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Word Count: 2,417
Zolas La Dbcle first planned in 1868 was the penultimate chapter in Les Rougon-Macquart Warfare was something Zola had always meant to give full play in Les Rougon-Macquart and his 1868 scheme had provided for a novel that will have the military world as its framework an episode in Napoleon IIIs Italian campaign But after the calamitous Franco-Prussian War this installment acquired special significance What had originally been envisaged as one tale among others came to be seen as the denouncement of the entire saga Zola decided almost immediately to recount in La Dbcle not only the virtual annihilation of half the Army of the Rhine but the bungled opportunities political maneuvers and missed cues that brought about this disaster The two-month Paris Commune ensued when the Republicans of Paris staged a bloodless revolution and proclaimed the establishment of the Third Republic shortly after this fall of the Loius Napoleon As far as Marx was concerned he felt that at the Commune was merely the rising of a city under exceptional conditions and its majority was in no wise socialist nor could it be However Marx emphasised that its great social measurewas its own existence In this essay I will discuss La Dbcle and Zolas apparent lecturing tone For while Zola exposed many social sores he had never previously attempted to put forward ideas for healing them I will discuss how Zola felt that it was not the Prussians who brought down the Second Empire but the corrupt society of France and its epicentre Paris This will bring me onto the Paris Commune where I will introduce Marxs theories into the fold The research and documentation carried out in preparation for La Dbcle was immensely in depth and although overburdened with the sheer weight of the documentary material Zola took great care not to lose sight of the individual in the vast panorama Conscious of the danger of
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