Submission Date


Document Type

Paper- Restricted to Campus Access


Modern Languages (French)


Céline Brossillon

Committee Member

Sylvia Grove

Committee Member

Meredith Goldsmith

Department Chair

Matthew Mizenko

Project Description

After analyzing the effects that heredity and society have on Zola’s characters, we will focus more specifically on gender, and the illnesses women develop in the Rougon-Macquart series. Indeed, illnesses are presented very differently in women compared to men: sick men are often only slightly “off,” whereas a physiological illness often leads to a woman’s demise. We will look at the ways in which Zola’s writing and his male discourse reinforce gender stereotypes through narratives of gendered diseases by looking specifically at the Adelaïde-Gervaise-Nana line in La Fortune des Rougon, Nana, and L’Assommoir. This project will focus on the ways in which Zola’s feminine pathologies emerge from a combination of gender, heredity and milieu determinations.