The human Animal
the human Animal is a Romance of Emile Zola published in 1890, the seventeenth volume of the series Rougon-Macquart . The history evokes the world of the Railroad and proceeds throughout the line Paris - Le Havre. There is habit to say that it comprises two heroes: on the one hand the mechanic Jacques Lantier, other his Locomotive, Lison , that Lantier likes like a woman. In addition to its documentary aspect, the human Animal is a black novel, left thriller of the 19th century; it is as a novel on the Hérédité, Jacques suffering of a madness homicide as Zola attaches to the Alcoolisme of Macquart.
He is indeed the son of Gervaise Macquart and Auguste Lantier (see the Pole-axe ). He tests since the childhood of the pains which cross cranium to him. These pains continue with the Puberté, being accompanied by fatal impulses at which it will never manage to really escape: the physical desire of a woman is accompanied at his place by an irresistible need to kill her. About to have his cousin Flora, he prefers to flee because he prepared to kill her. Later, it arrives nevertheless at becoming the lover of Severine Roubaud, but one beautiful day the animal will take again the top in him, and it will end up massacring its mistress.
Summary of the history
Mechanic on the line Paris it Harbor, Jacques Lantier often comes when it is on leave at his godmother Phasie Misard, who lives in the company flat of the gate-keeper. The task of gate-keeper is entrusted to her husband and his Flore daughter. By marrying Misard, Phasie preserved for it a nest egg (1000 francs) which it refuses to divide with him. To be able to conceal this money to him, Misard slowly poisons it by pouring salpetre in its salt, but will finally kill it with death with the rats. When she dies, Misard will excavate all the house but will never find the argent.
On its side, Flore is a wild young girl, equipped with a force of man, who refuses all the advances of his sighing but ends up falling in love with Lantier which likes only its engine. At the time to have it, this one feels to assemble an impulse meurtirère and flees not to kill it, and moves away from it. One day when the engine is blocked by snow, the passengers of the train take refuge at Flore, which realizes that Lantier has a mistress, Severine. To be avenged, it makes run off the line the train in which this one is, causing a catastrophe in which the engine Lison perishes broken, but which Severine leaves unscathed. As Jacques knows it guilty, Flore commits suicide, grabbed by a train in the tunnel of Malaunay close to it.
Parallel to the life at Misard is held another intrigue.
Roubaud, deputy stationmaster in Le Havre, model employee, learns by chance but from the mouth of Severine that judge Grandmorin, his guard, misused it in his childhood. It does not support it. Grandmorin invites Severine with a long walk, that Ci refuses first of all then, on injunction of her husband, writes a letter to him to accept. This letter indicates to him to take a certain train. Helped of his wife, Roubaud assassinates Grandmorin in a coach of the Paris express train - Havre.
While looking at passing the train (whereas it has just fled after its adventure with Flore), Jacques Lantier sees this assassination. The investigation into the murder is entrusted to the Denizet examining magistrate. Invited to testify, Lantier recognizes the culprits at this time but refuses to show Severine. The latter, knowing that he saw the crime, allures it and becomes its mistress, while the judge shows innocent. The two lovers generally see themselves in Paris, and end up being surprised by Roubaud. This last does not say anything, drunk and worried by its debts which it contracted in the bar where it sinks since the murder. Severine wants to assassinate Roubaud but Lantier does not have courage. Later, they tighten an ambush to him with Cross-of-Maufras, a house close to Flore which had belonged to president Grandmorin. She existed before the construction of the railway and is more or less since abandoned. Jacques even hopes to calm his fatal impulses thus. But taken its madness, Lantier kills Severine before the arrival of Roubaud. This last, shown murder of his wife, is condemned to the forced labors with perpetuity.
The driver and his mechanic fight on their engine one day when Pecqueux is drunk (by believing that Jaques had a connection with Philomene). They fall and are shredded by the wheels of the train which only continues its mad dash, filled soldiers to therefore fight against the Prussians…
- Then, in 1954, Fritz Lang made of them a remake ( Human Desire ), the main role being entrusted to Glenn Ford. To also note a theatrical adaptation in 1989, played Theater of the Gold Hand in 1989 and 1990.
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