This blog post makes an analysis on the novel named ‘Germinal’ by Emile Zola. The analysis of Germinal includes topics such as social issues working age and conditions underlined in Germinal.
Introduction to Germinal
Via unstoppable wave of migration from villages to cities, a new proletariat class is formed. Since these people were not the landowners, they were made completely propertyless so that obligated to negotiate on worse working conditions.
In the movie called “Germinal” social issues can be seen obviously. The processed issues in the movie could be gathered under three main topics; Working conditions, Wages and the Working age. In this case in order to evaluate the social issues processed in the movie Karl Marx’s model of society theory can be used.
Marx School of Thought and Germinal
According to Marx’s model of society, societies are social systems that could be divided into two quite distinct parts: the base and the superstructure. These two parts are seen in the movie clearly. The base part of the society is formed by the coal miners and the superstructure is by owners of the coal factories. From the view of Marx, the base should subsume a mode of production in which both the technical and human resources of production which comprise forces of production and the particular property relations and labor division.
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By evaluating the three main topics it can be realized that the labor division is not fair enough. Firstly the working conditions; with the process of industrialization in general working conditions are filed against the employees. Employees had worked under severe conditions in the movie like, in very hot environment and also the drought coal galleries whereas the factory owners, managers, engineers had almost the desk job. These unhealthy working conditions made most of the miners sick for the sake of their owners to make money. For instance, there was an old man, who was 58 years and had been working in the miner for 50 years; once he coughs he spitted black liquid which he explained as the rust of coal.
Since the laws of working statues were not proper, employers could employ women and even children in a work that is not suitable with their psychology and also the physical structure. The evidence of this statement from the movie is that the children Jeanlin and Bebert whose ages are 11 and 12 respectively. Although children aren’t aware of the world at that age they started to work in a hard work and for long hours.
The other issue in the movie was that the wages. As it is seen in the movie miners wake up at around 4 or 5 am to go to the factory. This is the compelling evidence of low wages for an effort of working long hours. The money each employer gets for a month is 6 franks which even doesn’t enough for their necessities like bread, butter etc.
Conclusion of Analysis of Germinal
In this sense we see the class struggle as Marx mentioned. All the miners are symbol of communism whereas the factory owners are symbol of capitalism. Since the base and the superstructure are that much far away from each other, employers want to shorten the distance between them and the employees so that they rebel against them. This rebellion was governed by the guy who is the machine operator. Also he can be considered as the alienated one in the society since he didn’t resign himself to the employees’ obligation.