Title of Abstract

Lust, Hunger, and Class in Émile Zola’s The Belly of Paris

Submitting Student(s)

Margaret DavisFollow

Session Title

Literature

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Department of World Languages and Cultures

Faculty Mentor

Anna Igou, Ph.D.

Abstract

Emile Zola’s nineteenth-century novel The Belly of Paris gives a rich commentary on the relationships between people, using food as a medium to illustrate socioeconomic values and gender dynamics. In this paper, I will closely examine how Zola breaks his characters into two groups, les maigres (the Thins) and les gras (the Fats), whose socioeconomic differences and political views are also reflected in the foods with which the author associates them. This also plays into how Les Halles, the marketplace which is also the eponymous setting of the novel, is illustrated as a belly in which the characters may be consumed in order to uphold the status quo or be expelled as revolutionaries.

Course Assignment

FREN 360 — Igou

Start Date

24-4-2020 12:00 AM

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Apr 24th, 12:00 AM

Lust, Hunger, and Class in Émile Zola’s The Belly of Paris

Emile Zola’s nineteenth-century novel The Belly of Paris gives a rich commentary on the relationships between people, using food as a medium to illustrate socioeconomic values and gender dynamics. In this paper, I will closely examine how Zola breaks his characters into two groups, les maigres (the Thins) and les gras (the Fats), whose socioeconomic differences and political views are also reflected in the foods with which the author associates them. This also plays into how Les Halles, the marketplace which is also the eponymous setting of the novel, is illustrated as a belly in which the characters may be consumed in order to uphold the status quo or be expelled as revolutionaries.