Parisian charcutiers Lisa Macquart and M. Pauline thérèse Raquin PDF a small part in that novel.
Expérience de chimie insolite au fond d’un quartier sordide : prenez une jeune femme nerveuse, portée à la passion charnelle, et mariez-la à un homme peu engageant et maladif. Constatez qu’il ne se passe rien. Introduisez un troisième élément, sous la forme d’un gaillard sanguin et sans scrupules, et agitez. Il ne reste plus qu’à consigner la réaction en chaîne : adultère, meurtre et suicide. Telle est à peu près » l’ étude physiologique » menée ici par Zola à l’aube du naturalisme français.
The novel opens in 1863 and covers about 10 years. Ten-year-old Pauline’s parents have died, and she comes to live with the Chanteaus, relatives on her father’s side, in the seaside village of Bonneville, some 10 kilometers from Arromanches-les-Bains in Normandy. Over the course of several years, a series of financial setbacks causes Mme. Chanteau to « borrow » from Pauline’s inheritance.
Chanteau grows to resent Pauline, blaming her for the family’s bad luck and accusing her of being miserly, ungrateful, and selfish. Chanteau is unable to get past her resentment, and accuses Pauline of poisoning her when she attempts to nurse her. Louise gives birth to a stillborn baby boy, but Pauline saves his life by breathing air into his lungs. The novel ends 18 months later. The baby, Paul, is healthy and growing, though Louise and Lazare maintain a tense relationship. Bonneville is all but destroyed by the waves.
The suicide of the family servant brings the novel to a close, with M. La joie de vivre is one of the least typical of the Rougon-Macquart novels. It is not set in or near Paris, nor is it set in Zola’s fictional Plassans, the town where the family originates. Pauline’s somewhat tenuous and unexplored connection to her Rougon and Macquart relatives is the only link to the rest of the series.
Zola’s plan for these novels was to show how heredity and environment worked on members of one family over the course of the Second French Empire. Indeed, the Chanteau family, especially the son Lazare, more clearly demonstrate these behaviors. The Chanteaus are not, however, in the direct Rougon-Macquart line. Another characteristic of the family is a streak of jealousy and possessiveness. Pauline, while demonstrating these traits, consciously fights against them. The result of this struggle is her positive outlook, altruism, and sense of joie de vivre. Zola tells us that Pauline still lives in Bonneville.