It is difficult to make a simple statement about Zola’s conception of the bourgeoisie, since his bourgeois world is not monolithic but a very heterogeneous social group. Moreover, bourgeois values transcend purely class distinctions.1 It is possible, however, to discern an underlying unity in Zola’s treatment of the bourgeoisie.


Social Purpose Human Energy Creative Energy Social Leader Underlying Unity 
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  1. 1.
    See Theodore Zeldin, France 1848–1945, I (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973), pp. 18–19.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Micheline Tison-Braun, La Crise de l’humanisme. Le Conflit de l’individu et de la société dans la littérature française moderne, I: 1890–1914 (Paris: Nizet, 1958), pp. 296–7.Google Scholar

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© Brian Nelson 1983

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