Essay Topic 1
Examine how this novel explores what qualities make a good man. Does the author have a firm description? What traits are valued? What traits are not valued?
Essay Topic 2
Analyze the role between love and marriage in the society of "Thérèse Raquin".
Essay Topic 3
How does the author use foreshadowing in this novel? Is it effective? Why or why not? Consider the descriptive passages before Camille's death, like when Laurent is painting his portrait.
Essay Topic 4
Explore the role of a minor character, Michaud or Grivet, and his impact on Thérèse's life.
Essay Topic 5
Analyze the use of funeral/death/tomb imagery in this novel. What function does it serve?
Essay Topic 6
Examine the symbolism of Laurent's scar.
Essay Topic 7
Compare and contrast Thérèse and Laurent's nightmares. Include their solutions in this comparison.
Essay Topic 8
How is guilt a theme...
(read more Essay Topics)
|This section contains 357 words|
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
View a FREE sample
Essay about Is Thérèse Raquin a Naturalist Novel?
1870 WordsNov 14th, 20128 Pages
Is Thérèse Raquin a Naturalist novel?
Émile Zola is often considered the chief literary theorist of the Naturalist movement and so one would assume that his creative offspring, including the novel Thérèse Raquin, would display the traits of the genre. Zola may be responsible for many of the conventions that one would associate with Naturalism and so naturally you could extend this logic to argue that his work defines the genre. To the modern reader, Thérèse Raquin appears anything but naturalistic with a dramatic, fast moving plot that boasts murder, adultery and revenge that almost becomes synthetic in places. However, for the sake of this essay, I must decide upon a firm definition for Naturalism, in its correct historical context, in…show more content…
Controversy may be viewed as another defining characteristic of the Naturalistic genre and if we are to consider Thérèse Raquin in its correct historical context (1867), it is not difficult to understand why it caused much scandal due to Zola’s honest and uncompromising exploration of the darkest aspects of human existence. One critic, Louis Ulbach, wrote in Le Figaro in January 1868 that the novel was “a pool of mud and blood” and was a perfect example of “the utter filth that is contemporary literature”. It is the disposition of the Naturalist writer that assumes an amoral attitude to the plot and acts somewhat as a voyeur rather than a judge. Personally I view François, the same cat over which many critics and scholars speculate as to whether it is the cat in Manet’s portrait Olympia, as somewhat of a metaphor for the Naturalist author. François is present in many of the most climatic and socking scenes, most notably the passionate scene of Camille’s murder, and remains detached but also demands some sort of presence so much so that Laurent becomes frightened and wants to “kill the beast” as he remarks how “human” it looks. The fact that Laurent almost personifies the cat may suggest that animal and man are alike in the very basic sense of instinct. I think that the Naturalist author assumes a similar stance to this cat as he remains a quiet and unbiased third