How is animal imagery used in "Therese Raquin" and "If This Is a Man"?

Essay by rjsandersonHigh School, 12th gradeB+, November 2006

download word file, 7 pages 0.0

Downloaded 19 times

This essay will explore the topic that links both "Therese Raquin" and "If This Is a Man", animal imagery. Although at a first glance both books are different as they cover different time periods, events and the writing style of the authors are different they both use animal imagery throughout their novels. Zola's "Therese Raquin" is the tale of a contagious madness fed by the overwhelming power of sexual urges. Zola confessed to be intrigued by the pathology of a relationship between a man of brute force and a highly-strung woman. It is written in a plain and objective style. Zola describes almost everything in detail and places emphasises the animal side of human beings.

Zola is famous for being one of the founders of naturalism. He created a so-called "scientific novel". The new "scientific novel" would be created by placing characters with known inherited characteristics into a carefully defined environment and observing the resulting behaviour.

No novelist can actually work like this, of course, since both characters and setting are created in the distinctly unobjective mind of the writer; but Zola's novels do place special stress on the importance of heredity and environment in determining character.

Zola used a lot of animal imagery thus there's a lot of attention to body types as he believed by knowing the characteristics of the person you would know the behaviour. The personalities or "temperaments" are very closely linked to body types.

Zola pays a lot of attention to description of people. Zola describes Therese as being animalistic. Zola show Therese as a feline, "a long, narrow, sharp nose reached down from the short, low forehead. Her personality/temperament is closely linked to her physical appearance, "body type", she appears to be calm but is in fact highly strung, hence...