||In this thesis on three Naturalist novels, L′assommoir, Nana and Au Bonheur des Dames, I respectively discuss the idea of grotesque realism and carnival in Mikhail Bakhtin′s Rabelais and His World, the idea of instinct in Charles Darwin′s survival of the fittest, and the idea of transition in Walter Benjamin′s literary theory.|
Émile Zola, the author of L′assommoir, Nana and Au Bonheur des Dames, is obviously connected with those three intellectuals′ theories, and his L′assommoir, Nana and Au Bonheur des Dames can be viewed as his response and his reverse of the original idea to the intellectual positions of Bakhtin, Darwin, and Benjamin. As a Naturalistic novelist who seeks to depict reality, Zola has his characters cope with their internal and external conditions, and his narration is then tinged with Bakhtin′s, Darwin′s and Benjamin′s ideas. In light of Bakhtin′s Rabelais and His World, Darwin′s survival of the fittest, and Benjamin′s literary theory, the characters in L′assommoir, Nana and Au Bonheur des Dames are shown to be helpless creatures in a competitive universe which is based on capitalism.
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