La Curee French Author Emile Zola Was Essay

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La Curee

French author Emile Zola was noted for his realistic portrayals of human beings in his novels and short stories. In his novel La Cur-e, he tells a story about the failings of the modern world, particularly in what is valued in modernity as opposed to periods in the past. Modern people all value money, material possessions, and satisfaction of personal desires and hungers. So consumed are people with these desires that they ignore anything which might hinder them, including ethics and morals. In the past, Zola, insinuates people cared more about family and honor, but in the present it is only money that matters. Through the relationships that Aristide Saccard has with his first wife and second wife, as well as in comparison with P-re Goriot from Balzac's novel Le Pe-re Goriot, it is clear that Zola is showing that valuing money above all other things is a poor way to live one's life.

Aristide Saccard starts the novel married to a woman who is sickly. This woman has already given him a son and it is presumed that they have a fairly happy marriage. However, when Aristide decides to better his financial and social situation, he is only too happy that she dies, leaving him open to marry a younger woman.
The marriage to young Ren-e will give him financial gain whereas his first union has not bettered him at all monetarily. In reality, the only way that his first wife is able to provide for Aristide in this sense is through her death. By dying, it is presumed Aristide will receive some sort of life insurance pay out which will allow him to purchase real estate in Paris which is about to become highly valuable. His first wife has absolutely no emotional value for Aristide; rather she has become an inconvenience who is literally more valuable to him dead than alive. Zola writes, "Saccard, who for a moment thought that fate had contrived some diabolical resurrection in order to keep him mired in misery, felt reassured on seeing that the wretched woman would be dead within the hour" (62). Leaving Aristide a widower also allows him to pursue and secure the hand of Ren-e for an exorbitant dowry because she is pregnant and unmarried, and her parents wish to marry her off to avoid any hint of scandal.….....

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