that has collected and manifested in him, like a recessive gene finally being expressed (although his whole family is pretty messed up) We get the idea of a dual self through Jacques, something that doesn’t really become normalized in literature until further along in the 20 century La Lison, the train This is how Jacques controls his passions, by projecting his feelings onto his apparently female engine This is a relationship of sublimation through control over an object, reliant on personifying the object Libido is “written all over” the train, so we’re getting an account of male sexuality through how the train is personified as well


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