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La bête humaine : an examination of the problems inherent in the process of adaptation from novel to.. Wright, Barbara Irene 1987

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LA  BETE HUMAINE  AN EXAMINATION OF THE PROBLEMS INHERENT IN THE PROCESS OF ADAPTATION FROM NOVEL TO FILM By BARBARA  IRENE WRIGHT  B.A., The U n i v e r s i t y  of Leicester,  1981  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE  REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in  THE  FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES DEPARTMENT  We a c c e p t to  THE  this  OF FRENCH  t h e s i s as  the required  conforming  standard  UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA November 1987 ©  Barbara  Irene Wright,  1987  In p r e s e n t i n g  this thesis  i n partial  f u l f i l m e n t of the  r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y of  British  Columbia,  it  freely available  I agree that f o r reference  agree t h a t permission  the Library  shall  and study.  I  make  further  f o r extensive copying o f t h i s  thesis  f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by t h e h e a d o f my department o r by h i s o r h e r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . understood that for  copying or p u b l i c a t i o n  f i n a n c i a l gain  FRENCH  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h 1956 Main Mall V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1Y3 Date  DE-6  rva-n  thesis  s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my  permission.  Department o f  of this  It is  Columbia  4TH SEPTEMBER 1987  written  Abstract In t h i s novel  to f i l m  the f i l m The  thesis  the p r o c e s s o f a d a p t a t i o n  i s examined.  L a B g t e humaine by E m i l e  v e r s i o n by J e a n R e n o i r p r o v i d e s p e c i f i c  starting  audiences,  p o i n t i s the assumption,  that  the f i l m  s h o u l d be  upon w h i c h i t i s b a s e d . his  efforts  t o be  attitude.  Novel  A statement  to i l l u s t r a t e  and  film  action,  and  space  d i r e c t o r ' s d e p a r t u r e from becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y  adopt  a different  examined and suggested. novel two  clear  t h a t R e n o i r was Theme and  of t h e i r  the d e p a r t u r e  is and  the  indelible  confirmed. do  f o r the  then  the  ways i n w h i c h  the  i n t h e w r i t t e n medium  director disarm  t o be m i s t a k e n ,  i s r e - e v a l u a t e d and sensitive  criticism.  to  from  o f the a s s o c i a t i o n  i s found  and  relationship  In c o n c l u s i o n , the view t h a t  correspond  statement  nature  of  obliged  are  o f the f i l m  i s t r a c e d to the v e r y d i f f e r e n t linearity  form  test  the  examination  some o f t h e r e a s o n s  of  this  i n order to  a s o p p o s e d t o s i m u l t a n e i t y i n t h e c i n e m a t i c medium and  "spirit  the p r e v a l e n c e o f  T h r o u g h an  the o r g a n i c nature  media f u n c t i o n —  novel  t h e n o v e l b e g i n t o emerge  approach.  Finally,  cinema  to the  What i s r e v e a l e d a r e  d i f f e r e n c e s between t h e two.  and  made by R e n o i r r e g a r d i n g  a r e t h e n compared  Renoir's c l a i m to f i d e l i t y .  character,  o f t e n made by  "faithful"  Zola  examples.  t r u e t o what he d e s c r i b e s a s t h e  t h e book" i s q u o t e d  it  from  —  o f theme and  the media s h o u l d and  Renoir's  a s s e s s e d a s an a t t e m p t ,  to the p u b l i c ' s  form  insistence  by  a  on f i d e l i t y ,  to  Table o f Contents  Abstract  i i  Introduction  1  Chapter One Character Chapter  9  Two  Action  38  Chapter Three Space  58  Chapter Four Theme and Form  75  Chapter F i v e Limits of Style  91  Concluding Remarks  109  Works Consulted  114  iii  Introduction  Interest  i n t h e c i n e m a i s n o t new.  however, i s a g r o w i n g i n t e r e s t as a r e s u l t has  itself  with  become t h e f o c u s o f attention."'"  interest  particularly  i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p A film  based  of film  adapt  the d i f f i c u l t i e s adaptations — one s u c h During of f i l m s .  aspect o f  to the w r i t t e n  on a n o v e l  s e t s o u t t o make a f i l m  t a s k i s more complex t h a n w o u l d n o r m a l l y the m a t e r i a l f o rf i l m i n g  problems which a r i s e  is  In conjunction  i s , therefore,  interesting.  When a d i r e c t o r  must f i r s t  o f film-making,  awareness o f t h e t e c h n i c a l  medium h a s i n c r e a s e d .  his  i n the process  o f w h i c h t h e f u n c t i o n i n g o f t h e c i n e m a t i c medium  t h i s heightened  film,  More r e c e n t ,  during this process.  based  be t h e c a s e .  He  a n d surmount t h e Yet, i n spite of  i n v o l v e d , numerous d i r e c t o r s have  w i t h v a r y i n g degrees  on a n o v e l  of success.  undertaken  Jean  Renoir  director. the course  o f h i s c a r e e r R e n o i r made a w i d e  On s e v e r a l o c c a s i o n s he b a s e d  of great l i t e r a r y  f i g u r e s but popular  films  fiction,  range  on t h e works t h e work o f  Edward P i n c u s ' G u i d e t o F i l m m a k i n g (USA: S i g n e t Books, New A m e r i c a n L i b r a r y , 1969) p r o v i d e s one example o f a work p u b l i s h e d i n r e s p o n s e t o t h e demand f o r i n f o r m a t i o n about t h e t e c h n i q u e s o f f i l m , i n a form a c c e s s i b l e t o the layman. 1  1  G e o r g e s Simenon, f o r example, a l s o p r o v i d e d i n s p i r a t i o n . title  o f one  of Renoir's e a r l i e s t  r e v e a l s the d i r e c t o r ' s  o f t h e same name w h i l e e a r l i e r ,  1938,  based  more t h a n a d e c a d e a f t e r  1926,  In  1934  became t h e b a s i s f o r a i n 1932,  on Simenon's n o v e l had  turned h i s a t t e n t i o n  Nana, made i n  indebtedness to Emile Zola.  F l a u b e r t ' s n o v e l , Madame B o v a r y ,  carrefour,  films,  The  the f i l m N u i t  film du  been r e l e a s e d .  the r e l e a s e  In  o f Nana, R e n o i r  once more t o t h e a u t h o r o f t h e  " e x p e r i m e n t a l n o v e l " and  embarked upon t h e f i l m i n g  of  L a Be^te humaine. Author  and  d i r e c t o r have v e r y d i f f e r e n t  backgrounds.  E m i l e Z o l a i s b e s t known f o r t h e Rougon-Macquart s e r i e s , epic project traces  the h i s t o r i e s  Macquarts. direct  The  result  literature, preface  c o m p r i s i n g twenty o f two  n o v e l s i n which  families,  Rougon-Macquart s e r i e s was  w h i c h was  t o The'rese R a q u i n  originally  (1868) and  later  expounded by t h e y o u n g n o v e l i s t scientists  o f t h e age  experimental medicine  —  the  c o n c e i v e d as  of Zola's formulation of a s p e c i f i c  an a p p r o a c h  author  t h e Rougons and  i n h i s e s s a y Le Roman e x p e r i m e n t a l ( 1 8 8 0 ) .  and  the  a  approach  outlined  formally The  an  to  in a  defined  theories  owed much t o t h e p h i l o s o p h e r s  Claude  p r o v i d e s one  B e r n a r d ' s work example, H.A.  on  Taine's  2 J e a n R e n o i r made a number o f o t h e r f i l m s b a s e d on novels. These a r e : Le T o u r n o i ( 1 9 2 9 ) , L a C h i e n n e ( 1 9 3 1 ) , P a r t i e de campagne ( 1 9 3 6 ) , L e s B a s - F o n d s ( 1 9 3 6 ) , Swamp W a t e r ( 1 9 4 1 ) , The S o u t h e r n e r ( 1 9 4 5 ) , The D i a r y o f a Chambermaid ( 1 9 4 6 ) , The Woman on t h e B e a c h ( 1 9 4 6 ) , The R i v e r ( 1 9 4 6 ) ~ a n d Le C a p o r e l d p i n g l e ' ( 1 9 6 2 ) . 2  Histoire  de  l a litterature anglaise  published  1865,  another —  but  more t h a n a n y t h i n g  else  adaptation  and  a p p l i c a t i o n of  p r i n c i p l e s contained  t h e s e and  other  popularized naturalism that  of  the  works t o t h e w o r l d  them.  So  vigorous  of f i c t i o n  was  school  o f w r i t e r s who  Zola's in  which  h i s approach that  q u i c k l y became a s s o c i a t e d  the  i t was  in  the  w i t h h i s work and  developed under  term  later,  his  3 influence. Jean Renoir, R e n o i r , grew up perception  son  i n an  the  impressionist  atmosphere c o l o r e d  of h i s f a t h e r .  f r o m h i s knowledge o f f o r Renoir  of  the  by  painter the  Auguste  artistic  P i e r r e Leprohon, doubtless  writing  d i r e c t o r ' s background, s t a t e s  that  junior:  . . . l ' a r t e t a i t dans l a v i e e t v i c e v e r s a . I I ne s ' a g i s s a i t done p a s , 1'heure venue, de c o n q u e r i r c e t a r t , m a i s de l e d ^ c o u v r i r , de l e degager. I I e t a i t dans l a v i e de R e n o i r comme l a s t a t u e dans l e b l o c de m a r b r e . 4  N a t u r a l i s m i s , b r o a d l y speaking, the a p p l i c a t i o n o f c r i t e r i a u s e d i n t h e a s s e s s m e n t o f p h y s i c a l s t a t e s and c o n d i t i o n s to the assessment of moral s t a t e s . The n a t u r a l i s t p h i l o s o p h e r o r w r i t e r t h r o u g h o b s e r v i n g man's e n v i r o n m e n t s e t s o u t t o p r e s e n t man e x i s t i n g w i t h i n a s e t o f c o n d i t i o n s p r o d u c e d by h i m s e l f and w h i c h he, a t t h e same t i m e , a c t s upon and m o d i f i e s . The method u s e d , t h e r e f o r e , i s s c i e n t i f i c i n i t s g e n e s i s a r i s i n g from the p r i n c i p l e s o f n o t a t i o n , d e c o m p o s i t i o n and, f i n a l l y , deduction. F o r more i n f o r m a t i o n on n a t u r a l i s m s e e P i e r r e M a r t i n o , Le N a t u r a l i s m e f r a n g a i s (1870-1895) ( P a r i s : L i b r a i r i e Armand C o l i n , 1930). P i e r r e Leprohon, Jean Renoir 1 9 6 7 ) , p. 18. 3  (Paris: Editions  Seghers,  Leprohon's o b s e r v a t i o n appears of Renoir's by  t o p l a c e r e a l i s m a t the center  c o n c e p t i o n o f a r t , an i n f e r e n c e t h a t i s c o n f i r m e d  the d i r e c t o r ' s  own a n a l y s i s o f h i s p o s i t i o n :  Cessant d*accuser sottement l a s o i - d i s a n t i n c o m p r e h e n s i o n du p u b l i c , j ' e n t r e v i s l a p o s s i b i l i t y de l e t o u c h e r p a r l a p r o j e c t i o n de s u j e t s a u t h e n t i q u e s dans l a t r a d i t o n du r^alisme francais. J e me m i s a r e g a r d e r a u t o u r de moi e t , e m e r v e i l l £ , j e d ^ c o u v r i s des q u a n t i t ^ s d ' e l e m e n t s purement de chez nous, t o u t a f a i t t r a n s p o s a b l e s a l'^cran . . . . J e r e f i s une e s p e c e d'6tude du g e s t e f r a n c a i s a t r a v e r s l e s t a b l e a u x de mon p e r e e t d e s p e i n t r e s de s a generation.-*  The  last  sentence  Renoir's  of this quotation i s especially  approach does n o t produce t h e r e a l i s m o f , f o r  example, F l a u b e r t . which,  like  The d i r e c t o r  that of a painting,  the world  o f everyday  i s a l w a y s aware o f t h e f r a m e e n c l o s e s h i s work, s e p a r a t i n g  it  from  it  as an a r e a i n which h i s c r e a t i v e  more t h a n one o c c a s i o n t h i s overt  telling.  stylization  t h e s e may  talent  and e v e n t s talent  takes  and d e f i n i n g  h o l d s sway.  the d i r e c t i o n  On o f an  o f c h a r a c t e r s and s i t u a t i o n s and, a l t h o u g h  originate  soon generate  people  i n the pragmatism o f everyday  a sense  o f the t h e a t r i c a l .  life,  they  In Renoir's v e r s i o n  o f Nana, f o r i n s t a n c e , t h e e l e m e n t o f t h e a t r i c a l i t y  J e a n R e n o i r , " S o u v e n i r s , " i n c l u d e d by A n d r e B a z i n i n h i s work J e a n R e n o i r , e d . F r a n c o i s T r u f f a u t ( P a r i s : E d i t i o n s Champs L i b r e s , 1 9 7 1 ) , p. 152. 5  4  associated with  the novel's heroine  greater extent.  i s developed  t o a much  C a t h e r i n e H e s s l i n g , who p l a y s t h e r o l e ,  a p p e a r s powdered and r o u g e d w h i c h , t o g e t h e r w i t h t h e unnatural of  abruptness  a "poupee a n i m e e "  film,  with  stage,  at  creates the impression  p. 2 6 ) .  of activity  into  In a d d i t i o n , the center stage  h a s t h e s e l f - c o n s c i o u s a i r o f a show w h i c h focus.  i n particular  Renoir's jeu  (Leprohon,  i t s division  c r e a t e s a double and  of her gestures,  stylization,  notable  The framework o f t h e f i l m  a large country  intrigues  house.  The g u e s t s  and i n f i d e l i t i e s  entertainment,  Throughout the f i l m  i n L a R e g i e du  i s a celebration held bring with  social  films,  play out t h e i r  the audience  individual  campagne  (1936),  particularly steal  captures  beautifully  smooth, g l i d i n g  and  in  Renoir  Partie  de  quality, couple  Here t h e d i r e c t o r  atmosphere o f a h o t  o f t h e r i v e r and i t s banks impose a  tempo.  Occurring after f o rtheir  a t the inn, t h i s  suggests  Other  ambiance.  together.  the langorous  family's departure  arrival  different  participate  t h e s c e n e on t h e r i v e r when t h e y o u n g  a f t e r n o o n and s h o t s  the  dramas.  f o r example, d i s p l a y s a l y r i c a l  a p r e c i o u s hour alone  their  i s made aware o f d i f f e r e n t  "game" o f d e c e p t i o n a n d a d u l t e r y .  however, have a v e r y  them  and a g a i n s t t h e b a c k d r o p o f t h e  groups o r c o n f i g u r a t i o n s o f c h a r a c t e r s as they the  effectively  t h e a t m o s p h e r e o f a show, p e r s i s t s i n  m a t u r e work and i s e s p e c i a l l y  (1939).  formal  T h i s tendency towards  and o f f  the presentation o f  day i n t h e c o u n t r y  and t h e i r  scene r e p r e s e n t s an "epanouissement"  an escape from t h e c o n f i n e s o f " p e t i t  5  bourgeois"  mentality  (and m o r a l i t y ) b e f o r e t h e s e r e s t r i c t i o n s  i r r e v o c a b l y around On  the daughter  o f the  t h e s u r f a c e , a u t h o r and  common g r o u n d : R e n o i r ' s d e s i r e a u t h e n t i q u e s " drawn f r o m  appear to  to p o r t r a y  "sujets  environment  c o i n c i d e w i t h Z o l a ' s o b s e r v a t i o n and world  as the b a s i s f o r h i s n o v e l s .  examination t h e way is  house.  director  h i s own  close  use  share  w o u l d seem t o  of the m a t e r i a l  However, e v e n a c u r s o r y  o f R e n o i r ' s work r e v e a l s a marked d i f f e r e n c e  i n w h i c h he  rooted i n matter  t r e a t s h i s subject matter. and  Antoinette Jagmetti  work most s u c c i n c t l y when she  in  Zola's world  characterizes his  says:  C ' e s t a t r a v e r s l ' o b j e t m a t e r i e l que Z o l a , d'une p a r t , e x p r i m e l'homme e t , d ' a u t r e p a r t , r e V e l e l e s p u i s s a n c e s de l a v i e . Son monde s e compose de m a t i e r e l o u r d e e t £ p a i s s e . II n ' e x i s t e qu'en e l l e e t p o u r e l l e .  Thus t h e u n i o n o f Z o l a and  R e n o i r as  v e r s i o n o f L a BeHe humaine may a c h i e v e , as film  the f o l l o w i n g  seems t o  i t occurs i n the  n o t have b e e n an e a s y  statement  film one  by J e a n R e n o i r a b o u t  to the  imply:  . . . j ' a i et6 a u s s i f i d e l e que j e l ' a i pu l l l ' e s p r i t du l i v r e ; j e n'en a i pas s u i v i l ' i n t r i g u e , m a i s j ' a i t o u j o u r s pense" q u ' i l v a l a i t m i e u x ' e t r e  6 A n t o i n e t t e J a g m e t t i , " L a B e t e humaine" d ' E m i l e Z o l a : e t u d e de s t y l i s t i q u e c r i t i q u e (Geneve: L i b r a i r i e E . D r o z , 1 9 5 5 ) , p. 13.  f i d e l e a 1 * e s p r i t d'une oeuvre o r i g i n a l e qu'a s a forme e x t d r i e u r e . . . . - j ' a i pense au c8t£ p o ^ t i q u e de Zola.7  The d i r e c t o r a d m i t s t h a t he d i d n o t f o l l o w the p l o t y e t a t t h e same time a s s e r t s t h a t he has been f a i t h f u l t o something he d e s c r i b e s as the " s p i r i t o f t h e work."  One  wonders what e x a c t l y i s meant by t h i s r a t h e r nebulous description.  Indeed, R e n o i r seems t o have moved i n t o a  t o t a l l y s u b j e c t i v e area.  What i s e s p e c i a l l y noteworthy i s  the d i r e c t o r ' s emphasis on " f i d e l i t y . "  He i n s i s t s t h a t he  has remained f a i t h f u l t o something i n t r i n s i c t o t h e n o v e l i n s p i t e o f t h e sweeping changes he has made.  In fact,  because  R e n o i r makes t h e assessment o f what i s fundamental t o t h e n o v e l a s u b j e c t i v e e x e r c i s e , he i s p l a c i n g h i m e s e l f c o n t r o l of the m a t e r i a l .  firmly i n  H i s statement i s t h e r e f o r e an  attempt t o r e c o n c i l e the changes he has made w i t h t h e maintenance o f t h e n o v e l ' s  integrity.  He i s m o t i v a t e d , no  doubt, by h i s awareness o f a phenomenon o p e r a t i v e o f p u b l i c r e a c t i o n and p e c u l i a r t o a d a p t a t i o n s . w h i c h may be dubbed t h e " f i d e l i t y f a c t o r . "  i n the area A phenomenon  The f i d e l i t y  f a c t o r comes i n t o p l a y , i n p a r t i c u l a r , when a f i l m has been based on a well-known n o v e l . expectations,  Audiences have p r e - e s t a b l i s h e d  t h e f i l m - m a k e r i s expected t o p r e s e n t a f i l m  which w i l l l i v e up t o t h e s e .  I f r e a c t i o n i s unfavorable  the  Jacques R i v e t t e e t F r a n c o i s T r u f f a u t , " E n t r e t i e n avec Jean R e n o i r , " C a h i e r s du Cinema, No. 34 ( a v r i l 1954), p. 4. 7  7  film-maker  i s c o n s i d e r e d t o have f a i l e d  the audience, and  with their  individual  b o t h members o f  responses  to the novel,  t o have somehow b e t r a y e d t h e w r i t t e n work  Consequently,  the film-maker's  itself.  task i s d i f f i c u l t ,  i f not  impossible. In t h i s the  s t u d y both n o v e l and f i l m w i l l  intention of i l l u s t r a t i n g  was u n d e r t a k e n test  by R e n o i r .  the v a l i d i t y  The c o m p a r i s o n  will,  i n addition, L a Bete  example, a n e x a m i n a t i o n o f  show how one p a r t i c u l a r  director  t a c k l e d an  a d a p t a t i o n , however, c e r t a i n g e n e r a l p r i n c i p l e s to the f u n c t i o n i n g  with  the process o f a d a p t a t i o n as i t  of Renoir's claim to f i d e l i t y .  humaine p r o v i d e s a s p e c i f i c which w i l l  be examined  o f e a c h medium w i l l  applicable  a l s o be r e v e a l e d . ®  ° T h i s type o f study p r e s e n t s p a r t i c u l a r problems w i t h r e g a r d t o m e t h o d o l o g y , f o r e m o s t among w h i c h i s t h e n e e d t o e f f e c t i v e l y d i s t i n g u i s h n o v e l from f i l m , as they share t h e same t i t l e . A c c o r d i n g l y , the n o v e l i s r e f e r r e d t o i n lower c a s e ( L a B e t e humaine) a n d t h e f i l m i n u p p e r c a s e (LA BEJTE HUMAINE). I n a f u r t h e r a t t e m p t t o promote c l a r i t y e a c h c h a p t e r i s d i v i d e d i n t o a p p r o x i m a t e l y two h a l v e s , t h e f i r s t d e a l i n g w i t h the n o v e l , the second w i t h the f i l m . 8  Chapter  One  Character  The  characters  categories:  a n d members o f t h e j u d i c i a l  categories Zola concentrated  Were one t o draw up a l i s t in  the novel  station-master...  clue  lies  reduced  into  signalman,  to incorporate of f a i r l y  i n the ease w i t h  on t h e f i r s t . feature  of i t s length.  t o wonder  such an a r r a y o f standard  length.  which the c h a r a c t e r s  the railway  i t s p r e s i d e n t , Grandmorin, Victoire.  In e f f e c t ,  i n i t sentirety.  lengths  i n order  variety  of characters.  lies  these  c r o s s i n g keeper,  The  c a n be  r a n g e f r o m t h e most  to the lowly  Clearly,  t o be a b l e  lavatory  the h i e r a r c h y which i s the  o r g a n i z a t i o n o f " l a Compagnie de l ' O u e s t " almost  Of  of functions.  Those c o n n e c t e d w i t h  attendant,  by d i n t  I n d e e d , one w o u l d be i n c l i n e d  one n o v e l  to a l i s t  exalted,  three  o f t h e r a i l w a y w o r k e r s who  fireman,  Z o l a managed  characters  system.  particularly  i t w o u l d be i m p r e s s i v e  An e n g i n e d r i v e r ,  j u s t how  into  r a i l w a y workers, r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f the "haute  bourgeoisie" three  i n L a B e t e humaine f a l l  i s represented  t h e a u t h o r went t o g r e a t  t o i n c l u d e s u c h a number and  B u t why  d i d he b o t h e r ?  The answer  i n the n o v e l i s t ' s approach to h i s s u b j e c t . The  research.  cornerstone  of Zola's  preparation  He t o o k much t i m e and g r e a t 9  care  of a novel  was  documenting a  s u b j e c t and  i t s setting.  In the case of La Bete humaine the  concern to reproduce an a u t h e n t i c m i l i e u became almost obsessive.  Information  about t i m e t a b l e s and r o u t e s , f o r  i n s t a n c e , and about the r o l e s of the v a r i o u s r a i l w a y workers was  accumulated u n t i l the documentary aspect o f , what may  termed, the n a t u r a l i s t p r o j e c t gained  be  ascendancy.  Consequently, and not s u r p r i s i n g l y so, the novel i s r i c h i n d e t a i l , an o b s e r v a t i o n which may  at f i r s t  seem q u i t e  i r r e l e v a n t to a d i s c u s s i o n of the c h a r a c t e r s .  Yet i f one  c o n s i d e r s the c h a r a c t e r s as they have been l i s t e d i n t h i s study  the connection w i l l become apparent. Immediately remarkable i s the tendency to c a t a l o g the  c h a r a c t e r s a c c o r d i n g to t h e i r p o s i t i o n s on the s t a f f of " l a Compagnie de l'Ouest," r a t h e r than by name. example, i s SeVerine's guardian  and  husband and  Roubaud, f o r  the murderer of her  l o v e r , Grandmorin, y e t the reader  i s at once  g i v e n to understand that h i s r o l e i n the novel i s i n s e p a r a b l e from h i s r o l e w i t h i n the o r g a n i z a t i o n of the r a i l w a y .  Thus  the novel opens with Roubaud's a r r i v a l i n Mere V i c t o i r e ' s rooms and he i s i n t r o d u c e d by name: "En e n t r a n t dans l a chambre, Roubaud posa sur l a t a b l e . . ." (p. 53). w i t h i n the space of a few  But  l i n e s the name i s r e p l a c e d by  f u n c t i o n : "Et l e sous-chef de gare, ayant ouvert une s'y accouda."  The  the  fendtre,  f a c t t h a t Roubaud (as the author soon  e x p l a i n s ) owes h i s p o s i t i o n to h i s wife SeVerine, p r e s i d e n t of " l a Compagnie de l'Ouest," and  ward of  t h a t he  her i n f i d e l i t y when he seeks to use her i n f l u e n c e to 10  the  discovers  safeguard cases that  of the  h i s p o s i t i o n , further enforces l e s s e r characters are j o b can  a particular is  character  copious  depict  reason notes,  possible  i s not  hard  the  functionaries  the in and  accepted  included  i n the  plot.  the n o v e l  the  The  presentation effectively milieu  novel  the  as  Viewed thus,  emphasis  thereby  sense.  They  serve  a result  a high  of the  issue should  on  an  of  a distinct  not,  their yet  also  purpose.  i s perceived  as  a  11  of  inclusion another,  be Zola  b a s i s however By  his  of characters life,  Zola  until  the  protagonist.  a naturalist  are  over  percentage  individual  extends awareness of s t a t i o n  c o n c e r n s as  as  are  c h a r a c t e r s / f u n c t i o n a r i e s i n c l u d e d by  they  to  character.  r e d u n d a n t and  of such a m u l t i p l i c i t y  itself  Zola's  The  railway  a r e , more o f t e n t h a n  o f t e n appear s u p e r f l u o u s  collectively,  his  as  the  cause of unnecessary c l u t t e r ;  more p o s i t i v e a s p e c t  as  ."  literary  c h a r a c t e r s w o u l d seem t o be  considered. may  i n any  to the  i s introduced  Z o l a , working from  not  of  Ozil,  d e l i b e r a t e l y s e t out  text.  so  " c h a r a c t e r s " i n L a Be^te humaine  d o c u m e n t a t i o n and  irrelevant  The  inclusion  signalman,  jobs connected with  C o n s e q u e n t l y , many o f t h e  zealous  He  j o b o r f u n c t i o n and  characters  .  the  complete a p i c t u r e  railway milieu.  a s many d i f f e r e n t  on  The  to f i n d .  aimed t o g i v e as  o f the  justify  i s Dauvergne who  c o u l d a s s i m i l a t e i n t o the  falls  not  seen to  Dauvergne, c o n d u c t e u r - c h e f . .  The  connection.  e v e n more e x t r e m e , so much  or characters.  a p r i m e example, a s  "Henri  he  a c t u a l l y be  the  w r i t e r had  an  obvious  bearing  on  Moreover, La  the  choice  i t will  be  of  seen t h a t  B e t e humaine i s a l s o  concerns.  characters  Each n o v e l  i n the  characterization  intimately  i n the  included  the  pathological beyond the  title  Rougon-Macquart s e r i e s  implies,  murderer, yet  depiction  the  t a k e s as  the  Roubaud i s d e s c r i b e d  La  i t s subject  same  explores B6te a  n o v e l ' s m a j o r theme e x t e n d s  of a s i n g l e crazed  look at a s e l e c t i o n of  throughout  connected with these  a p a r t i c u l a r a r e a o r a s p e c t o f human e x i s t e n c e . humaine, as  novel.  characters  killer.  will  shortly after his  A  explain  closer why.  introduction:  I I ne v i e i l l i s s a i t p o i n t , l a q u a r a n t a i n e a p p r o c h a i t , s a n s que l e r o u x a r d e n t de s e s cheveux f r i s e s eut p c l l i . Sa b a r b e , q u ' i l p o r t a i t e n t i e r e , r e s t a i t drue, e l l e a u s s i , d'un b l o n d de s o l e i l . E t , de t a i l l e moyenne, m a i s d'une e x t r a o r d i n a i r e v i g u e u r , i l se p l a i s a i t a s a p e r s o n n e , s a t i s f a i t de s a t e t e un peu p l a t e , au f r o n t bas, a l a nuque ^ p a i s s e , de s a f a c e r o n d e e t s a n g u i n e , e c l a i r e e de deux g r o s yeux v i f s . Ses s o u r c i l s se r e j o i g n a i e n t , embroussaillant son f r o n t de l a b a r r e des jaloux. ( p . 56)  Pecqueux makes h i s f i r s t following  a p p e a r a n c e a c c o m p a n i e d by  the  description:  . . . un g r a n d g a i l l a r d de q u a r a n t e - t r o i s ans, m a i g r e a v e c de g r o s o s , l a f a c e c u i t e p a r l e f e u e t p a r l a fumee. Ses yeux g r i s s o u s l e f r o n t b a s , s a bouche l a r g e dans une m a c h o i r e s a i l l a n t e , r i a i e n t d'un c o n t i n u e l r i r e de n o c e u r . (p. 115)  12  While  mention o f h i s ( l e g a l ) wife V i c t o i r e  prompts t h e  i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t s h e h a s become "enorme e t d i f f i c i l e  a  remuer," t h e e x a c t o p p o s i t e o f Pecqueux. The  pattern i s established.  by means o f a c o n c i s e p h y s i c a l is  invariably  succeeded  their natures. rage  Each c h a r a c t e r i s p r e s e n t e d  description.  The d e s c r i p t i o n  by a n e q u a l l y s p e c i f i c  reference to  Thus Roubaud i s overcome by a wave o f j e a l o u s  a s he w a i t s  f o r SeVerine:  Un f l o t de s a n g m o n t a i t a s o n c r a n e , s e s p o i n g s d ' a n c i e n homme d ' e q u i p e s e s e r r a i e n t . . . I I r e d e v e n a i t l a b r u t e i n c o n s c i e n t e de s a f o r c e . . . ( p . 57)  Pecqueux, i t i s r e v e a l e d , "ne d e v e n a i t v r a i m e n t que  lorsqu'il  brute, she  capable  etait  ivre,  c a r i l se c h a n g e a i t  d'un m a u v a i s c o u p "  d i s p l a y s the easy-going  with f a t people,  (p. 116).  disposition  a craindre  alors  en v r a i e  And V i c t o i r e ?  so o f t e n a s s o c i a t e d  t o l e r a t i n g h e r h u s b a n d ' s i n f i d e l i t i e s and  e v e n g i v i n g h i m money " a f i n  qu'il  prit  Jamais e l l e  n ' a v a i t beaucoup s o u f f e r t  infidelites  . . . " (p.  du p l a i s i r  dehors.  de s e s  116).  B o t h Roubaud and Pecqueux a r e p l a c e d b e n e a t h t h e s i g n o f the  sun, the former  latter's has  face i s "cuite  a choleric  violence  having h a i r  p a r l e f e u e t p a r l a fumde."  d i s p o s i t i o n and t h e i r  i s further  them b o t h .  "d'un r o u x a r d e n t " w h i l e t h e  inclination  i m p l i e d by t h e low f o r e h e a d  Victoire,  Each  to physical common t o  on t h e o t h e r hand, i s q u i t e s i m p l y t h e 13  embodiment o f phlegm. characters that its  reveals  Thus an  a systematic  extends throughout basis  the  examination of  the  approach to  novel.  and,  can  trace  literal  Cesare Lombroso.  of La  p o s s e s s no  psychological  tendencies.  work o f  of  their  ratiocination. perfect  d i m e n s i o n and  creatures  of  example o f f l e s h  o f them w i t h o u t  exception  The  Beast  the  i n Man  as  so a p t l y e n t i t l e d . the  one  English  Thus J a c q u e s may  but  Italian  and  react  lacking in  to  intervening  be  spirit;  cited,  initially he  the process  them c o u l d  i f so  and  "characters"  totally  of  rather  the  The  t r a n s l a t i o n of  eponymous c h a r a c t e r  a deadly obsession,  into  u n l e a v e n e d by  would,  the  are  e m o t i o n s w i t h o u t any  one  considered  instinct  C o n s e q u e n t l y , any  research  e f f e c t of Zola's  B e t e humaine i s e x t r e m e .  They a r e  stimulus  the  The  9  as  link  t h i s p o s t u l a t i o n back t o Z o l a ' s  characters  as  obvious)  t r a n s l a t i o n o f Lombroso's t h e o r i e s  depth.  characterization  behavioral  i n p a r t i c u l a r , h i s i n t e r e s t i n the  criminologist,  three  a p p r o a c h w h i c h has  a s s u m p t i o n o f a d i r e c t (and  between p h y s i c a l a p p e a r a n c e and One  An  these  the  cited every  reveal novel  is  have b e e n  i s indeed prey  Misard f o r instance,  of  i s obsessed  to with  g C e s a r e Lombroso (1836-1909) i s b e s t known f o r h i s w o r k s The C r i m i n a l Man (1876) and C r i m e , i t s C a u s e s and i t s Remedies ( 1 8 9 9 ) . He f o r m u l a t e d t h e c o n c e p t o f t h e a t a v i s t i c c r i m i n a l , b a s e d on t h e i d e a o f b i o l o g i c a l r e g r e s s i o n t o a more p r i m i t i v e s t a t e o f e v o l u t i o n . He b e l i e v e d t h a t c r i m i n a l s have more p h y s i c a l a b n o r m a l i t i e s t h a n non-criminals and g r o u p e d t h e s e " s t i g m a t a " i n t o c a t e g o r i e s by w h i c h he c l a i m e d t o be a b l e t o i d e n t i f y d i f f e r e n t c r i m i n a l t y p e s . "Lombroso," E n c y c l o p e d i a  Americana, 14  1985  ed.  f i n d i n g Phasie's nestegg  and i n o r d e r t o a c h i e v e p o s s e s s i o n  o f t h e money w h i c h he i s c o n v i n c e d cottage, poisons h i s wife.  Flore  i s hidden  i s i n love with  when s h e d i s c o v e r s h i s a f f a i r w i t h S e V e r i n e kill  them b o t h by c a u s i n g t h e i r  b r i n g s s u f f e r i n g and death passengers. reaction  somewhere i n t h e  train  Jacques;  she s e t s o u t t o  t o c r a s h , i n s t e a d she  t o a number o f i n n o c e n t  Roubaud d i s c o v e r s S e V e r i n e ' s  infidelity  and h i s  i s immediate a n d e x t r e m e :  C e t a i t un b e s o i n p h y s i q u e , immediat, comme une f a i m de v e n g e a n c e , q u i l u i t o r d a i t l e c o r p s e t q u i ne l u i l a i s s e r a i t p l u s a u c u n r e p o s , t a n t q u ' i l ne l ' a u r a i t p a s s a t i s f a i t e . ( p . 73)  E a c h c h a r a c t e r i s a monotone s o u n d i n g throughout notes  t h e same  t h e n o v e l , b u t t o what e f f e c t  combined?  characters,  A closer  note  a r e these  look a t the three  S e v e r i n e , Roubaud a n d J a c q u e s ,  single  principal will  provide the  answer. S e v e r i n e r e p r e s e n t s a n a l l u r i n g woman w i t h de  "1•Strangete*  s e s l a r g e s yeux b l e u s , sous s o n ^ p a i s s e c h e v e l u r e  noire"  (p. 5 7 ) . A t t h e o u t s e t Z o l a s t r e s s e s t h e p a s s i v e q u a l i t y o f her s e n s u a l i t y which i s garbed w h i c h she,  nonetheless, uses  Roubaud: " . . . a v e c  i na childlike  t o good e f f e c t  une g e n t i l l e s s e  on t h e s u s p i c i o u s  d'enfant,  son cou,  en l u i posant,  poteiee"  (p. 58). Later, h e r s e n s u a l i t y f u l l y  Jacques's  naivete* b u t  s u r l a bouche, s a j o l i e  embrace, s h e s e e k s  elle  se j e t a a  petite  main  awakened i n  t o u s e h e r power t o bend t h e 15  engine d r i v e r to her w i l l i n an a c t of s e d u c t i o n her own  that  seals  fate:  D'un mouvement c a l i n , e l l e s'approchait pour se pendre a l u i de ses bras nus, levant sa gorge ronde, que d e c o u v r a i t l a chemise, g l i s s e e sur une ^paule. (p. 343)  For Roubaud Severine existence."  He  i s "1'unique roman de  i s besotted  w i t h her.  son  C l e a r l y , he  i s cast  as the j e a l o u s husband but the r o l e i s more extreme than the stereotypical description implies. o r i g i n s as a l a b o r e r . d'equipe," "un  He  i s a l l u d e d to as "un a n c i e n homme  ouvrier ddgrossi."  r e i n f o r c e d by the p r e s e n t a t i o n ready recourse  Emphasis i s placed on h i s  These r e f e r e n c e s  are  of h i s p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h  and  to brute f o r c e when he turns upon h i s w i f e .  Roubaud's j e a l o u s y i s i n f a c t p a t h o l o g i c a l . Jacques, on the b a s i s of h i s p h y s i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n , i s less obviously  categorized.  He  i s presented as a "beau  garcon au v i s a g e rond et r d g u l i e r mais que machoires t r o p f o r t e s . " the flaw i s present f e a t u r e s d i s t o r t and  On  gataient  des  the s u r f a c e , a l l appears w e l l yet  and when Jacques l o s e s c o n t r o l h i s the beast  surfaces:  Cependant, e l l e , fSeVerineJ qui c r o y a i t b i e n c o n n a i t r e Jacques, s ' d t o n n a i t . I I a v a i t sa t e t e ronde de beau gargon, ses cheveux f r i s e ' s , ses moustaches t r e s n o i r e s , ses yeux bruns diamantes d'or; mais sa machoire i n f e r i e u r e a v a n c a i t t e l l e m e n t , dans une s o r t e de coup de gueule, q u ' i l s'en t r o u v a i t d£figure*. (p. 346) 16  I t i s i n the i n t e r a c t i o n o f these three c h a r a c t e r s that the f u l l  extent o f t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l obsessions i s r e a l i z e d .  Severine's s e d u c t i v e charm, f o r i n s t a n c e , c r e a t e s the circumstances which b r i n g about Roubaud*s outburst o f v i o l e n t temper.  As a r e s u l t he murders Grandmorin.  t u r n , responds  Jacques, i n  to SeVerine because o f h i s own dark  secret.  He i s f a s c i n a t e d by her connection w i t h v i o l e n t death and hopes she w i l l v i c a r i o u s l y s a t i s f y h i s manic c r a v i n g s . In h e r r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Jacques SeVerine's sensual nature i s r e v e a l e d In a l l i t s potency.  She becomes a "femme d'amour,  complaisante a l'homme, toute a c e l u i q u i l a t e n a i t , coeur pour 1'autre q u ' e l l e n ' a v a i t jamais d d s i r ^ . "  sans Governed  by sensual egotism, she can envisage o n l y one course o f action —  the c a l c u l a t e d murder o f her husband: "On s'en  debarrassait p u i s q u ' i l genait, r i e n n'dtait plus naturel" (p. 345). The process o f i n t e r a c t i o n , when c o n s i d e r e d i n terms o f the above o u t l i n e , r e v e a l s a s p e c i f i c f u n c t i o n .  It i n fact  p r o v i d e s the t r i g g e r mechanism which a c t i v a t e s the ensuing sequence o f events.  Roubaud i s the primer.  His explosion of  j e a l o u s f u r y leads t o the p l a n to murder Grandmorin.  After  the murder the g u i l t y couple a c t i v e l y seek to a l l a y suspicion.  Severine s e t s out t o charm Jacques whom she and  Roubaud f e a r may suspect them and g i v e evidence that w i l l prove i n c r i m i n a t i n g .  However, SeVerine i s caught  i n h e r own  t r a p and f a l l s p a s s i o n a t e l y i n love with Jacques.  Her t o t a l  commitment t o Jacques paves the way f o r the next l i n k : she  plots  t o do away w i t h  Roubaud u s i n g J a c q u e s a s t h e a s s a s s i n .  J a c q u e s , meanwhile, i s f i n d i n g  i t increasingly d i f f i c u l t to  c o n t r o l h i s manic urge t o k i l l  a woman.  Severine at  Proximity to  i n t h e s e x u a l l y c h a r g e d a t m o s p h e r e o f t h e bedroom  t h e C r o i x - d e - M a u f r a s where t h e y  await t h e i r v i c t i m , proves  t o o much f o r J a c q u e s and he t u r n s upon S e v e r i n e of bloodlust. chain  At this point  i s complete,  question rejoints,  the reader  even without  p o s e d by Z o l a :  i n a delirium  understands that the  the h e a v i l y  rhetorical  " e t l e s deux m e u r t r e s s ' ^ t a i e n t  l'unn ' e t a i t - i l  pas l a l o g i q u e  de l ' a u t r e ? "  (p. 349). The  "logic"  o r thread  murders has i t s source  of inevitability  i n the characters'  impulses  impulses which a r e i n v a r i a b l y o f the basest Undoubtedly, are  d e f i n e d a s much by what t h e y  notably  absent.  empathize w i t h  misshapen t h i n g s , i n which only  they  indeed  l a c k a s by what t h e y  man's l e s s d e s i r a b l e  As a r e s u l t ,  the e n t i t i e s  —  kind.  the characters are strongly defined,  Q u a l i t i e s which counterbalance are  which l i n k s the  they  embody.  traits  i t i s impossible to  presented  by Z o l a .  Poor,  a r e fragments s p l i n t e r e d from a m i r r o r  the darkest  s i d e o f human n a t u r e  i s reflected.  *  Casting  i s an important  part o f the d i r e c t o r ' s task.  must a p p r o a c h t h e s e l e c t i o n o f a c t o r s and a c t r e s s e s w i t h for  the p h y s i c a l representation of the characters  screen  —  even b e f o r e  d i r e c t i o n and a c t i n g a b i l i t y  18  He care  on t h e come i n t o  play the  —  has an immediate  i m p a c t on t h e a u d i e n c e .  c a s e o f L A BETE HUMAINE t h i s p r o c e d u r e was  Jean Gabin,  the leading actor  i n France,  of adapting  L a B e t e humaine.  His motivation  longstanding  desire  Accordingly,  the novel  role.  Chosen t o p l a y  previously, the in  to drive a train was s e l e c t e d  The actress  had been p u r s u i n g  on  i n a part  i fonly  p a r t i c u l a r kind  1 0  a particular  her career  therefore,  i n Hollywood.  were g i v e n  Both  to "faces"  i s t h e added b o x - o f f i c e  draw w h i c h t h e f i l m  The p u b l i c a r e more l i k e l y  f o r t h e sake o f s e e i n g  t o go t o  a well-loved  face.  up a r e p u t a t i o n  f o ra  o f r o l e o r s t y l e o f a c t i n g and t h e p u b l i c  i n e v i t a b l y make a n a s s o c i a t i o n between what i t a l r e a d y  knows o f a g i v e n implicit The the  a  screen.  to provide  In a d d i t i o n , a " s t a r " has u s u a l l y b u i l t  an  —  the idea  o b v i o u s a d v a n t a g e o f c a s t i n g a famous a c t o r o r  film  will  initiated  world.  immediately a c q u i r e s . the  reversed.  S e V e r i n e was Simone Simon who,  male a n d f e m a l e l e a d s , the f i l m  However, i n  actor  a n d h i s new r o l e ,  assumption about the l a t e s t  stars cast  leading  thereby  making  film.  i n L A BETE HUMAINE, p a r t i c u l a r l y  those i n  r o l e s , a l l boasted a c e r t a i n p h y s i c a l  attractiveness  (a f a c t which doubtless  success of t h e i r features,  film  careers).  which a t i g h t e n i n g  contributed  Gabin with h i s strong,  to the open  o f t h e jaw o r a t w i s t o f t h e  Raymond D u r g n a t , J e a n R e n o i r C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , 1 9 7 4 ) , p . 172.  (Berkeley:  University of  mouth c o u l d render s i n i s t e r , had played a wide v a r i e t y o f parts.  Simon's d e l i c a t e y e t sensual charm would be e x p l o i t e d  to the f u l l  i n the f i l m i n g o f Cat People  (1943).  A t t r a c t i v e n e s s , however, i s not immediately a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the c h a r a c t e r s o f the n o v e l , what s p r i n g s to mind i s t h e i r l a c k o f s e l f - c o n t r o l , the v i o l e n c e i n t o which they erupt so easily.  A n t o i n e t t e Jagmetti c o n s i d e r s the emphatic  features  that Z o l a a s s i g n s t o h i s c h a r a c t e r s to be the counterbalance to the p r o t a g o n i s t s ' f i e r y temperaments, somehow c o n t a i n i n g and r e s t r a i n i n g t h e i r d i s r u p t i v e (and e r u p t i v e ) urges:  Les d e s c r i p t i o n s se r e d u i s e n t a quelques t r a i t s , nets, vigoureux, souvent durs . . . . Les contours p r e c i s semblent n'Qtre a u s s i fortement accentuds que parce q u ' i l s renferment e t contiennent l e s ^ puissances i n t ^ r i e u r e s e'ruptives e t i n s o n d a b l e s .  Yet, although s t r o n g l y d e f i n e d i n terms o f appearance, the c h a r a c t e r s a r e not without a c e r t a i n p h y s i c a l a p p e a l . Roubaud i s a v i g o r o u s man o f average b u i l d w i t h l a r g e i n t e l l i g e n t eyes and a t h i c k blond beard. SeVerine a r e a t t r a c t i v e .  Both Jacques and  I t i s o n l y when rage breaks through  t h a t the p o r t e n t o f Z o l a ' s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n i s r e a l i z e d . R e n o i r ' s c a s t i n g i s , then, not i n a p p r o p r i a t e .  A sense o f  t e n s i o n emanates from Gabin, he has the a i r o f a man who f e a r s to l e t go i n case that moment o f r e l a x a t i o n should  J a g m e t t i , p. 19. 20  become l o s s o f c o n t r o l . part —  of h i s condition,  that  o f an  His  looks  pinpointing  a t t r a c t i v e man  Simon's p e r f o r m a n c e was reaction.  good  who  received  the  a c t u a l l y become a irony of h i s s i t u a t i o n  must a v o i d  women.  w i t h mixed  Simone  critical  Graham G r e e n e , however, comments  favorably:  . . . M i l e Simon . . . a c t s w i t h i n t e n s i t y t h e l i t t l e , sensual, treacherous wife . . . h e l p e d . . . by a cameraman who knows how t o d e a l w i t h t h e c o a r s e b l a c k e l e c t r i c h a i r , t h e snub n o s e , the r a t h e r A f r i c a n f e a t u r e s . 1 2  Simon's s l e n d e r  f i g u r e and  sinuous grace provide  combination f o r a p o r t r a y a l of Severine. r i s e s and  she  e v a d e s him, had be  his f i r s t a l l that  steady  he  e l u s i v e as  depicts  work) has  a butterfly.  major r o l e i n the  a man  1939,  she  F e r n a n d Ledoux,  who to  strength  of h i s  whose s p h e r e o f  (home  and  who,  once the  initial  rush  and of  ineffectual.  b o u r g e o i s " and  Graham G r e e n e , p. 760.  effectiveness  a  acting  decline  becomes  "petit  and  o f Roubaud, a p p e a r s  The  Ledoux/Roubaud i s q u i t e u n l i k e distinctly  temper  i n h i s p o r t r a y a l o f Roubaud's  been d e s t r o y e d  anger i s past,  part  perfect  approaching middle-age with  a happy m a r r i a g e .  i s revealed  Roubaud's  h i s arms c l o s e a b o u t h e r  i s a v e r a g e : a man  j o b and  ability —  as  c a j o l e s him;  the  "La  Zola's  character.  h i s urge to v i o l e n c e  B e t e humaine," The 21  He  is  seems  Spectator,  5  May  uncharacteristic characters, in  the  example,  there  i s cast  r o l e s b o t h add  t o and  characterization. undeniable  descriptions given conveyed i s the turbulence  third  them t h e  The  stage  original  characters  i n a process  physical reality  if  t h a t p e r s o n i s a s t a r , an  an  inescapable  roles.  The  actors  product  has  of the  careful  I n d e e d , what i s  of  the  underlying  Zola's  have, i n f a c t ,  become  o f a l l imposes  a c t u a l p e r s o n and  on  secondly,  a u r a o f fame w h i c h a r i s e s f r o m  a s s o c i a t i o n with  end  is  o f the  part  which f i r s t  o f an  for  original  short  integral  film  f a c e s which f i t the  a t t r a c t i v e n e s s without  w h i c h i s s u c h an  characters.  the  i n t h e w r i t t e n medium.  surface  Each  Gabin/Lantier  physical reality i t falls  counterparts  Simon/Severine,  d e t r a c t from the  immediacy y e t  a l l three  to t h e i r  flirtatious.  In e f f e c t ,  The  with  incompleteness.  i n a s p e c i f i c mold.  troubled.  Yet  in relation  i s a sense of  i s a t t r a c t i v e and  handsome and  the  i s soon exhausted.  when c o n s i d e r e d  novel,  character  and  i s not,  the  actor's  previous  starring  f o r example, L a n t i e r  but  Gabin/Lantier. Here a r i s e s the the  two  first  major p o i n t  m e d i a , a d e v i a t i o n b a s e d on  c r e a t i o n and  representation.  the  freedom of the  various  features  provided  c o m b i n a t i o n he  chose i n o r d e r  Renoir,  other  on  the  the  them on  c r e a t o r ; he by  distinction  Zola created  L a B £ t e humaine, R e n o i r r e p r e s e n t e d enjoyed  the  o f d e v i a t i o n between  could  characters  screen.  to produce the  hand, was  doubly t i e d . 22  in  of  Zola  assemble  Lombroso s research 1  between  the  any  characters. Firstly,  to  the  novel t h a t he had taken as the b a s i s f o r h i s f i l m and secondly  (and most unavoidably)  to p h y s i c a l  reality.  Thus SeVerine, Roubaud and Jacques a c q u i r e d an e x i s t e n c e independent  of t h e i r f i c t i o n a l c o u n t e r p a r t s , but how  Renoir s e t about b r i n g i n g them to l i f e on SeVerine f i r s t stroking  appears  did  screen?  seated before an open window,  a white angora k i t t e n .  Yet t h i s bare  description  f a i l s to do j u s t i c e to the m a s t e r f u l t a b l e a u which Renoir thereby a c h i e v e s : a background of sunshine a g a i n s t which i s set the s l e n d e r young woman w i t h the piquant f e a t u r e s , a charming l i t t l e c a t i n her arms. is  i n the process of f o r m u l a t i o n .  Severine's c h a r a c t e r .  A sequence of The aim —  Roubaud e n t e r s .  impressions  to  establish  He embraces h i s w i f e .  She moves her head and the k i s s intended f o r her l i p s her cheek.  Dialogue ensues.  brushes  Throughout Roubaud d e f e r s to  h i s w i f e , whose tone c a r r i e s an edge of impatience on more than one o c c a s i o n . successfully  In a matter of moments Renoir  has  conveyed not o n l y Severine's c h a r a c t e r but the  balance of her r e l a t i o n s h i p  with her husband.  The  initial  aura of tender charm has been undermined by the r e v e l a t i o n a c o q u e t t i s h and m a n i p u l a t i v e nature.  SeVerine i s c e r t a i n l y  a t t r a c t i v e t o look a t but, l i k e the k i t t e n which may  show i t s  claws a t any time, her f r a g i l e appeal c l o a k s a sharper  and  l e s s a p p e a l i n g nature. Her f i r s t  c o n t a c t w i t h Jacques occurs aboard  the Le  Havre t r a i n j u s t a f t e r Roubaud has murdered Grandmorin. Aware t h a t Jacques saw her and Roubaud heading 23  of  towards  Grandmorin s compartment, she approaches 1  hope of d i s a r m i n g him.  the young man  However, her f a l t e r i n g attempt a t  c o n v e r s a t i o n i s r e c e i v e d w i t h obvious s u r p r i s e and retreats.  i n the  she  L a t e r , when the body has been d i s c o v e r e d and  the  passengers are d e t a i n e d a t the s t a t i o n , she sends Jacques a look of such mute appeal t h a t he i s moved.  T h i s p o i n t marks  the o u t s e t of the c o l l u s i o n between Roubaud, Severine and Jacques.  Henceforward  Severine's b e a r i n g i n Jacques's  presence i s more assured and when the couple meet without Roubaud, the pact i s s e a l e d .  The young woman asks  to b e l i e v e i n her innocence and he a s s u r e s her:  Jacques  "Je s u i s  v o t r e ami, vous pouvez compter entierement sur moi... 13 entierement." Jacques.  Now  SeVerine i s c o n f i d e n t of her power over  She pouts p r e t t i l y a t the young man  and t e l l s  him  not to s t a r e a t her ". . . parce que vous a l l e z vous user les yeux."  1 4  Subsequently, Severine pays p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n  to the engine d r i v e r . a p l a y of removing  She k i s s e s him i n g r e e t i n g then makes  a smudge of l i p s t i c k from h i s cheek.  This  13 T h i s q u o t a t i o n i s taken d i r e c t l y from the f i l m . The o r i g i n a l s c r i p t underwent so many m o d i f i c a t i o n s that i t c o i n c i d e s o n l y r a r e l y w i t h the f i n i s h e d v e r s i o n of the f i l m , a p o i n t made by P i e r r e Leprohon: " I I [Renoir] . . . r e d i g e a en quinze j'ours un s c e n a r i o assez s u p e r f i c i e l dont l e d i a l o g u e e t a i t t r e s mauvais (ce sont l e s termes de l ' a u t e u r ) . . . i l ne r£pond que t r e s rarement au f i l m r e a l i s t . Une f o i s de p l u s , Renoir m o d i f i a l e s c e n a r i o en tournant, remplacant l e p l u s souvent son d i a l o g u e ha*tif par c e l u i du romancier." Leprohon, p. 78. Jean Renoir La Bete humaine ( S c e n a r i o ) ( P a r i s : Copy Bourse, n.d.), p. 57. R e f e r r e d to subsequently as " S c r i p t . " 24  and a number of other l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n s i n c r e a s e the intimacy between them u n t i l Jacques can maintain the charade no longer; he d e c l a r e s h i s love f o r Severine but she, p r o t e s t i n g that she i s unable  to love anyone, r e c o i l s .  She  plays f o r  sympathy, h i n t i n g c o y l y a t an unfortunate experience childhood. agrees  i n her  Jacques i s convinced by her g u i l e l e s s a i r and  t h a t they should be simply "de bons camarades"  t r a n s c r i p t i o n from f i l m ) .  Yet i t i s SeVerine who,  (direct  later,  i n i t i a t e s the change i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p and they become lovers.  One  p a r t i c u l a r gesture, a t t h i s stage, p r o v i d e s the  c l u e to SeVerine's nature and g i v e s the l i e to her p r e s e n t a t i o n of h e r s e l f as a v i c t i m o f the o p p o s i t e sex. meets Jacques i n P a r i s a t V i c t o i r e ' s rooms.  She  With a  predatory, n i p p i n g movement t h a t speaks both o f her a s s e r t i v e n e s s w i t h i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p and her assurance her own  of  s e n s u a l i t y , she moves e a g e r l y i n t o her l o v e r ' s  embrace. Roubaud i s f i r s t  seen i n h i s p o s i t i o n as deputy  s t a t i o n - m a s t e r , doggedly e n f o r c i n g the r u l e s of the company i n the f a c e of t h r e a t s from a h i g h r a n k i n g passenger who infringed a regulation. domestic  The  has  switch from p r o f e s s i o n a l to  scene p r o v i d e s an i n s i g h t i n t o two aspects of  Roubaud's c h a r a c t e r : h i s honesty would have been e a s i e r f o r him  and d e d i c a t i o n to duty ( i t  to simply a v o i d the  c o n f r o n t a t i o n or to kow-tow to the o f f e n d e r ) ; and h i s d e v o t i o n to h i s young w i f e .  when h i s p a s s i o n f o r Severine  has been destroyed he becomes a s h e l l of a man.  25  His  attention his  to h i s duties  existence  in a passion  i s the  downward s p i r a l  down an game.  c a f e where he  f o r gambling.  circumstances are  cheerful  o f d e b t and  invitation  at  h i s rounds of  the  focal  He  l o s e s and  plunges i n t o  o f the  film  S t a r i n g ahead w i t h  J a c q u e s and  Severine,  a  shoulders  f e e l i n g s at a l l .  vacant  concealed  w o u l d have welcomed t h e  turned  s e e n i n t e n t on  h i s movements a r e  i n the  of  He  makes  those of  e y e s , he  a  The  H i s demeanor i s l e s s t h a t  a b s e n c e o f any  I n d e e d , one  briefly,  speculation.  i s now  of  changed  loses a l l animation, h i s  d e p o t and  point  lose himself,  beginning  automaton.  t h e i r presence.  the  even h e r e h i s  cards  rises heavily.  d e j e c t i o n than the  can  increased  the  to play  When i t ends he he  But  highlighted.  employee who  slump and  i s perfunctory;  moves  an  past  shadows, o b l i v i o u s t o  cannot h e l p  feeling  blow i f J a c q u e s had  that  he  been a b l e  to  deliver i t . Jacques presents t a c i t u r n and  an  t e n s e and  only  Consequently, a d i v i s i o n professional opens w i t h in  c a p a c i t y and  shots  image o f u n e a s y r e t i c e n c e .  i s n o t i c e a b l e between J a c q u e s i n h i s J a c q u e s as an  command, h i s a t t e n t i o n c o m p l e t e l y  engine.  Back a t  himself,  r e m a i n i n g a l o o f from the  colleagues. occurred  When he  during  clerk questions:  the  is  seems t o r e l a x when a t work.  individual.  of Jacques d r i v i n g h i s engine.  the  He  on  d e p o t , however, he  reports journey,  the he  " Q u ' e s t - c e que  26  the  The  H e r e he  operation  of  damage t o t h e  c'est  is the  seems t o r e t r e a t i n t o  l i g h t - h e a r t e d banter of  alludes  film  to  his  engine which  " l a L i s o n " and  ' l a Lison'?"  the  Jacques  r e p l i e s : "C'est ma machine" ( d i r e c t t r a n s c r i p t i o n from f i l m ) . T h i s brusque response h i n t s a t the depth o f the attachment that the d r i v e r f e e l s f o r h i s engine. extends beyond p r o f e s s i o n a l p r i d e .  I t i s a f e e l i n g which  Jacques has endowed the  machine w i t h the p e r s o n a l i t y of a woman and g i v e n "her" a name and i n t h i s s u b s t i t u t i o n he enjoys a measure o f r e l e a s e , f o r w i t h the metal g i a n t he i s i n c o n t r o l both o f "her" and, more i m p o r t a n t l y , o f h i m s e l f .  Jacques's a t t r a c t i o n t o  Severine i s the source o f the r a r e o c c a s i o n s when he i s seen to r e l a x .  They meet i n the depot and Jacques  Severine aboard h i s engine.  invites  T h i s scene, o c c u r r i n g when l a  L i s o n i s about t o be supplanted by a woman o f f l e s h and blood, t e m p o r a r i l y u n i t e s the two f a c e t s o f Jacques's character.  Yet the hope which Jacques glimpses i n h i s  a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h Severine i s but a b r i e f spark.  It flares  —  represented, m e t a p h o r i c a l l y , by the s u n r i s e which g r e e t s the couple a f t e r they have consummated t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p — and d i e s when Severine c o n f e s s e s her p a r t i n Grandmorin's  murder,  a t which p o i n t Jacques f e e l s the s t i r r i n g o f a dreaded desire.  With the c o n f i r m a t i o n o f h i s worst f e a r s the s t r a i n  r e t u r n s t o Jacques, accompanied now  by an a i r o f d e s p e r a t i o n f o r  the engine d r i v e r knows that he cannot escape h i s  condition. The c h a r a c t e r s can be summed up q u i t e  concisely:  SeVerine i s a coquette; Roubaud ( o r i g i n a l l y ) a c o n s c i e n t i o u s employee and devoted husband; and Jacques i s a l o n e r .  In  f a c t , what such a summing up r e v e a l s i s a s e r i e s o f types.  27  That R e n o i r d e a l t from Z o l a ,  i n t y p e s , o f an a l t o g e t h e r d i f f e r e n t  i s f u r t h e r borne  other characters;  kind  o u t by a n e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e  in particular  Flore,  and  the Misards  generally. Renoir presents Flore just on,  finished  it  bathing i n a pool.  t e a s i n g h e r and  the water.  i n a pastoral  The  Two  setting;  y o u n g men  she r e a c t s by p u s h i n g one  scene  i s taken d i r e c t l y  from  pristine hint  s a v a g e r y and  Zola's Flore  therefore,  has  t h e m i s f o r t u n e t o be  In the f i l m , burst  t h e n o v e l where Flore's a  The  d e c i d e d l y more v i o l e n t . seized  personne  Flore's reaction  ne  original  One  by F l o r e ,  encounter  o f t h e young  "et e l l e  l a guettait  a  plus"  men  l'avait (p. 94).  i s p r e s e n t e d as the r e s u l t  of a  o f temper and marks h e r w i t h a r a t h e r a p p e a l i n g  gaucherie.  Her  response  to Jacques  i s i n t h e same v e i n .  s h u n s him more f r o m a s e n s e o f awkwardness and tomboyish caress. men  into  t h e c h a r a c t e r c o n t a i n s more t h a n  is,  que  looking  i s imbued w i t h  o f A r t e m i s the V i r g i n H u n t r e s s .  arrang^ s i bien,  are  has  o f them  i s g i v e n a s an example o f t h e r e a s o n s b e h i n d  r e p u t a t i o n as a v i r a g o .  she  and  independence The  pastoral  scene,  Flore's petulant  combine t o p r o d u c e l a s s on  t h a n any  etiolation  c a n be  desire  t o evade h i s  f l o u n c e a s she  s t e p s onto  young  t h e bank  image o f a buxom c o u n t r y  o f womanhood.  The  same p r o c e s s o f  s e e n a t work on h e r p a r e n t s .  s t u b b o r n P h a s i e and  a spark of  t h e l a u g h t e r o f t h e two  a sympathetic  the t h r e s h o l d  real  She  Gone a r e  the  the a v a r i c i o u s M i s a r d , i n t h e i r p l a c e s  Renoir presents a benevolent i n v a l i d ,  28  concerned  f o r her  god-son's w e l l b e i n g ,  and  an  innocuous c r o s s i n g  keeper.  A marked d i f f e r e n c e e x i s t s t h e r e f o r e between t h e depicted  by  Z o l a and  towards a n i c e n e s s Jacques,  totally  i n his struggle  sympathy r a t h e r such a vast portrayal  on  Petulance  be  sensuality —  acceptable.  characters  suggests that  described  replaces  The  the  Indeed,  as  aggression;  an  flirtatiousness  h u s b a n d , were s i t u a t i o n s w i t h  a norm  have b e e n an should  not  (as i s the  forgotten  the  official  Undoubtedly the is  t o be  cast  found  Carette  credits  "en  renown... as  socially  i n the  day  matter.  due  most s t r i k i n g  role.  vedette," film  by  which  lover  the of  n o v e l ) would Moreover, i t  obliged  to the  to  conform  necessity  of  censor.  i n Renoir's  appearance i n the  could  i s substituted  presentation  t h a t R e n o i r was  to the moral s t a n d a r d s o f the satisfying  The  case i n the  different  their  major  murder o f t h e w i f e ' s  identify.  altogether  be  book and  s i t u a t i o n s , devoted husband d e c e i v e d  least  of  "embourgeoisement."  by  v i o l e n c e as  evokes  a review which  t h e s e t r a i t s were much more  at  is  Even  existence  i n the  f o r example, o r t h e  audience could  trend  originals.  the  f l i g h t y wife, a vengeful  The  they underwent a  t h e work o f a d a p t a t i o n ,  most a c c u r a t e l y  Renoir.  t o overcome h i s c o n d i t i o n ,  than r e v u l s i o n .  screen  by  a t odds w i t h  g u l f between t h e  review during  for  those d e p i c t e d  types  change i n c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n  representation The  o f Pecqueux.  He  a c t o r ' s name a p p e a r s i n  the  thereby focusing and  a comedian!  reminding A greater  a t t e n t i o n on  the  audience of  his his  d i f f e r e n c e between  the  film  c h a r a c t e r and  Pecqueux o f t h e  the  film  original  companion. although  humor.  to h i s  e m p h a s i s i s on  and  the  sincerity  a  with  somber  niceness  t h e m a k i n g s o f a r o g u e , he  one  The  adds  In h i s p a r t n e r s h i p  counterbalance  Once more t h e  likeable  imagined.  of h i s  for, is  an  concern  Jacques i s never i n doubt. One  c h a r a c t e r has  o f book o r f i l m . f o r no  Beast  yet  i n the  film.  i n t o the  novel  love f o r the  p r i s o n where he quarrel,  quarryman,  i n t o a p o a c h e r and  is  appears  context  transformed only  Z o l a i n s e r t s a cameo o f B e a u t y and i n the  tender has  mentioned i n e i t h e r  shy  young L o u i s e t t e .  served  the  form o f Cabuche*s d e s c r i p t i o n o f  four years  Cabuche f i n d s h i m s e l f an  t h e woods. a human  t o be  Cabuche, t h e  apparent reason  briefly  his  the  Pecqueux has  extremely for  provides  h a r d l y be  i s a s h o r t , winsome f i g u r e who  welcome n o t e o f w h i m s i c a l J a c q u e s he  can  L o u i s e t t e i s the  On  his return  for killing  outcast  and  o n l y p e r s o n who  a man  from in a  retreats into t r e a t s him  like  being:  A l o r s , t o u t l e monde me f u y a i t , on m ' a u r a i t jet6 d e s p i e r r e s . E t e l l e , dans l a f o r e t ou j e l a rencontrais toujours, e l l e s•approchait, elle c a u s a i t , e l l e 6 t a i t g e n t i l l e , oh! g e n t i l l e . . . Nous sommes done d e v e n u s a m i s comme c a . Nous nous t e n i o n s p a r l a main, en nous promenant. C*£tait s i bon, s i bon, dans ce temps-la.!... (p. 153)  Cabuche i s  p r i m a r i l y a v i c t i m o f the  combine t o f o r m h i s c h a r a c t e r :  great  30  two  elements which  physical strength  and  profound  naivete.  throughout  A c c o r d i n g l y , he f u n c t i o n s a s a  the n o v e l .  blamed f o r t h e t r a i n  He  i s accused  His  q u e s t i o n i n g , when he Louisette.  Violent  being dragged  the audience assumption  t h e room.  Son  who,  one  innocence,  a broken  poacher  and  je les  I I e s t a nous"  (Script,  obvious  r e f e r e n c e t o him  no more i s h e a r d  from  chosen  o f him.  the s t o r y  plot  by  The  i s thus  s p a r from  limits  left  love of pathos  result wrings  jutting  I t seems t h a t has  l e d him  i n a d a p t i n g the n o v e l .  As  to subvert  the innocent  and unmarked by any  atmosphere i n o r d e r t o a v o i d a subsequent incongruity. 31  sense  out  in this  t o d i s a p p e a r so c o m p l e t e l y , h i s a p p e a r a n c e  have b e e n c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y b r i e f  is  The  unsupported,  the r i g g i n g .  the  o f Cabuche's l o v e f o r  Cabuche j u s t d i s a p p e a r s .  the d i r e c t o r ' s  was  y e u x que  R e n o i r p l a y s t h e p a r t w i t h v e r v e and  i n t e r r o g a t i o n scene  own  in  i n c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h t h e Roubauds, a s s e r t s  Louisette then...  his  result  magistrate's  to a f a i r l y  subsequent  with  does not r e a p p e a r  . . c ' e s t aux  been reduced  e v e r y ounce o f f e e l i n g  instance  ".  compte e s t b o n . . .  after  imbalance.  like  He  w i t h the examining  Cabuche h a s  poacher's an  from  SeVerine.  made d u r i n g h i s  p r o t e s t a t i o n s of innocence  of h i s g u i l t :  mechanism and Jacques  i s the speech  finally  o f Cabuche.  d e s c r i b e s the r e l a t i o n s h i p  is left  reconnais... p. 4 2 ) .  i n t h e murder o f  Jean R e n o i r h i m s e l f p l a y s the p a r t  l o n g e s t appearance  him  o f G r a n d m o r i n ' s murder,  c r a s h e n g i n e e r e d by F l o r e and  condemned a s Roubaud's a c c o m p l i c e In the f i l m  scapegoat  of  should  emotional  Zola's accurately  desire  to portray  and f u l l y  as p o s s i b l e  t h r o u g h t h e medium o f f i l m . action.  railway  most  effectively  driven,  shunted,  cleaned  occur a t i n t e r v a l s throughout integrated  and  the f i l m .  i n t o the  as f e a t u r i n g a t the f o r e f r o n t o f the a c t i o n .  J a c q u e s , f o r example, as  i s achieved  workers a r e t h e r e f o r e  backdrop as w e l l  m i l i e u as  Men and m a c h i n e s a r e s e e n i n  Shots o f engines being  generally maintained The  the railway  i s a major c h a r a c t e r  engine d r i v e r i s h i g h l i g h t e d ,  but other  and h i s f u n c t i o n aspects of railway  p r o c e d u r e a r e shown a n d a d d t o t h e f i l m ' s d o c u m e n t a r y validity. cleaning office  Thus Pecqueux i s s e e n i n t h e s h u n t i n g o u t t h e b o i l e r when J a c q u e s w a l k s a c r o s s  to report  industrious,  to the  t h e damage t o h i s e n g i n e .  Renoir paints an  yard  a pleasant  trustworthy  p i c t u r e o f t h e w o r k i n g man a s  member o f a t i g h t l y  knit  group.  I n d e e d Pecqueux, w i t h h i s " t e r r e - a - t e r r e " a p p r o a c h t o l i f e , h i s d i s a r m i n g f r a n k n e s s a b o u t h i s p e c c a d i l l o e s and h i s concern f o r Jacques, of  the railway  least  i n part,  context Zola's  i s the f o c a l  workers.  of Renoir's  These a g r e e a b l e  o f t h e i r working s i t u a t i o n .  psychopath, poisoner,  for a l l  environment, i s  tendencies —  d r u n k a r d , and o t h e r s  charming d i s p o s i t i o n — empathy i m p o s s i b l e .  of aberrant  "people" i n the  The n o v e l ,  e f f o r t s t o r e p r o d u c e an a u t h e n t i c  stated,  However, a n a d d i t i o n a l f a c t o r  32  a  of equally  which, as p r e v i o u s l y  t a k e n i n t o a c c o u n t when c o n s i d e r i n g  portrayal  images a r e due, a t  to the d e p i c t i o n o f everyday  p o p u l a t e d by t h e v i c t i m s  be  point  the a b i l i t y  makes should  o f the  audience  to r e l a t e  updated the a c t i o n  to the f i l m t o 1938,  s h o o t i n g o f the f i l m . earlier  i n time  as  The  Yet  novel closes with  and  c a r e e r i n g headlong  parallels  France's  When R e n o i r on  n o v e l , on  film  into  An  up  engine,  the F r a n c o - P r u s s i a n  but  no  to  war.  unmanned  image w h i c h  f i l m e d LA BETE HUMAINE t h e w o r l d  to the storm  a common  a build  image o f J a c q u e s ' s  t h e b r i n k o f armed h o s t i l i t i e s ,  the f i l m  share  to d e s t r u c t i o n .  plunge  the  take p l a c e d u r i n g the c l o s e o f  n o v e l and  the  has  t h e o t h e r hand, i s s e t  e r a i n w h i c h e a c h i s s e t saw  The  Renoir  the e r a contemporanious w i t h  the events  the Second Empire. feature.  The  characters.  conflict.  s t o o d once more  allusion  c l o u d s w h i c h were g a t h e r i n g  i s made i n over  Europe. R e n o i r ' s u p d a t e d v e r s i o n o f L a Be^te humaine adds a t h i r d  time  f r a m e t o t h e two  the novel —  these  being  already associated with  the e r a i n which a c t i o n  the p e r i o d i n which Z o l a r e s e a r c h e d The  and  i s set  composed t h e  Second Empire p r o v i d e s the p o l i t i c a l / h i s t o r i c a l  t o t h e n o v e l and the  effectively  judiciary.  i s referred  to mainly  Indeed, a t t e n t i o n  e s p e c i a l l y when compared w i t h  text. backdrop  i n the c o n t e x t  to the p o l i t i c a l  the wealth  of d e t a i l  of  angle, given  a b o u t t h e r a i l w a y , i s c u r s o r y and  limited  regime's p r o f l i g a c y .  the r a i l w a y c o n t i n u e s  the c h i e f s e t t i n g . interrogation novel, The  scene,  In the f i l m But  Renoir, with  i g n o r e s the  c o n c e n t r a t i n g i n s t e a d on  d i r e c t o r d i d , however, s h a r e 33  to a view of  the e x c e p t i o n o f  judicial  aspect  of  for  the to  the  the  the mainstream o f the Zola's concern  and  plot.  be  authenticity  i n the portrayal  Sequences i n v o l v i n g on a s t r e t c h  of the railway milieu.  t r a i n s were s h o t a t g a r e  S t . L a z a r e and  o f t r a c k between L e H a v r e a n d P a r i s .  Alexander  S e s o n s k e d e s c r i b e s how R e n o i r a n d h i s team:  . . . became s t u d e n t s o f t h e "chemin de f e r , " d e t e r m i n e d t o make a f i l m t h a t t h e " c h e m i n o t s " would n o t disavow a s f a l s e t o t h e i r m e t i e r . With the c o o p e r a t i o n o f the n a t i o n a l r a i l r o a d , the S o c i e t e N a t i o n a l e de Chemin de f e r , a n d t h e r a i l r o a d workers' F e d e r a t i o n , they rode the e n g i n e s , prowled t h e y a r d s , watched t h e workings o f the s t a t i o n . ^ 1  In a d d i t i o n ,  t h e SNCF p u t a l o c o m o t i v e a n d t e n m e t e r s o f  track a t the f i l m f i l m work s c e n e s scenes  crew's d i s p o s a l .  Thus R e n o i r was a b l e t o  w i t h maximum a u t h e n t i c i t y  shot, only Jacques's  and, o f a l l t h e  s u i c i d e was a mock up.  Zola's  method o f c o m p o s i t i o n a n d h i s o b s e r v a t i o n o f t h e t e c h n i c a l aspects o f the railway a t f i r s t was  permitted to travel  i n Renoir's attention was  motivated  workers. and  —  albeit  of responsibility  i n each  case,  t h e r e c a n be no d o u b t t h a t  film-maker  (on 15th A p r i l  an engine)  to d e t a i l  by a sense  The r e s u l t ,  aboard  hand  1889 he  finds a counterpart that  the d i r e c t o r  to the railway  i s particularly  effective  the determination o f the  a n d h i s team t o u n d e r s t a n d  and u t i l i z e  the r o l l i n g  A l e x a n d e r S e s o n s k e , J e a n R e n o i r The F r e n c h F i l m s , 1924-1939 ( C a m b r i d g e , M a s s a c h u s e t t s : H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 8 0 ) , p . 353. 1  5  34  stock  g r e a t l y enhanced the  that Renoir  was  able  t o use  SNCF i n d i c a t e s t h a t  the  little  since Zola's  time.  diesel  t r a i n s and  means t h a t today.  impact o f the  the f a c i l i t i e s  technology The  i t w o u l d be  very  by  Some c r i t i c s , establishment,  preoccupation  the  notably  criticized  the  But  technological the  e l e m e n t s t h a t now  those to the Renoir  the  although  system w i t h  stance  corrupt  emperor N a p o l e o n I I I and a high  left  of  f o r what t h e y  political  Z o l a does a t t a c k  r e g i m e y e t who  life.  with  date have  progress.  Grandmorin e x e m p l i f i e s by  t o f i l m L a Be"te humaine  through h i s documentary approach to  disregard of Zola's  under the  powered  p r e c i s e l y because the p r o c e d u r e s i t p o r t r a y s  been o v e r t a k e n  Certainly,  the  altered  l a t e r advent of h i g h  r a i l w a y , w h i c h i s f o r e m o s t among t h e  total  fact  o f f e r e d by  i n v o l v e d had  difficult  Indeed, i t i s Z o l a ' s  novel,  The  c o n c o m i t a n t c h a n g e s i n w o r k i n g methods  advance, expressed  the  film.  his  ranking  the considered  i n the  system i n  his  novel. operation  administrators. citizen  and  one  honored  i s a moral degenerate i n h i s p r i v a t e  Zola underlines  heavy penstrokes,  some o f t h e  it still  i n e q u i t i e s of  would not  be  F r a n c o i s P o u l l e i n R e n o i r 1938, ou J e a n R e n o i r p o u r r i e n , enqu@te s u r un c i n d a s t e ( P a r i s : E d i t i o n s du C e r f , 1969) i s e s p e c i a l l y d i s m a y e d by R e n o i r ' s p o r t r a y a l o f Cabuche, e x c l a i m i n g : "Car s i l e p e r s o n n a g e de Cabuche n ' e s t p l u s une s o u r c e d ' e m o t i o n ou de r e v o l t e , s ' i l d o i t p r o v o q u e r 1 ' a t t e n d r i s s e m e n t ou l e r i r e , a l o r s 1 ' E d i f i c e t r a g i q u e de Z o l a s ' ^ c r o u l e " (p. 49). And i t s h o u l d be n o t e d t h a t f o r t h i s c r i t i c t r a g e d y i n L a B&te humaine l i e s i n h i s v i e w o f t h e work a s ". . . une deVionciation de 1 ' a l i e n a t i o n de 1'homme dans l a s o c i d t ^ i n d u s t r i e l l e " ( p . 5 1 ) . X  D  35  correct Evil  t o make s o c i a l  i s depicted  the  criticism  b u t i n s u c h a way t h a t  s c o p e o f one p a r t i c u l a r  The p r o c e s s  is  the subject,  this  provides  study.  attempt social  and a m p l i f i e d t o  by w h i c h t h i s a m p l i f i c a t i o n i n p a r t , o f Chapter Four o f  critique  the novel  fails  p r i m a r i l y i n the l i g h t  t o do j u s t i c e  of a  t o t h e savage beauty o f  some o f i t s images w h i c h , a t t h e l a s t ,  or  beyond  S u f f i c e i t t o s a y , f o r t h e moment, t h a t a n y  to present  author's  o f the novel.  i t i s taken  time and p l a c e  mythic p r o p o r t i o n s . achieved  the hingepin  transcend  even t h e  i n t e n t i o n t o h a r n e s s them t o a p a r t i c u l a r  doctrine  theory. Renoir's  darkest  s i d e o f human n a t u r e  opposite pool, the  response t o Zola's  direction.  accounts, portray  i n p a r t , f o r t h e change.  characters  behavior  onto f i l m , order fact  on s c r e e n  flavor.  respected science  i n the s p e c i f i c  Further,  the l i n k  Necessity  physical  between a p p e a r a n c e  assumed by t h e a u t h o r w o u l d ,  i f translated  have r e s u l t e d i n a h o r r o r movie o f t h e f i r s t  the r a t i o n a l e provided school  no l o n g e r  o f thought  Notwithstanding  time,  i n the f i e l d  of criminal  obsolete.  necessity aside, Renoir's 36  the  by t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f a  e x i s t e d i n t h e 1930s a s Lombroso's  t h e o r i e s were, by t h i s Yet,  F l o r e a t the  I t was i m p o s s i b l e t o  even by p r e s e n t - d a y s t a n d a r d s . that  —  an anecdote t o f e l l o w workers i n  have a f a r p l e a s a n t e r  molds used by Z o l a . and  was, s e e m i n g l y , a move i n t h e  The images he p r e s e n t s  Pecqueux r e c o u n t i n g  canteen —  emphatic p o r t r a y a l o f the  p o r t r a y a l of the  characters suggests a s p e c i f i c His  t r e a t m e n t o f Pecqueux and  r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Jacques was  previously  as the s u n l i t onrush  noted,  to t h e i r  t h e change i n t h e  i s a fine  example.  functions. fireman's  Pecqueux, i t  c o u n t e r p o i n t s t h e somber J a c q u e s ,  scene a t the p o o l i s a p r e l u d e to the  o f J a c q u e s ' s f u r y when he b e g i n s t o s t r a n g l e  Clearly,  the c o n t r a s t  of l i g h t  R e n o i r ' s d i r e c t i o n which may  approach  provide a clue  p o i n t which  will  characterization however, an  and  extends  to h i s o v e r a l l  be d e v e l o p e d  dark  i s a facet  just  dark Flore. of  b e y o n d t h e c h a r a c t e r s and c o n c e p t i o n o f the f i l m ,  later.  The  effect  of Renoir's  on t h e t h e m a t i c c o n t e n t o f t h e f i l m i s ,  immediate  examined i n C h a p t e r  c o n s i d e r a t i o n and Two.  37  one w h i c h  a  will  be  Chapter  Two  Action  A c t i o n i n La Bete humaine i s u n r e l e n t i n g l y s i m i l a r .  The  novel i s c o n s t r u c t e d around a s e r i e s o f murders and v i o l e n t deaths,  thus:  Roubaud (and Severine) murder Grandmorin;  Misard murders h i s w i f e , Phasie; Jacques attempts to murder F l o r e ; Jacques and Severine attempt to murder Roubaud; F l o r e s e t s out t o murder Jacques and Severine, f a i l s and then  kills  h e r s e l f ; Jacques murders SeVerine; Pecqueux a t t a c k s Jacques and both a r e k i l l e d .  T h i s resume leaves no doubt t h a t murder  i s the primary component o f a c t i o n i n the n o v e l .  Each  c h a r a c t e r i s s u b j e c t to an i d e n t i c a l process by which he, o r she, begins as aggressor and ends as v i c t i m .  Even Misard who  l i v e s on a f t e r he has k i l l e d Phasie, does so i n the g r i p o f a mania r e s u l t i n g from h i s i n a b i l i t y t o f i n d her savings, a mania which i n the end d e s t r o y s h i s s a n i t y . The f i g u r e o f the h e r e d i t a r y k i l l e r l u r k s a t the h e a r t o f t h i s w e l t e r o f dark deeds. until  the n a r r a t i v e reaches  Jacques does not k i l l  i t s f i n a l stages.  The imminence  of h i s l o s s o f c o n t r o l p r o v i d e s the thread o f suspense which Z o l a unwinds throughout  the novel and t i g h t e n s u n t i l i t  reaches breaking p o i n t i n chapter eleven, when Severine d i e s at  Jacques's  hands.  Jacques's  compulsion  i s demonstrated as  e a r l y as the second chapter when h i s sexual onslaught 38  upon  Flore  c h a n g e s c h a r a c t e r a n d he i s tempted  instead to k i l l  her:  Une f u r e u r s e m b l a i t l e p r e n d r e , une f ^ r o c i t e qui l e f a i s a i t c h e r c h e r d e s y e u x , a u t o u r de l u i , une arme, une p i e r r e , q u e l q u e c h o s e e n f i n pour l a t u e r . ( p p . 96-97)  The  b a c k g r o u n d t o t h i s manic u r g e t o k i l l  shortly afterwards. across  the h i l l y  collapses beside  i s explained  J a c q u e s , e x h a u s t e d by h i s f r e n z i e d r a c e  countryside  around t h e Croix-de-Maufras,  the track.  Into  Jacques's  subsequent  thoughts the author i n c o r p o r a t e s a d e s c r i p t i o n o f the character's  family history, carefully  i n s e r t i n g him i n t o  the  g e n e a l o g y o f t h e Rougon-Macquart s e r i e s a s t h e t h i r d  son  o f Gervaise  family,  i n fact,  character  and L a n t i e r .  A last  minute a d d i t i o n t o t h e  b r o u g h t a b o u t by t h e need f o r a t o t a l l y new  t o embody s u c h a n a l l - c o n s u m i n g  explanation  then  compulsion.  The  continues:  L a f a m i l l e n ' e t a i t g u e r e d'aplomb, b e a u c o u p a v a i e n t une f e l u r e . L u i , a c e r t a i n e s heures, l a s e n t a i t b i e n , c e t t e f e l u r e h6r£ditaire; non pas q u ' i l f u t d'une sant6 m a u v a i s e , c a r 1 ' a p p r e h e n s i o n e t l a h o n t e de c e s c r i s e s 1 ' a v a i e n t s e u l e s m a i g r i a u t r e f o i s ; m a i s c ' e t a i e n t , dans s o n 6 t r e , de s u b i t e s p e r t e s d ' ^ q u i l i b r e , comme d e s c a s s u r e s , d e s t r o u s p a r l e s q u e l s s o n moi l u i e c h a p p a i t , a u m i l i e u d'une s o r t e de g r a n d e fum^e qui deformait tout. I I ne s ' a p p a r t e n a i t p l u s , i l o b ^ i s s a i t a s e s muscles, a l a b§te enrag^e. P o u r t a n t , i l ne b u v a i t p a s , i l s e r e f u s a i t meme un p e t i t v e r r e d' e a u - d e - v i e , a y a n t remarque^ que l a moindre goutte d ' a l c o o l l e r e n d a i t f o u . E t 39  i l en v e n a i t a penser q u ' i l p a y a i t pour l e s a u t r e s , l e s peres, l e s grands-peres, qui a v a i e n t bu, l e s g e n e r a t i o n s d'ivrognes dont i l £tait l e sang gatd, un l e n t empoisonnement, une sauvagerie qui l e ramenait avec l e s loups mangeurs de femmes, au fond des b o i s . . . . P u i s q u ' i l ne l e s c o n n a i s s a i t pas, q u e l l e f u r e u r p o u v a i t - i l a v o i r contre e l l e s ? c a r , chaque f o i s , c ' e t a i t comme une soudaine c r i s e de rage aveugle, une s o i f t o u j o u r s r e n a i s s a n t e de venger des o f f e n s e s t r e s anciennes, dont i l a u r a i t perdu l ' e x a c t e memoire. C e l a v e n a i t - i l done de s i l o i n , du mal que l e s femmes a v a i e n t f a i t a s a r a c e , de l a rancune amass^e de male en mSle, depuis l a premiere tromperie au fond des cavernes? Et i l s e n t a i t a u s s i , dans son acces, une n d c e s s i t e de b a t a i l l e pour c o n q u e r i r l a f e m e l l e e t l a dompter, l e b e s o i n p e r v e r t i de l a j e t e r morte sur son dos, a i n s i qu'une p r o i e qu'on arrache aux a u t r e s , a jamais. Son craYie e'clatait sous 1 ' e f f o r t , i l n ' a r r i v a i t pas a se repondre, t r o p i g n o r a n t , p e n s a i t - i l , l e cerveau t r o p sourd, dans c e t t e angoisse d'un homme pousse a. des a c t e s ou s a v o l o n t e n ' e t a i t pour r i e n , e t dont l a cause en l u i a v a i t d i s p a r u . (pp. 98-99)  I t i s necessary t o quote the passage r e l a t i n g t o Jacques's atavism a t such l e n g t h i n order t o demonstrate the v a r i e t y o f elements  that the author suggests as the p o s s i b l e  source o f Jacques's mania.  The passage begins with a  r e f e r e n c e t o h e r e d i t y (the f i r s t  element);  Jacques's  s u f f e r i n g i t seems i s t r a n s m i t t e d g e n e t i c a l l y . v i c t i m o f a " f e l u r e h£reditaire." ancestors — sang gate" —  He i s the  From h i s d r i n k sodden  " l e s g e n e r a t i o n s d'ivrognes dont i l e t a i t l e Z o l a moves on t o t a l k o f "une sauvagerie q u i  l e ramenait avec l e s loups mangeurs de femmes, au fond des bois."  The second element i s then a move even f u r t h e r back  i n time t o an age o f p r e h i s t o r i c savagery when man e x i s t e d on a par w i t h the b e a s t s .  So f a r the p r o g r e s s i o n — 40  or rather,  regression —  h a s shown a c e r t a i n  logic,  e l e m e n t i s a b o u t t o be i n t r o d u c e d . "Une  soif  Reference  third  i s made t o :  t o u j o u r s r e n a i s s a n t e de v e n g e r d e s o f f e n s e s  anciennes."  Thus t h e i d e a o f v e n g e a n c e  as m o t i v a t i o n  f o r the urge t o k i l l  v e n g e a n c e upon whom? question:  however a  The a u t h o r  "Cela v e n a i t - i l  femmes a v a i e n t  fait  i s suggested.  continues,  done de s i l o i n ,  a sa race  p a r t i c u l a r memory d e e p l y  (the t h i r d  . . .?"  tres  element) But  posing the d u mal que l e s  The e x i s t e n c e o f one  ingrained i n the subconscious  ofa l l  members o f t h e male s e x i s t h e r e f o r e i m p l i e d , a memory w h i c h not  only separates  them f r o m b u t , e q u a l l y , o p p o s e s them t o  members o f t h e f e m a l e s e x . invitation  t o Adam t o p a r t a k e  Z o l a ' s words, Zola,  " l a premiere tromperie  a f u s i o n o f elements.  been i n t e r m i n g l e d w i t h  according in  myth.  the depths o f a p r e h i s t o r i c  or,i n  au fond  des  to the F a l l  i n t h i s way, h a s  The f i r s t  a c t of deception,  l a femelle  An a d d i t i o n a l e l e m e n t  "une n ^ c e s s i t e ^ de b a t a i l l e  e t l a dompter,  l a j e t e r morte s u r son d o s . "  l e besoin  i n t h e terms o f a g g r e s s o r  Z o l a c a n o n l y mean  perverti  D e s i r e f o r vengeance i s  s u c c e e d e d by t h e u r g e t o c o n q u e r and p o s s e s s . and v i c t i m  Absolute employed by  death.  Emphasis has s h i f t e d occurring  cavernes."  Physiological regression  cave.  i s now d e s c r i b e d :  pour c o n q u ^ r i r  possession  t o Eve and h e r  t o Z o l a , t o o k p l a c e n o t i n t h e G a r d e n o f Eden b u t  (the f o u r t h )  de  of the apple  by i n c l u d i n g t h e r e f e r e n c e  engineered has  T h i s memory r e f e r s  away f r o m a n h e r e d i t a r y  flaw  i n a g i v e n f a m i l y t o a much w i d e r s e n s e o f male 41  outrage  against  o f paramount  t h e female sex.  importance.  becoming t h e f o c a l conjures  The l a t t e r word  S-E-X, i t w i l l  point o f the issue.  an awareness o f O r i g i n a l  of g u i l t .  The n e x t  the  libido  i n i t s darkest  one  possessed.  J a c q u e s ' s "mal"  step  i s , indeed,  be s e e n , Reference  i s fast to the F a l l  S i n and a consequent  i n Zola's  aura  scheme i s a n e v o c a t i o n o f  form: the urge t o o b l i t e r a t e t h e  The d e l i n e a t i o n o f t h e c a u s e s i s , t o say the l e a s t ,  underlying  complex a n d r a t h e r  m u d d l e d . The g e n e a l o g y o f t h e Rougons a n d t h e M a c q u a r t s into  the mists  along  this  primeval  o f man's p r e h i s t o r i c  s e n s e o f male f u r y .  A causal  and c u l p r i t .  the  c a r n a l knowledge.  lapse into  and opposed.  associated with  link  Culpability  constructed  juxtaposition, primeval Man  —  man —  deceived  death.  of a  i s t h e n made  i sassociated  with  Man a n d woman a r e now  The s e n s e o f male o u t r a g e i s  a specific  g r u d g e a g a i n s t woman a n d t h e male  t u r n s a g a i n s t womankind i n a f u r y o f rampant has  Somewhere  t e n u o u s l i n e woman becomes t h e v i c t i m  between v i c t i m  separate  ancestors.  fades  libido.  Zola  a s e q u e n c e o f r e f e r e n c e s w h i c h , by t h e i r resonate  with  symbolic  meaning.  a n embodiment o f raw power. by Woman, t h e r e s u l t  The l a t t e r  Myth: t h e f i r s t  evil/sex,  a l l u s i o n merges w i t h  Anthropology:  the p r i c e  the evocation o f the  s a v a g e male f o r c e , t h e u n g o v e r n a b l e h u n g e r t o p o s s e s s a n d destroy. The  c o n s e q u e n c e o f t h e s p i n n i n g o f t h i s v e r i t a b l e web  o f a s s o c i a t i o n s i s the f o r g i n g o f an i n d e l i b l e sex  and d e a t h .  link  between  "Amour-mort" become two f a c e s o f one c o i n .  42  Murder, t h e r e f o r e , a c q u i r e s an a d d i t i o n a l p e r s p e c t i v e . is  It  (with the s o l e e x c e p t i o n of the murder of Phasie)  motivated  by j e a l o u s y .  And,  the p o i n t must be  underlined,  j e a l o u s y a r i s i n g not from love but from p a s s i o n . La Bete humaine the a c t of murder i s formulated  Throughout i n the  context of p h y s i c a l d e s i r e , thus: Roubaud d e s i r e s she r e f u s e s him the nature  SeVerine,  and her r e s i s t a n c e leads to the c o n f e s s i o n of  of her r e l a t i o n s h i p with Grandmorin;  i n c r e a s i n g l y passionate  SeVerine's  response to Jacques prompts her  to  seek a f i n a l s o l u t i o n to the problem of her husband's presence; F l o r e d e s i r e s Jacques, she d i s c o v e r s the engine d r i v e r and  SeVerine locked i n an embrace and  j e a l o u s y ; Jacques s l e e p s with Philomene and caught "en f l a g r a n t d e l i t " by Pecqueux who jealous fury.  i s racked  with  the couple  are  erupts i n t o a  J e a l o u s y / d e s i r e i s o b v i o u s l y the " f o r c e  m o t r i c e " f o r murder and  one  can see how  this outline  i n t e r c o n n e c t s with the resume* of a c t i o n g i v e n on page 38 t h i s study.  SeVerine confesses her a f f a i r with Grandmorin  and Roubaud murders him; Severine's  l i a i s o n and  F l o r e d i s c o v e r s Jacques  and  causes t h e i r t r a i n to c r a s h ;  Pecqueux s u r p r i s e s Jacques with PhilomSne and f i g h t and  of  the two  men  die.  The nature re-evaluated.  of the a c t i o n i n La Bete humaine may  now  be  Murder i s indeed a primary component of a c t i o n  i n the n o v e l , however death, i t has been demonstrated, i s i n s e p a r a b l e from sex.  A c c o r d i n g l y , i t would be more accurate  to say t h a t sexual d e s i r e and an a s s o c i a t e d urge to 43  kill  comprise  the source o f the n o v e l ' s a c t i o n .  P h y s i c a l d e s i r e has been d e s c r i b e d i n t h i s study as the context f o r murder and the statement more l i t e r a l  sense.  The  may  now  be r e c a l l e d  in a  s e t t i n g f o r Severine's confession of  her l i a i s o n w i t h Grandmorin i s V i c t o i r e ' s l i v i n g q u a r t e r s a s o r t of b e d s i t w i t h t a b l e , stove and,  of course,  —  bed.  Alone with Severine i n the i n t i m a t e atmosphere o f the room, Roubaud becomes aroused:  Peu *h peu, sans une p a r o l e , i l l ' a v a i t envelopee d'une caresse p l u s e t r o i t e , e x c i t e par l a t i ^ d e u r de ce corps jeune, q u ' i l t e n a i t a i n s i a p l e i n s bras. E l l e l e g r i s a i t de son odeur, e l l e a c h e v a i t d ' a f f o l e r son d e s i r , en cambrant l e s r e i n s pour se degager. D'une secousse, i l l ' e n l e v a de l a fene^tre, dont i l referma l e s v i t r e s du coude. Sa bouche a v a i t rencontre^ l a sienne, i l l u i e c r a s a i t l e s l'evres, i l l ' e m p o r t a i t v e r s l e l i t . (p. 66)  But h i s l u s t i s denied and q u i c k l y g i v e s way "D'un et,  bond, i l f u t de nouveau sur e l l e ,  furieusement,  l'abbatit"  d'un  (pp. 68-69).  to v i o l e n c e :  l e poing en  l'air;  s e u l coup, pres de l a t a b l e , i l Jacques  and SeVerine spend the n i g h t  t o g e t h e r and once more the s e t t i n g i s V i c t o i r e ' s q u a r t e r s (chapter seven).  Unable to r e s t r a i n the urge to share her  Denis de Rougemont i n h i s work L'Amour et 1 ' O c c i d e n t ( P a r i s : U.G.E., 1962) examines the r e c u r r e n t a s s o c i a t i o n o f death w i t h d e s i r e i n Western c u l t u r e and t r a c e s i t s o r i g i n s to the i n f l u e n c e o f the troubadours and the s u b l i m a t i o n o f profane love as i t o c c u r r e d i n the r i t u a l s and t r a d i t i o n s of "1'amour c o u r t o i s . " 44  g u i l t w i t h Jacques,  SeVerine  As h e r  "recit"  "recit"  for  the v i v i d  its  climax:  de  (and first  person  d e s c r i b e s Grandmorin's murder. i s indeed  account  the c o r r e c t  g i v e n by s e v e r i n e ) r e a c h e s  " I l s se p o s s e d ^ r e n t , r e t r o u v a n t l'amour au  l a mort, d a n s l a me^me v o l u p t e d o u l o u r e u s e  s'eventrent  pendant  t o r t u r e d by  t h e r e s u r r e c t i o n o f h i s "mal"  spare lust  l e r u t " (p. 257).  s e v e r i n e , goes out i s succeeded  latter  by an  i n s t a n c e an  impulse  to  bed.  t h e most e x p l i c i t  le grisait  desir,  terms as  the r e c u r r e n c e o f a  The  son  les reins..  achieved  through  physical  and  o f t e n o f an  additional  simply  physical  . . "  And  go  Jacques  "des  lust  details:  achevait d'affoler  a r e compared w i t h  the use  particular  are described i n  i s evoked i n g r o s s l y p h y s i c a l ,  only violent  —  a  s c e n e i n w h i c h Roubaud's  odeur, e l l e  pendant l e r u t . "  t h e r e f o r e not  An  de  the couple  s'dventrent  into action i n  type of s e t t i n g ,  the s e x u a l a c t i t s e l f  terms.  en cambrant  severine's union  the  Croix-de-Maufras.  i s k i n d l e d i n c l u d e s a number o f s p e c i f i c "Elle  Once more  However, Z o l a ' s c h a r a c t e r s do n o t  A r o u s a l and  to  i s once more a bedroom  recurrence of a p a r t i c u l a r  of a c t i o n .  In  Jacques i s  i n order  which i s t r a n s l a t e d  bedroom f o r i n s t a n c e , s u g g e s t s type  and  fond  bei;es q u i  Afterwards  to k i l l .  location  "chambre r o u g e " a t t h e The  des  i n search of a v i c t i m .  impulse  c h a p t e r e l e v e n , when t h e the  description  son  and  even  bestial  b£tes q u i  A c t i o n i n L a B@te humaine i s  i n nature,  i t s evocation i s  o f terms which a r e u n r e m i t t i n g l y extreme  brutality.  f a c t o r c o n t r i b u t e s to the shocking 45  nature  of  Z o l a ' s p o r t r a y a l o f sex and death.  accumulate as the novel progresses. experience  lust,  Violent acts The c h a r a c t e r s  j e a l o u s y , rage, s u s p i c i o n .  However, one  p a r t i c u l a r emotion i s notable f o r i t s absence.  Remorse i s  not i n c l u d e d i n the l i m i t e d range o f the p r o t a g o n i s t s ' emotions.  F o r example, Roubaud's e x i s t e n c e continues  he has murdered Grandmorin "sans un remords."  after  The deputy  s t a t i o n - m a s t e r has i n f a c t sunk i n t o a l e t h a r g i c s t a t e o f t o t a l i n d i f f e r e n c e : " i l s'en a l l a i t de son pas a l o u r d i , l e dos i n d i f f e r e n t "  (p. 294).  f e e l s p o s i t i v e l y exuberant.  Jacques, on the other hand, Aboard h i s new engine,  months a f t e r murdering SeVerine, of  three  he g l o r i e s i n the sweetness  the n i g h t :  . . . c e t t e n u i t - l a , l e c i e l d t a i t d'une douceur s i d e l i c i e u s e , q u ' i l se s e n t a i t porte a 1'indulgence, l a l a i s s a n t galoper un peu a s a f a n t a i s i e , heureux lui-meme de r e s p i r e r largement. Jamais i l ne s ' e t a i t mieux porte , sans remords, l ' a i r soulagd, dans une grande p a i x heureuse. (p. 353) 1  He even "experiments" by s l e e p i n g with Philomene i n order t o put h i s cure t o the t e s t :  Et i l n'y a v a i t pas eu l a seulement une minute de c u r i o s i t e s e n s u e l l e . . . Deux f o i s d6ja, i l 1'avait eue, e t r i e n , pas un malaise, pas un f r i s s o n . Sa grande j o i e , son a i r apaise e t r i a n t d e v a i t v e n i r , m§me a son i n s u , du bonheur de n'etre p l u s qu'un homme comme l e s a u t r e s . (pp. 353-354) 46  with  The  amount o f v i o l e n c e d e p i c t e d  the  rank c a l l o u s n e s s  s u g g e s t s a p a r t i c u l a r aim Therefore set  out  i t i s hardly  to create  t o u t P a r i s , " and successful.  e x h i b i t e d by on  the  echoes i n the crescendo of  coupled  characters,  of the  author.  s u r p r i s i n g to d i s c o v e r  there  can  be  no  Long a f t e r the  the  part  the  novel,  that  Zola  a "drame v i o l e n t a d o n n e r l e cauchemar  images o f S e v e r i n e ' s memory and  i n the  d o u b t t h a t he  last  shattered  page h a s  mind as  was  been  turned,  body r e t u r n t o h a u n t  thunderous passage of the  a  the  runaway t r o o p  i t h u r t l e s e v e r onwards t o w a r d s  train a  destruction.  * *  In the  film  Indeed, having one  should  to the  be  *  a c t i o n i s presented  noted Renoir's  quite  treatment  prepared f o r a s i g n i f i c a n t  presentation  of events.  First  characters,  change i n a p p r o a c h  of a l l ,  action i s  to a core  Roubaud  (and  Severine);  the  a t t e m p t e d murder o f Roubaud  Jacques  (and  Severine);  the  murder o f S e V e r i n e by  branch of  completely Severine  the  murder o f G r a n d m o r i n  Jacques.  the  focus  Murder s t i l l  i s now  on  by by  Jacques.  p l o t w h i c h r e l a t e s t o t h e M i s a r d s has  p r u n e d away and  and  the  of the  reduced  The  comprising:  differently.  been  Roubaud,  a p p e a r s t o be  the  18 Niess  E m i l e Z o l a , L e t t e r s t o J . Van S a n t e n K o l f f , ed. R. J . ( S t . L o u i s : W a s h i n g t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1 9 4 0 ) , p. 338. 47  chief  component o f a c t i o n ,  however h e r e of  jealousy the motivating  coincidence with  t h e n o v e l ends.  t h e a c t o f murder a s i t i s p r e s e n t e d  force,  An  by R e n o i r  examination will  demonstrate the d i f f e r e n c e . The train.  first  murder, t h a t o f G r a n d m o r i n ,  t a k e s p l a c e on a  The p r e s i d e n t opens t h e d o o r o f h i s p r i v a t e  compartment a n d h i s s u r p r i s e a t s e e i n g S e v e r i n e alarm into  a s Roubaud p u s h e s h e r f o r w a r d , t h e compartment a n d q u i c k l y  the b l i n d  shut  j o s t l e s Grandmorin  c l o s e s the door,  i n t h e same movement.  and  the soundtrack  roar of the t r a i n  light  rises  Roubaud s h o v e s S e v e r i n e  h i m s e l f backs from object  The  The f r a n t i c  by t h e i n t e r p l a y  s t e a d i e r pace.  cheminots"  The c o u p l e  a social  she cannot  and s o u n d , s l o w s  he  i s staged  i n t h e Roubauds*  o f dancing  a t the " b a l des 1  continue  —  to a  carriage.  aspect o f the railwaymen s  i n t r o d u c e d by t h e d i r e c t o r that  The d o o r  the c o r r i d o r ,  return to their  A f t e r an e v e n i n g —  speed.  rush o f the t r a i n ,  of light  murder o f S e v e r i n e  apartment.  out i n t o  flashes of  t h e compartment m o v i n g a s i f s k i r t i n g a n  on t h e f l o o r .  suggested  The r a t t l e  intermittent  t o produce a s e n s a t i o n o f e s c a l a t i n g  opens.  snapping  o f empty  to a crescendo.  combine w i t h  back  The camera c o n t i n u e s t o  f o c u s on t h e s h u t t e r e d d o o r and t h e s t r e t c h corridor;  turns to  S e v e r i n e has t o l d  lives  Jacques  s e e i n g h i m and he u n d e r s t a n d s  that  t h e r e m o v a l o f Roubaud i s t h e c o n d i t i o n upon w h i c h t h e continuation of their  relationship  depends.  He d e t e r m i n e s  commit t h e murder and f o l l o w s S e v e r i n e home t o t e l l 48  her of  to  his resolution. stairs,  they t a l k  someone i s h e a r d a s c e n d i n g t h e  t h e c o u p l e assume i t i s Roubaud.  extinguishes snaps. voice,  As  the l i g h t  A brief shrill  SeVerine  and k i s s e s J a c q u e s .  struggle  His  control  ensues d u r i n g which S e v e r i n e ' s  with surprise,  cuts a c r o s s the s i l e n c e .  She  c o l l a p s e s o n t o t h e bed and J a c q u e s s t a r e s down a t h e r lifeless  form b e f o r e d i s c a r d i n g  t h e k n i f e and  r u n n i n g from  t h e room. Most n o t a b l e a b o u t R e n o i r ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n o f murder i s precisely  t h e way  case the d i r e c t o r door i s i n t e r p o s e d  i n w h i c h he does n o t p r e s e n t i t . a v o i d s showing  In each  the a c t o f murder.  between t h e camera and  A  closed  t h e assumed a c t o f  v i o l e n c e w h i l e an a t m o s p h e r e  of tension  of  J a c q u e s t u r n s upon S e v e r i n e and  light  and  sound  effects.  i s c r e a t e d by t h e  h i s movements a r e c l o a k e d by t h e d a r k n e s s i n t o w h i c h just  p l u n g e d t h e room.  done.  The  treatment, The  door.  a c r y and  same a p p r o a c h c a n be d e t e c t e d or non-treatment,  originally,  i n a shed.  the s e t t i n g  i s , like  i n the  This  director's  i s also  the case i n  them t h r o u g h t h e  Jacques about Grandmorin's  the n o v e l , V i c t o i r e ' s  embrace b u t s o o n S e V e r i n e b e g i n s t o t a l k was  t h e deed i s  SeVerine's r e l a t i o n s h i p  b u t t h e camera d o e s n o t f o l l o w  When S e v e r i n e t e l l s  has  o f sex.  consummation o f J a c q u e s and  takes place, the f i l m  A scuffle,  she  use  w i t h Roubaud i n t h e same room.  The  couple  o f t h e t i m e when she  With b a r e l y concealed  avidity  Jacques q u e s t i o n s h e r about  details  emerge he a b r u p t l y h i d e s h i s f a c e . 49  rooms.  murder  t h e murder, and a s t h e Startled,  S e V e r i n e a s k s what i s wrong, b u t he  s o o t h e s h e r f e a r s and  the  moment p a s s e s . T h i s scene  depicts  the n o v e l , h i g h l i g h t s between d e a t h and physical  the re-awakening  the v i s c e r a l  desire.  o f t h e b e a s t and,  quality  o f the  1  c o n f e s s i o n combines w i t h the c h a r a c t e r s ' create a t e r r i b l e  link  S e V e r i n e s words m i n g l e w i t h  e x p r e s s i o n of her d e s i r e f o r Jacques,  v o r t e x which  and  in  the  the a c t of  sexual coupling  t h r e a t e n s t o overwhelm  to  even  Severine:  Le f r i s s o n du d ^ s i r se p e r d a i t dans c e t a u t r e f r i s s o n de m o r t , r e v e n u en e l l e . C e t a i t , comme a u f o n d de t o u t e v o l u p t e , une a g o n i e q u i recommencait. Un i n s t a n t , e l l e r e s t a s u f f o q u ^ e p a r une s e n s a t i o n r a l e n t i e de v e r t i g e . ( p . 249)  Renoir's approach matter.  to the scene  Gone t h e v i v i d l y  between k i s s e s  phrased  i s positively  conducted  fully  eagerness  t o know t h e d e t a i l s ,  is  ".  clothed  and  s e d a t e by  the crux o f the scene  . . l e s coups  malheureux, dont  de  i n i t s place a comparison, Jacques's  his breathless concentration o f "amour-mort"  i n the n o v e l i s e n t i r e l y  i s f u r t h e r borne  c o n d i t i o n a s an  different  whispered  i n broad d a y l i g h t .  h i s c o n d i t i o n but the a s s o c i a t i o n  p o i n t which his  confession  i n t h e shadows o f t h e n i g h t ,  c o n v e r s a t i o n which  recall  i s an a l t o g e t h e r  tristesse  absent,  o u t by J a c q u e s ' s d i s m i s s a l  inclination  to s p e l l s  q u i me  j e ne p u i s s e p a r l e r " 50  that  of  of melancholia  rendent (direct  a  terriblement  —  t r a n s c r i p t i o n from f i l m ) .  One c a n o n l y c o n c l u d e  Renoir's beast i s an e n t i r e l y portrayed  by Z o l a .  compulsion women.  different  Yet Jacques  to k i l l  isstill  and, s p e c i f i c a l l y ,  that  animal from  that  the v i c t i m  of a  a compulsion  The q u e s t i o n must t h e n a r i s e :  to k i l l  how d i d t h e d i r e c t o r  p o r t r a y J a c q u e s ' s mania?  The c l u e  to  o f h e r f e e l i n g s a t t h e moment o f  SeVerine's d e s c r i p t i o n  Grandmorin's  death.  lies  que dans t o u t e ma v i e p a s s e e "  (direct  t r a n s c r i p t i o n from f i l m ) ,  gesture  i s l i n k e d w i t h an a c t i o n which murder,  SeVerine h a s j u s t an  invitation  This  i s common t o e a c h  scene. h e r husband  i s due t o a f e a r  Grandmorin's  horrified  told  he h i d e s h i s f a c e .  that  she has r e f u s e d  t o h e r g u a r d i a n ' s c h a t e a u , a n d Roubaud  her reluctance for  reaction  As she e x c l a i m s : " C ' e s t a f f r e u x ! J ' a i  p l u s v£cu dans c e t t e minute-Ik  murder, o r a t t e m p t e d  i n Jacques's  by t h i s  illegitimate  that  thinks  s h e s h o u l d be m i s t a k e n  daughter.  SeVerine i s  s u g g e s t i o n and r u s h e s t o t h e m i r r o r .  she makes a n a n x i o u s e x a m i n a t i o n o f h e r f e a t u r e s t a k e s h e r i n h i s arms.  While  Roubaud  R e j e c t i o n a n d r e v e l a t i o n f o l l o w one  upon t h e o t h e r w i t h SeVerine b l u r t i n g ne p e n s e n t  out her d i s t a s t e f o r  men b e c a u s e  "ils  from f i l m ) ,  and, i n t h e next b r e a t h , h e r d i s l i k e  g i v e n t o h e r by G r a n d m o r i n .  qu'a g a " ( d i r e c t  Roubaud  transcription o f the r i n g  i s , o f course, quick to  make t h e a s s o c i a t i o n . Jacques the  and S e V e r i n e s t a l k  deserted shunting yard.  their  Jacques  intended v i c t i m  across  s t o o p s t o p i c k up a n  i r o n b a r a n d a s he d o e s s o , c o n f r o n t s h i s own image  reflected  i n a pool with  o f water.  his later  He f r e e z e s and t h e i n s t a n t i s a s s o c i a t e d  inability  t o s t r i k e when Roubaud c r o s s e s t h e  yard. SeVerine to  leave.  J a c q u e s s t a r e s down a t h e r t h e n  As he p a s s e s t h e d r e s s e r he c a t c h e s  contorted into  i s dead.  f e a t u r e s i n a m i r r o r and f l e e s ,  sight of h i s  horror  stricken,  the n i g h t . The  rush  mirror provides  of self  awareness.  t h e means o f e x p r e s s i n g SeVerine  a sudden  seeks c o n f i r m a t i o n o f  Roubaud's a s s e r t i o n t h a t s h e c o u l d be G r a n d m o r i n ' s and  the r e a l i z a t i o n  illicit  overflows  i n a gesture  G r a n d m o r i n w o u l d be n o t o n l y  c a n one r e a l l y  commits  suicide.  had r e t u r n e d  t o escape t h e  t o t o r t u r e him.  i t an overwhelming sense o f remorse.  assume so much f r o m t h a t one b r i e f i n s t a n t  when t h e e n g i n e d r i v e r however t h e f i l m ' s  afterwards  t h a t o t h e r moment when  h i s f e a t u r e s i n an attempt  Awareness b r i n g s w i t h  SeVerine.  i n t h e m i r r o r a s h i s own,  instant of revelation recalls  sought t o c o n c e a l  t o save  o f what he h a s done  the r e f l e c t i o n  knowledge t h a t h i s m a l a i s e  Yet  on t h e b r i n k o f t a k i n g a  comes t o o l a t e  J a c q u e s o n l y becomes c o n s c i o u s  he  D i s g u s t w e l l s up i n h e r and  o f what he i s a b o u t t o do s t a y s h i s  However, r e a l i z a t i o n  this  h o r r o r f o r then h e r  Jacques sees h i m s e l f  when he r e c o g n i z e s  daughter,  o f r e v u l s i o n which a l e r t s h e r husband  and t h e r e a l i z a t i o n  hand.  her with  but a l s o incestuous.  to the t r u t h . life  fills  relationship with  adulterous  and  turns  stares into  ending  the mirror?  Perhaps n o t ,  l e a v e s no room f o r d o u b t .  Jacques  A brief  extract  from  of a preface to the f i l m . relating  the novel i s presented i n the guise I t i s taken from  t o J a c q u e s ' s a t a v i s m however, by q u o t i n g p i e c e m e a l ,  t h e d i r e c t o r h a s c o m p l e t e l y changed passage  the passage  now seems t o a n t i c i p a t e  t h e emphasis  Jacques's  and t h e  suicide:  L u i , a c e r t a i n e s heures, l a s e n t a i t bien, cette felure her^ditaire. E t i l en v e n a i t a penser q u ' i l p a y a i t pour l e s a u t r e s , l e s p e r e s , l e s g r a n d s - p e r e s , q u i a v a i e n t bu, l e s g e n e r a t i o n s d ' i v r o g n e s dont i l e t a i t l e sang gate. S o n crSne ^ c l a t a i t s o u s 1 ' e f f o r t dans l ' a n g o i s s e d'un homme p o u s s e a d e s a c t e s ou sa v o l o n t e n ' ^ t a i t pour r i e n , e t dont l a c a u s e en l u i a v a i t d i s p a r u . ( d i r e c t t r a n s c r i p t i o n from f i l m )  The  reference to heredity  shifted  to this aspect.  an i l l n e s s his family,  inherited  which  indeed the f o c u s has  Jacques's c o n d i t i o n  i s attributed to  f r o m members o f p r e v i o u s g e n e r a t i o n s o f  b u t now t h e a c c e n t i s on i t s s o u r c e a s a m e n t a l  aberration rather Jacques.it  remains,  than a p h y s i o l o g i c a l  compulsion.  seems, i s a t t h e mercy o f f o r c e s  i n the g r i p o f  he commits "des a c t e s ou s a v o l o n t e n ' ^ t a i t  U l t i m a t e l y he i s p u s h e d  beyond  the l i m i t s  crane e c l a t a i t sous 1 ' e f f o r t " — inevitable. upon w h i c h  rien".  o f endurance  —"Son  and s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n  becomes  The d i r e c t o r h a s c o m p l e t e l y e r a s e d t h e p r e m i s e the n o v e l i s based,  regressive forces the t e x t  pour  i n members o f modern c i v i l i z a t i o n ,  fades i t i s replaced  beneath which  namely t h e embodiment o f  by a p i c t u r e  o f the author  the signature Emile Zola appears. 53  y e t as  The w i l y  Renoir  i s not  only a t t r i b u t i n g  a seal  of authenticity  or disapproves author  The  shade o f f r e s h l y  film the  film  b l o o d , and  sharpness  c o n t r a s t o f b l a c k and  quick-fire  gains i n conciseness. succession, producing  Pecqueux on  on  track.  d e s p i t e the d i r e c t o r ' s avoidance  the people  of P a r i s .  jusqu•alors."  Can  "[LeJ f i l m  such  deemed a p p l i c a b l e t o LA c o n s i d e r s how to the content  little  le plus  i n the  through  received had  t h e dreams o f  degradant have b e e n  v i o l e n c e i s shown i n t h e f i l m  i t applicable.  s t r o n g e s t terms: 54  one  compared  representative of " l a  which i n c l u d e the above r e a c t i o n  a r e couched  Jacques  BETE HUMAINE, e s p e c i a l l y when  L i g u e de M o r a l i t y , " t h o u g h t views,  to d i s t u r b  Candel,  in  Indeed, h i s  t o LA  of  o f the b l a t a n t  i f he  a description really  o f the novel?  film  t h e v e r y same s t r e t c h  w i t h a s much h o r r o r i n c e r t a i n q u a r t e r s a s intention  the  causal  t o t h e n o v e l , h i s a p p r o a c h was  emulated Z o l a ' s o r i g i n a l  the  St. Lazare  l e a p from  intrinsic  and  shots of  to Jacques's Yet,  h i s engine  darkest  are presented  the opening to gare  of  the  t h e medium  an u n e q u i v o c a l  t h e home s t r e t c h  Red,  p r e s e n t a t i o n and  from  Events  outset.  However,  Much i s o m i t t e d  sequence t h a t g a t h e r s pace from  brutality  a t the  b l a c k , the c o l o r  arising  approves  august  vary greatly.  of Renoir's  white  combine t o make i t s o .  immediately  and  Whether one  t h e p r e d o m i n a n t hues o f t h e n o v e l . The  i s setting  v e r s i o n , the shot o f the  o f book and  spilt  i s starker.  itself  work.  l e n d s i t an a i r o f a s s u r a n c e  tonalities  night, are  on h i s own  Renoir's  certainly  t h e q u o t a t i o n , he  BETE HUMAINE,  Comprenez, M o n s i e u r , l ' a c t u e l e s p r i t m o r a l e s t a s s e z t ^ n e b r e u x , i l me semble i n u t i l e de l e galvauder davantage. P a r c o n s e q u e n t , i l ne t i e n t qu'h v o u s , p a r v o t r e s a i n e c o m p r e h e n s i o n e t v o t r e a t t i t u d e , de m e t t r e e n t r a v e a c e courant malsain. L a d i g n i t e de l a p e r s o n n e humaine e s t p o u r moi e t p o u r b i e n d ' a u t r e s , animus d e s memes s e n t i m e n t s , un r e f l e t t r e s p r e c i e u x d o n t nous exigeons l e respect. S o y e z p e r s u a d ^ que j e veux t r a i t e r i c i e n ami s i n c e r e m a i s c e r t e s r e b e l l e ^a t o u t c e q u i compromet l a d e s t i n e e de t o u t e p e r s o n n a l i t e . 1 9  According  t o C a n d e l LA B£TE HUMAINE p o s e d a r e a l  to the moral f a b r i c LA  B u t i n what way was  BETE HUMAINE s o d e m o r a l i z i n g ?  the  case,  been.  people  The c h a r a c t e r s o f t h e n o v e l  notably  are nothing  o f base i n s t i n c t s which i n v a r i a b l y  i n violence.  They a r e n o t a p p r o x i m a t i o n s  more find  of  b u t o f t h r o w b a c k s a n d a r e , by i m p l i c a t i o n , t h e  exception source:  must have  i n t h e a r e a s where i t d i f f e r s most  an a c c u m u l a t i o n  expression  the o r i g i n a l  L A BETE HUMAINE's s u p p o s e d u n d e s i r a b i l i t y i s  precisely  from the n o v e l . than  And s u r e l y , i f s u c h were  how much more u n d e s i r a b l e  In fact,  located  and n o t t h e r u l e .  the i n t e r p l a y  motivation. and  of society.  threat  Renoir's  In the f i l m  o f conscious  and  a c t i o n has another unconscious  characters represent  each s u f f e r s from a f a t a l  flaw.  Renoir  human  beings  seems t o have  E x t r a c t from a l e t t e r i n c l u d e d i n a c o m p i l a t i o n o f a r t i c l e s a n d i n t e r v i e w s by B e r n a r d C h a r d e r e e n t i t l e d " J e a n R e n o i r , " P r e m i e r P l a n , Nos. 22-24 ( L y o n : S.E.R.D.O.C., 1 9 6 2 ) , p.272. 55  effectively of  shackled  free will  i t s d a r k e r i m p u l s e s and  for  Candel's o b j e c t i o n .  victim  and  this,  the  psyche.  orgy of  BETE HUMAINE c l o s e s w i t h s h o t s o f  parabola,  himself.  So,  the  track  where t h e  where Z o l a ' s  bounded by  genetic  determinism,  the  characters  i s cast  i n more e x i s t e n t i a l  against  implacable film  are  d e s t i n i e s but the  i n the  devoid  of  of  their  transcendence but,  that  to d e s t r u c t i o n ,  i t s own  the  film  not  be  life  LA  on  himself,  futility.  vein.  They  struggle  B o t h book  It lacks  the  an  i t is the  cleared  official  from the  impeded.  How  be  diminished!  The  beast  line  that  much more c a n  energy  and  applicability  despair  and  the  the  of  train  ultimate that  service  the will  i m p o r t a n c e o f human  the  J a c q u e s does seem t o be 56  of  Instead  Jacques  i n L a B e t e humaine i s o m n i p r e s e n t ,  BETE HUMAINE t h e  the  irony.  i s shown i n s i s t i n g  so  and  open-endedness which,  action expressing an  own  appears  finally,  a scene of p a t h e t i c  Further,  considerably  Renoir's  o f f e r s a c e r t a i n hope f o r r e n e w a l .  closes  destroys  body be  way,  of  suffering.  more p e s s i m i s t i c .  in  plight  a  is  cannot even master t h e i r  f i l m which i s the c l o s i n g rush  fights  onto which  world  backdrop of a world which  face  the  book d e s c r i b e s  is circular;  actions  He  basis  destruction;  film  to c o n t r o l t h e i r  i s the  mercy  loses.  L a B £ t e humaine ends i n an  hurled  the  Thus J a c q u e s i s s e e n t o be  h i s w e a k n e s s . . . and  J a c q u e s has  humanity a t  undoubtedly,  o f d a r k e r f o r c e s w i t h i n h i s own  against  LA  left  title the  in  narrows  eponymous  character. i s a beast certainly subtler, the  I n d e e d , one i n the not  film  o f the  s o o n b e g i n s t o wonder w h e t h e r at a l l .  kind  And,  i f there  e n v i s a g e d by  Zola.  is, it is It i s a  more p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y o r i e n t e d m a n i f e s t a t i o n  product,  than that of  one  could  speculate,  Lombroso.  57  o f the  there  i n f l u e n c e of  —  more Freud  Chapter  Three  Space  L a B e t e humaine i s b a s e d on One  r e l a t i o n s h i p s of  i s c o n t i n u a l l y made aware o f r e c i p r o c a l  situations. their  The  obsessions  environment. with  c h a r a c t e r s who are  The  i t s h i l l s and  d i p s and  around  turn, i s a fine  confines  of  Croix-de-Maufras, Jacques  Yet  this  of pathetic  and  fallacy.  p r o j e c t i n g Jacques's mental s t a t e onto h i s  surroundings, l o o k a t an  the  example.  limits  and  in their physical  bushes i n t o which  d e s c r i p t i o n s exceed the  Z o l a i s not  states  e x i s t w i t h i n the trapped  countryside  stumbles a t every other  similarly  identity.  he  i s drawing a p a r a l l e l  earlier  passage w i l l  distinction.  A f t e r Roubaud has  infidelity  s t a r e s out  he  into  serve  between t h e  two.  to h i g h l i g h t  the  discovered  the g a t h e r i n g  SeVerine's dusk:  . . . c ' 6 t a i t une c o n f u s i o n , a c e t t e h e u r e t r o u b l e de 1 * e n t r e c h i e n e t l o u p , e t i l s e m b l a i t que t o u t a l l a i t se b r i s e r , e t t o u t p a s s a i t , se f r 6 l a i t , se d d g a g e a i t , du rrr^me mouvement doux e t rampant, vague au f o n d du c r ^ p u s c u l e . . . . Quand Roubaud se r e t o u r n a , i l a v a i t l a f a c e £ p a i s s e e t te'tue, comme e n v a h i e d'ombre p a r c e t t e n u i t qui tombait. ( p . 75)  Roubaud i s p h y s i c a l l y  infected  by  58  the darkness.  The  line  A  which would n o r m a l l y absent,  separate  the  leaving instead a situation  common d e n o m i n a t o r i s m a t t e r . p r o t a g o n i s t s , was examination  not  According  everything  t o one  i s reduced  existence. physical  This i s f e l t  elements, but  connected  with  it  penetrated  to,  be  them.  o r assuming the  inanimate  and  primitive  level  not  only  Matter  has  —  that of corporeal  i n the p r o l i f e r a t i o n sense o f  little  identified world  is  scheme,  structural  so a d d i n g  on an  of  pollution  a  integrity; coloration  of, something e l s e .  Zola's f i c t i o n a l  life  r e p r e s e n t s m a t t e r and  and/or d i f f u s e d , coloration  the  to the author's  a l s o i n the  animate are  materialism),  He  The  his fellow  c r e a t e d as a v e h i c l e f o r  of mental p r o c e s s e s .  scene i s  of equivalence.  Roubaud, l i k e  t h e r e f o r e permeable.  can  s p e c t a t o r from the  equal  is itself  As  basis  (their  imbued w i t h  f o r c e which i n t u r n c r e a t e s a sense  a  of  p e r v a s i v e menace. Throughout surroundings:  the n o v e l a c t i o n takes  Victoire's  Le H a v r e , t h e M i s a r d s ' magistrate,  the  On  the  cottage,  c a r r i a g e s and  sensation of being scenes.  nuit  ciel  blackness faisait  couvert,  ".  ou pas  offices  o f the  cabs of t r a i n s . . . limited  . . l a nuit une  ^toile  qui a s s o u r d i s s a i t le c i e l "  i s almost  i n enclosed  employees' q u a r t e r s  occasion of t h e i r f i r s t  t o meet J a c q u e s :  brume a r d e n t e  the  c l o s e d i n i s not  hurries de  rooms, t h e  place  p a l p a b l e as  59  examining  However  to  interior  tryst,  Severine  £tait s a n s l u n e , ne  luisait,  (p. 196).  sans l e  the  une  sous l a The  i t c l o s e s a b o u t them:  s i sombre, q u ' e l l e 1 ' a u r a i t frbl6  at  "II  reconnaitre,  s'il  ne l ' a v a i t  a r r £ t £ e dans s e s b r a s , en l u i  d o n n a n t un b a i s e r " ( p . 1 9 6 ) . consistently portrayed t h i s more a p p a r e n t "her" passengers flakes  i n terms o f a b a r r i e r .  than  chapter  a r e beset  o f a Christmas  i n a deathly  The  Nowhere i s  s e v e n when t h e L i s o n and  by snow and n o t t h e f l u f f y  card  landscape  b l a f a r d e s , " which r e s t r i c t engine  E x t e r n a l environment i s  white  but "dpaisseurs  v i s i o n and e v e n t u a l l y s e i z e t h e  grip.  reverse s i d e o f the c o i n i s the c h a r a c t e r s ' d e s i r e  for  concealment.  the  shadows.  SeVerine,  dressed  a l l i n black, melts  She and J a c q u e s s t r o l l  across  t h e d e p o t and  among t h e maze o f s h e d s and o u t b u i l d i n g s : " . . . r i e n plus f a c i l e fond  que de s e d i s s i m u l e r , de s e p e r d r e  d'un b o i s " ( p . 1 9 7 ) .  reflex,  a fact  p r y i n g eyes. refuge  Indeed, the impulse  t h a t i n f e r s both  guilt  on t h e o t h e r  gentle c l i c k  slippers,  then  breath...? paranoiac The novel.  side.  to hide  is a of  —  silence.  a  conceal the  The c o r r i d o r w h i c h d i v i d e s t h e  of a latch,  of furtive  rustlings:  t h e muted p a d o f c a r p e t B u t no! i s t h a t a h i s s o f i n d r a w n  The s e n s a t i o n o f b e i n g  s p i e d upon q u i c k l y  reaches  proportions. latter  i s a particularly  Zola successfully  w h i c h e x t e n d s beyond hugely  qu'au  A c l o s e d d o o r c o n c e a l s a n d s o may p r o v i d e  employees' q u a r t e r s a t Le Havre i s f u l l the  ainsi  n'^tait  and t h e p r e s e n c e  o f s o r t s b u t i t may, by t h e same t o k e n ,  listener  into  inimical  effective  aspect  conveys an atmosphere o f  o f the voyeurism  t h e c h a r a c t e r s and i s a m p l i f i e d i n t o  presence.  In the shunting yard 60  a  Jacques and  SeVerine wait the s e t t i n g by  f o r Roubaud, i n t e n t  i s deepest  night.  upon h i s d e a t h .  Once more  T h e i r f a c u l t i e s are  heightened  the s t r o n g element o f danger i n v o l v e d i n the a c t  they  contemplate:  Le meurtre etait decide , i l l e u r sembla q u ' i l s ne m a r c h a i e n t p l u s , qu'une f o r c e e t r a n g e r e l e s p o r t a i t au r a s du s o l . L e u r s e n s a v a i e n t p r i s s u b i t e m e n t une a c u i t e e x t r e m e , l e t o u c h e r s u r t o u t , c a r l e u r s m a i n s l ' u n e dans l ' a u t r e s • e n d o l o r i s s a i e n t , l e m o i n d r e e f f l e u r e m e n t de l e u r s l e v r e s d e v e n a i t p a r e i l a un coup d ' o n g l e . l i s e n t e n d a i e n t a u s s i l e s b r u i t s q u i se p e r d a i e n t t o u t "a l ' h e u r e , l e r o u l e m e n t , l e s o u f f l e l o i n t a i n des m a c h i n e s , des c h o c s a s s o u r d i s , d e s pas e r r a n t s , au f o n d d e s t e n e b r e s . Et i l s voyaient l a n u i t , i l s d i s t i n g u a i e n t l e s t a c h e s n o i r e s des c h o s e s , comme s i un b r o u i l l a r d s'en e t a i t a l i e de l e u r s paupieres . . . ( p . 290) 1  7  The  n i g h t no  senses  p e n e t r a t e i t s b l a c k n e s s and  affected air.  longer constitutes a b a r r i e r ,  by  their  their  surroundings,  t h e t e n s i o n o f t h e moment, assume a  Movement a n i m a t e s  sound adds a n o t h e r  the darkness  and  sharpened  different  i n the d i s t a n c e  dimension:  Au l o i n , une m a c h i n e s i f f l a i t , j e t a n t a l a n u i t une p l a i n t e de m e i a n c o l i q u e d e t r e s s e ; a c o u p s r e g u l i e r s , on e n t e n d a i t un f r a c a s , l e c h o c d'un m a r t e a u g £ a n t , v e n u on ne s a v a i t d'ou . . . (pp.290-291)  In f a c t ,  t h e a t m o s p h e r e o f menace a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t h e 61  furtive  c o u p l e has been m a g n i f i e d . containing  t h e words " p l a i n t e " and  h a s a n ominous q u a l i t y . pounding  Moreover,  extends f u r t h e r  (distanced progressively  of the  t h e d i s t a n c e and  from the range o f the  i s unknown.  i s reminiscent  Because  each stage  protagonists' and  of a gigantic  of i t s regularity  pulse.  i s s u r m i s e d and n o t s e e n , t h e sound  disassociated  from an o b j e c t i v e  independent e x i s t e n c e . d a r k n e s s and it  indicates  Thus t h e n o i s e o r i g i n a t e s f r o m a g i a n t hammer t h e  l o c a t i o n o f which  origin  d'ou," he  Each p a r t  into  to the  p e r c e p t i o n ) becomes a t t h e same t i m e v a g u e r  larger.  sound  "m^lancolique d^tresse,"  on ne s a v a i t  t h e mechanism b e h i n d t h e e f f e c t .  visual  description,  when t h e a u t h o r a l l u d e s  o f a hammer "venu  description  the  the c h a r a c t e r s '  s o u r c e and assumes  Associated,  noted that  an  i n s t e a d , w i t h the  environment  constraint within  element,  i n terms  the b u i l d  The  steam  way  i t f u n c t i o n s and  their  preponderance  i t provokes  up o f p r e s s u r e p r o d u c e s an  the use  parallel  to which  produces energy which  a  explosion.  because  o f the  i t i s put i n the  novel.  i n t u r n p r o d u c e s movement,  i s c h a n n e l e d i n one  d i r e c t i o n only.  l i n k w i t h Z o l a ' s c h a r a c t e r s becomes c l e a r . 62  reflect  o r man-made, a r e  Soon t h i s  so much so t h a t  engine provides a d i r e c t  y e t movement t h a t  natural  o f mass.  o f m a t t e r becomes s t i f l i n g ,  i s used to  t h e bounds o f  S u r r o u n d i n g s , whether  i n v a r i a b l y evoked  Compression  becomes  of a brooding, malevolent presence.  I t h a s been  r e a c t i o n and  because i t s  t h e m u r d e r o u s i n t e n t i o n s o f t h e human  becomes p a r t  obsessions.  Also,  the  They  The  too are  forced  i n one  grooves The  d i r e c t i o n and  a t an  o n l y way  ever out  must move a l o n g  their respective  i n c r e a s i n g p a c e w i t h no hope o f  i s , like  the f a t e  o f the  troop  escape.  train,  obliteration. So  far this  examination  o f space  deceptive s i m p l i c i t y  of the s u b j e c t .  hilly  what c o u l d be  countryside —  nothing. and  However, a c l o s e r  indeed  increasing case  —  simpler?  Nowhere i s t h i s  track.  P a r i s and  truer  on  Le H a v r e — The  the  and  the  the  and  crossing  fatal." is felt  throughout  two, and  attempt  at  At  Clearly,  the t o mark i t a s  i n f l u e n c e o f t h e house a t  the n o v e l f o r not  also recur.  to s t r a n g l e  Pecqueux's d e a t h s .  violence recur there with u n f a i l i n g the house i t s e l f  ends  a concentration  a f a c t which i s s u f f i c i e n t However, t h e  regularity,  the b e g i n n i n g  before h i s assault  s i x when J a c q u e s r e t u r n s f r o m  a day 63  on F l o r e . i n Paris,  the  o n l y does r e f e r e n c e s to of  chapter  f o r i n s t a n c e , as Jacques approaches the M i s a r d s ' again shortly  the  crash, Flore's suicide,  of a p a r t i c u l a r kind i s staged  "lieu  of  level crossing  c r o s s i n g sees  P h a s i e * s murder, a t r a i n murder, J a c q u e s ' s  linearity  between two  o f a c t i o n : G r a n d m o r i n ' s murder, J a c q u e s ' s  Croix-de-Maufras,  i n the  house.  Action i s distributed  the C r o i x - d e - M a u f r a s .  action  implications,  than  novel's  SeVerine's  the s u r f a c e ,  complexity.  s t r u c t u r e i s based  Flore,  On  of  a p a t t e r n of  The  —  A room, a p a t c h  a s s o c i a t i o n s which entwine to form  deserted  of a l i n e  h i g h l i g h t e d the  look r e v e a l s deeper  of a s i n g l e  railway  has  In a day  cottage  chapter which  has  seen the the  end  blossoming of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with of chapter  relationship,  now  Jacques r e t u r n s  seven a f t e r full  F l o r e has  blown.  And  S e V e r i n e and  found out  i n chapter  t o the house under c o v e r  of  about  eleven  at the  when  darkness  i n t e n d i n g t o murder Roubaud. This detailed the  i s just look at  n o v e l ) may  a s e l e c t i o n of the them  prove  (again,  references  i n order  of t h e i r  and  a more  occurrence  in  interesting.  A l a C r o i x - d e - M a u f r a s , dans un j a r d i n que l e c h e m i n de f e r a coupe*, l a m a i s o n e s t pose'e de b i a i s . . . t o u j o u r s c l o s e , l a i s s e * e comme en de'tresse . . . C ' e s t l e d e s e r t . . . ( p . 81) .  . . l a maison s o l i t a i r e ,  planted  de  biais (p.  . . . 92)  . . . l a m a i s o n p l a n t £ e de b i a i s , dans s o n abandon et sa d e t r e s s e , l e s v o l e t s ^ternellement c l o s , d'une m ^ l a n c o l i e a f f r e u s e . (p. 185) E t , l k , d a n s c e t t e l u e u r l o u c h e , l a m a i s o n de C r o i x - d e - M a u f r a s se d r e s s a i t de b i a i s , p l u s d£labr6e e t t o u t e n o i r e . . ( p . 239)  la  J a c q u e s se r e t r o u v a d e v a n t l a m a i s o n s o l i t a i r e , p l a n t ^ e de b i a i s au b o r d de l a v o i e , dans l a d e V r e s s e de s o n abandon. ( p . 342)  The  references  are  used to d e s c r i b e  not  only recurrent feature.  the house a r e  emerges i s , i n f a c t , conformity  the  a lexical  also repetitive field.  (For the  and  The what  sake  nouns have b e e n s u b s t i t u t e d f o r a d j e c t i v e s 64  of  terms  throughout).  Thus:  coupure biais cl6ture abandon desert solitude d^tresse mdlancolie malheur  These  nouns a r e a l l n e g a t i v e , f u r t h e r m o r e t h e y have  c o n n o t a t i o n s o f moral applied  stigma.  They a r e most  strong  frequently  t o t h e s i n n e r : he who h a s c u t h i m s e l f o f f f r o m God,  he who h a s c l o s e d h i s mind t o t r u t h . For  Jacques  t h e house h o l d s a p a r t i c u l a r f a s c i n a t i o n and  once more a s e r i e s o f r e f e r e n c e s c o n v e y s h a s on t h e e n g i n e  t h e impact  that i t  driver:  E l l e l e h a n t a i t s a n s q u ' i l s£it p o u r q u o i , avec l a s e n s a t i o n confuse q u ' e l l e i m p o r t a i t a son existence. ( p . 93) E t , sans s a v o i r p o u r q u o i , c e t t e f o i s encore, p l u s que l e s p r ^ c ^ d e n t e s , J a c q u e s e u t l e c o e u r serr£, comme s ' i l p a s s a i t d e v a n t s o n m a l h e u r . (p. 185) E t i l e u t encore au c o e u r l e choc d o u l o u r e u x , ce coup d ' a f f r e u s e t r i s t e s s e , q u i d t a i t comme l e p r e s s e n t i m e n t du m a l h e u r d o n t 1 ' i n e v i t a b l e ech^ance l ' a t t e n d a i t l a . ( p . 342)  65  The  s e n s e o f doom he f e e l s  the  C r o i x - d e - M a u f r a s and h i s u n e a s e i n c r e a s e s .  direct of  proportion  i s connected u n e q u i v o c a l l y with Yet,  to h i s discomfort, the malignant  t h e h o u s e grows a s i f t h e u r g e  in  attraction  t o know t h e s e c r e t i t  c o n c e a l s must o v e r r i d e a l l e l s e .  Here l i e s  the essence o f  the  h o u s e a t t h e c r o s s i n g and t h e s o u r c e o f i t s a t t r a c t i o n .  The  Croix-de-Maufras  corollary which  d'elle,  vitesse  l a sait  toujours close  woven by Z o l a a r o u n d i n which  a cette place,  . . ." (p 8 1 ) .  set  i n motion  infidelity. ring,  The  of and  o f the compulsive  be d i s m i s s e d .  killer,  a  The  The s e q u e n c e  o f murders i s  by Roubaud's d i s c o v e r y o f h i s w i f e ' s The o b j e c t  upon w h i c h  suspicion focuses i s a from  when SeVerine was s t a y i n g a t t h e C r o i x - d e - M a u f r a s .  once more.  murder.  SeVerine was s e d u c e d  and d e a t h —  association demonstrated  i s unmistakable.  The C r o i x - d e - M a u f r a s  Jacques's a s s a u l t Sex  fruit,  o f t h e network o f a s s o c i a t i o n s  the f i g u r e  r e f e r e n c e to the F a l l  head  Forbidden  a s e r p e n t r i n g w i t h e y e s o f r u b y and a g i f t  Grandmorin  filant  sans r i e n c o n n a i t r e  s e x and d e a t h meet a n d merge.  c o i n c i d e n c e cannot  beyond  p e n e t r a t e : ". . . l e monde e n t i e r  k n o w l e d g e . . . one i s r e m i n d e d  figure  I t i s the  o f awareness w i t h o u t knowledge; a s h e l l  t h e eye c a n n o t  a grande  represents forbidden f r u i t .  throughout  S-E-X r e a r s i t s  i s not o n l y the scene  t h e r e , L o u i s e t t e was r a p e d  on F l o r e was i n i t i a l l y the i n d e l i b l e  sexual.  nature o f t h e i r  t h e n o v e l has a l r e a d y been  ( c h a p t e r two o f t h i s  evocation o f the Croix-de-Maufras 66  study).  The  i n systematically  negative  terms produces  more c o h e r e n t supposedly Indeed (and,  by  its  and  the  inference, spiritual represents s i n —  terrible  purpose,  abandon de m o r t "  (p.  r e p r e s e n t s the  compulsion  It last  into corporality  appears  et desolee  demonstrates  location.  As  (sex)  fulfilled  . . . dans  son  an o r g a n i c  link  a point of i n t e r s e c t i o n i t  to polyvalency.  they are i n e v i t a b l y  v o r t e x o f d e b a u c h e r y and  of a thematic  ("amour-mort"). symbol o f t h i s  Yet  and  t h e two  i n the  formal  death.  r e p r e s e n t s the association  a s s o c i a t i o n s designed  towards i t s f a t e f u l rouge."  *  a  i t i s a n u c l e u s from which i s  a s e r i e s of symbolic  "chambre  the  elements  t h e d e s e r t e d h o u s e i s more t h a n  binary formula,  i n the  Throughout  drawn t o g e t h e r i n t h e  the house a t the c r o s s i n g  concretization  of blood  having  T h e i r conjunction i s expressed  Croix-de-Maufras,  the n a r r a t i v e  the  j u n c t u r e where t h e m o n o v a l e n c y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h  "amour," "mort."  generated  kill.  opposite of paradise  n o v e l a t h r e a d o f n e c e s s i t y i s spun around  Consequently  Zola  350).  t h e r a i l w a y t r a c k g i v e s way  c r o s s i n g and  to  s a l v a t i o n ) the house a t  "ouverte  Croix-de-Maufras  between a c t i o n and  The  the descent  death.  meaning t h a t i s  t h r e a d s by means o f w h i c h  i s inescapable.  consequently  The  jumbled  of symbolic  t r a c e s the r o o t o f Jacques's  i t s import  crossing —  than  a level  *  67  *  conclusion —  the  to  impel  shedding  In h i s approach  to s p a c e / l o c a t i o n  d i f f e r most r a d i c a l l y  from Z o l a .  His  Renoir appears staging  m u r d e r o u s e n c o u n t e r between J a c q u e s and the  n o v e l ) i s c e r t a i n l y i n an  from that  of  the  emerges f r o m t h e them t o t h e resistance kill;  pool;  bank b e s i d e crumbles,  by  meadow.  against  a vast  (chapter  he  s e i z e s her  the  railway  and  t r a i n and  their  track.  throat  of  she  struggle  As  takes  Flore's  the but  impulse he  to  is  b r e a k s away, moving o f f  subsequent c o n v e r s a t i o n  backdrop of s u n l i t  two  different spirit  J a c q u e s i s overcome by  a passing Their  Flore  the  J a c q u e s a p p r o a c h e s F l o r e as  h i s hands c l o s e a b o u t F l o r e ' s  disturbed the  novel.  altogether  of  to  takes  into  place  sky:  J a c q u e s a r r i v e s u r une p e t i t e b u t t e q u i domine l a p l a i n e immense. Au l o i n , on v o i t des pommiers, des pr6s a v e c des v a c h e s . P e u t - e t r e un v i l l a g e ou une femme. ( S c r i p t , pp. 15-16)  Apple the why?  trees,  cows, p o s s i b l y a v i l l a g e  background — The  a pastoral  or a country  s e t t i n g and  d i r e c t o r o f f e r s h i s own  no  lass in  mistake.  comments on  the  But  subject:  Ce q u i m'a aide' a f a i r e L a B%te humaine, ce s o n t l e s e x p l i c a t i o n s que donne l e h e r o s s u r son a t a v i s m e ; j e me s u i s d i t : ce n ' e s t pas tellement b e a u , m a i s s i un homme a u s s i b e a u que G a b i n d i t c e l a en e x t e ' r i e u r , a v e c b e a u c o u p d ' h o r i z o n d e r r i e r e , e t p e u t - ^ t r e a v e c du v e n t , c e l a p o u r r a i t  68  p r e n d r e une cle" q u i m'a  certaine valeur. C'est aide" a f a i r e ce f i l m . 2 0  Indeed.  Is the d i r e c t o r  prettify  an  And  what, one  hoped t o a c h i e v e ?  the f a c t Z o l a on  saying  each p o i n t .  might ask,  However one  i s inescapable  —  murder i n t h e  sun;  secondly,  frustration  of the  because Renoir can  begin  original  does d e v i a t e  to understand  In the n o v e l  and  importance  t h a t the  audience.  On  opts  questions course  accept  the  turns  characters by h a v i n g  the  the  logic  film  afterwards  in a  Jacques  raging  of h i s  completely  a frenzied attack  comprehensible  f o r a technique  a full  I t i s therefore of  s c e n e be  20 J e a n R e n o i r f r o m an q u o t e d i n L e p r o h o n , p. 79.  one  active  account  of  paramount the  i n the dark f o l l o w e d  c o u n t r y s i d e would not  by  have b e e n  Instead  f e e l s more a p p r o p r i a t e  Renoir to h i s  i n t e r v i e w w i t h Andr£ B a z i n 69  But  choice.  a c c e s s i b l e to  to the audience.  w h i c h he  to  attempted  so c o n s i s t e n t l y f r o m Z o l a ,  d a s h t h r o u g h some h i l l y  particularly  value"  Jacques's r e a c t i o n to F l o r e i s the f i r s t  condition i s given.  a mad  "certain  into a resigned acceptance.  m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f h i s m a n i a and his  artifice  p r e s e n t i n g an  thirdly,  e x p l a i n h i s c o n d i t i o n t o F l o r e , he  to  c o n t r a d i c t s the  places  open e n v i r o n m e n t ; and  by an  took the o p p o s i t e  Renoir  he  s e t out  approaches these  Renoir  Firstly,  i s the  n o c t u r n a l a s s o c i a t i o n s o f t h e book by  completely  t h a t he  explanation of Jacques's atavism  of staging? he  really  la  (1951)  medium.  He  exploits  b u t more t h a n t h i s , and what we  hear  Jacques  he  i s filmed  fluffy  c r e a t e s a c o n t r a s t between what we  t o immediate  down b e s i d e him. a few  the o p p o r t u n i t y f o r e x p l a n a t o r y d i a l o g u e  effect.  against  the s k y l i n e .  Flore  sits  A breeze c a r e s s e s the g r a s s , h i g h  clouds f l o a t  see  lazily  by.  The  scene  overhead  seems s e t f o r  t e n d e r n e s s y e t o n l y a moment b e f o r e d e a t h c a s t  i t s shadow.  Somberly  share h i s  Jacques  with her, The  tells  t h a t he  Flore  t h a t he  can never  i s doomed t o l e a d a l o v e l e s s  existence.  i m p o r t o f h i s words s t a n d s i n s t a r k c o n t r a s t  idyllic lovers.  setting  and  i t s d e l i b e r a t e a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h young  skillfully  s i t u a t i o n and  conveys  the i s o l a t i o n  ( s u g g e s t e d by a d i s t a n c e against  to the  T h u s , by means o f t h i s p l e a s a n t s e t t i n g ,  film-maker  the i r o n y o f  of contrast  the  Jacques's  t h e e n g i n e d r i v e r must  shot of Jacques,  the expanse o f the h o r i z o n ) .  R e n o i r ' s use  life  a small  Another  suffer figure  example o f  occurs at a l a t e r point  i n the  film. Jacques Jacques  and  S e V e r i n e meet s e c r e t l y  i n the  depot.  p o i n t s o u t h i s e n g i n e and h e l p s S e v e r i n e  Concealed w i t h i n o f shadow and  the c o n f i n e s o f the cab,  aboard.  surrounded  d a r k e r p a t c h e s d e n o t i n g heaps o f c o a l ,  engine d r i v e r d e s c r i b e s the landscape through which passes each  day:  70  by the he  pools  . . . s u r l a l i g n e on v o i t t o u t on c o n n a i t t o u t . . . on s u i t t r e s b i e n l e s s a i s o n s , avec l e s f e u i l l e s q u i p o u s s e n t aux a r b r e s e t q u i g r a n d i s s e n t , e t p u i s q u i tombent. E t p u i s dans l e s champs l e s p e t i t s l a p i n s , v o u s s a v e z , on v o i t l e u r s p e t i t e s o r e i l l e s . . . I l s nous r e g a r d e n t p a s s e r , i l s n'ont pas p e u r i l s s a v e n t t r e s b i e n que nous l e u r f e r o n s p a s de m a l . ( d i r e c t t r a n s c r i p t i o n from f i l m )  T h e s e words evoke a s u n l i t  exterior,  the t r a n q u i l  progression  o f t h e s e a s o n s a n d a n a l m o s t g o d l i k e f r e e d o m t o s e e and know. They a r e f u l l implication, their  o f t h e p r o m i s e o f new b e g i n n i n g s hope f o r J a c q u e s and S e v e r i n e  relationship.  belied  by t h e c o u p l e ' s  together a party  illicitly,  a  o f tender  The d a r k e s t  implicit  They a r e  motivations  SeVerine i s  t o murderous —  guilt  and d e c e i t  i n train  portrayed seen e i t h e r  Action i s  c a n o n l y be g a i n e d  compartments and c a b s .  by  The  i n t h e i r working environment, a r e inside  or alongside  comparison o f s t a t u r e i s thereby  characters are deliberately  engines achieved.  d w a r f e d by m a c h i n e r y .  e n g i n e steams i n t o g a r e S t . L a z a r e begun, t h e e f f e c t  —  relationship.  i s v e r y much a f e a t u r e o f t h e f i l m .  shadowy s t a i r w a y ,  frequently  enthusiasm i s  under the c l o a k o f darkness.  i n s h u t t e r e d rooms t o w h i c h a c c e s s  characters,  a t the outset o f  p h y s i c a l surroundings.  the true b a s i s o f t h e i r Enclosure  set  spirit  t o murder and J a c q u e s i s p r e y  inclinations. are  Yet t h i s  a n d , by  shortly after  i s ponderous, even m a j e s t i c .  and a n The When t h e  the f i l m has The  sound-track engine.  A  slows lateral  platform f i l l s descend above  from  to the d e c e l e r a t i o n o f  the  shot o f the machine drawing l e v e l w i t h  the  the s c r e e n w i t h  t h e cab  the metal  i t s dark  bulk.  i s used  f l a n k s o f the engine  humaine e n v i r o n m e n t  to express  characters'  men  tower  the e s s e n t i a l  condition.  Considered  is restrictive. materialism of thus,  symbiotic r e l a t i o n s h i p with  surroundings.  R e n o i r u s e s o b j e c t s and  different  effect.  surroundings.  He  The  shows man  sense  atmosphere o f the n o v e l i s i t s source  helpless,  alienated  isolation. hugely)  impervious.  chilling  The  than  the  sense  emanates f r o m  the  novel.  The  Renoir's  i n a profound  T h e i r world  p e r c e p t i o n o f space  the  prevalence  of  matter  characters are  awareness o f f u t i l i t y  i s not malignant resulting  to  his  o f menace w h i c h p r o v i d e s  i s gone.  the  their  d o m i n a t e d by  i s missing.  Further,  Zola's characters  have an a l m o s t  that  When t h e  them. In La Bete  it  i n accompaniment  i t i s simply  and  (and  a t m o s p h e r e i s more  of threat, p o s i t i v e at least,  that  S t r u c t u r a l l y LA BETE HUMAINE i s a much a b b r e v i a t e d version.  A c t i o n i s s t a g e d a t Le H a v r e o r P a r i s ,  the former.  A  level  c r o s s i n g i s f e a t u r e d on  o c c a s i o n when J a c q u e s v i s i t s enquiry  h i s godmother n e a r  i n t o G r a n d m o r i n ' s murder i s s e t i n an  interior.  The  murders a r e s t a g e d  Roubauds' a p a r t m e n t r e s p e c t i v e l y . the  c r o s s i n g appear.  Of  one  course, 72  on a t r a i n  and  mostly  brief Breaute\  The  anonymous and  i n the  Nowhere d o e s t h e h o u s e a t the t r u n c a t i o n which  the  p l o t has its  u n d e r g o n e removes t h e  existence.  In f a c t  d i r e c t o r a l t e r e d the exclusion  of  f u n c t i o n and hardly  the  purely  s i g n i f i c a n c e of  r o l e of  desolate  the  the  On  as  film  to f a c i l i t a t e  H a v i n g examined  house a t  the  i t does a t  crossing,  the  core  of  ( by  staging i n the  best  kind  tradition  of  f o r the  include  w i s e enough t o a v o i d  this  and  falsifying  the  the  powerful  image c r e a t e d  d i r e c t o r ' s conception  With i n c r e a s i n g  of  the  by what he  was  not  able  to convey.  There i s any  d i r e c t o r uses i t i n the m u s i c a c c o m p a n i e s an credits r o l l .  The  opening frames of  image o f  no  attempt at  the  Zola  and  recurs:  dictated precisely fallacy,  technique. the  film.  s w i r l i n g smoke o r f o g .  for The Somber The  a s s o c i a t i o n with Jacques's c o n d i t i o n 73  to  work.  Pathetic  example, i s a p e r f e c t l y v i a b l e c i n e m a t i c  Hollywood  atmosphere  by  insistence a single point  R e n o i r ' s a p p r o a c h t o L a B § t e humaine was  action  the  i t w o u l d have p r o v e d d o u b l y d i s a p p o i n t i n g ,  same t i m e d i l u t i n g  was as  of  trap.  Croix-de-Maufras i n h i s f i l m  a  a  sound e f f e c t s  of a s p e c i f i c  the  the  extreme c o n t r i v a n c e )  h a u n t e d h o u s e , have appended a c e r t a i n s i n i s t e r  place  i t is  i t w o u l d have become s i m p l y  L i g h t i n g , m u s i c , and  i t s v i c i n i t y would,  R e n o i r was  the  the  a r o o f , windows, a d o o r —  r u i n where murder  accompaniments to the  it.  the  C r o i x - d e - M a u f r a s e x t e n d s f a r beyond  four walls,  prone to o c c u r .  i n order  for  R e n o i r chose to i g n o r e i t .  mimetic, standing  structure —  probable that  Croix-de-Maufras.  n o v e l ' s symbolism.  in  i t i s quite  structure  s u r p r i s i n g that  The  structural justification  is  to  made l a t e r when he d e s c r i b e s what he e x p e r i e n c e s a s "une e s p e c e de g r a n d e fum£e q u i d e f o r m e t o u t " ( S c r i p t , Z o l a , however, went b e y o n d p a t h e t i c f a l l a c y faced with  t h e complex s y m b i o s i s  which have c l a r i t y the  and R e n o i r ,  that resulted,  and a r e t o t a l l y  uses  images  a t odds w i t h  text. In t h e i r  both  author  work.  r e s p e c t i v e approaches t o t h e s u b j e c t o f space,  and d i r e c t o r  When R e n o i r  of h i s atavism is  and impact  p. 1 6 ) .  doing  differ  conceptions  o f the  d e s c r i b e s the e x p l a n a t i o n Jacques's  a s " l a cl6 q u i m'a a i d e a f a i r e  t h e n o v e l and b e t r a y i n g h i s d e l i g h t  f o r t h e c r e a t i o n o f some b e a u t i f u l  this allows.  J u s t as i d e n t i t y  the  of contrast i s central  c e f i l m , " he  technique  i s central  t o assume a new c o h e r e n c e  images w h i c h  t o t h e n o v e l , so  to the f i l m .  and s i g n i f i c a n c e  awareness.  74  must  i n the  Indeed,  t h e c h a n g e s made by R e n o i r a n d w h i c h have b e e n n o t e d ,  this  gives  two t h i n g s : p i n p o i n t i n g a n a r e a where t h e f i l m  from  potential  reveal their  begin  i n the l i g h t o f  Chapter  Four  Theme and  The Like  novel p r e s e n t s p a r t i c u l a r problems f o r a n a l y s i s .  the W i l l - o ' - t h e - w i s p  elude  the grasp  i t appears  once more.  f o r a work w h i c h i s b a s e d both  f o r m a l and  one  t h r e a d , one  the  tidy  a  Form  thematic  A s t r a n g e l y ephemeral so c o m p l e t e l y  levels.  of u n p i c k i n g the  jumble o f f a l s e  m u l t i p l i e s words.  s t a r t s and The  lost  reason  The and  form  contrast  then another...  and  t a p e s t r y has  ends, i n w h i c h one  i s the e s s e n t i a l the  soon become  merely  density of  the  i n t e r p e n e t r a t i o n of  r a i l w a y i s the p o i n t of a t t r a c t i o n unite.  The  novel's central  o f p r o g r e s s and  atavism,  locomotive  who  the t r a c k .  beside  c r o s s i n g keeper's and,  on  form.  dynamism o f t h e live  to  comparison  in corporality  textual  n o v e l , a d e n s i t y which a r i s e s from theme and  only  However, w h i l e u n r a v e l i n g  comes upon a n o t h e r ,  process  w i t h i n reach  and  i n w h i c h theme  theme f o r example,  i s expressed  the s t a s i s  Phasie,  by  o f the  the characters  confined within  cottage, a p r i s o n e r of her  failing  the body  e q u a l l y , t h e o b s t i n a c y w h i c h k e e p s h e r a t t h e mercy  h e r h u s b a n d , w a t c h e s and  wonders:  75  the  of  B i e n s u r que l a t e r r e e n t i e r e p a s s a i t l k , p a s des F r a n c a i s s e u l e m e n t , d e s S t r a n g e r s a u s s i , des gens venues des c o n t r ^ e s l e s p l u s l o i n t a i n e s , p u i s q u e p e r s o n n e m a i n t e n a n t ne p o u v a i t r e s t e r c h e z s o i , e t que t o u s l e s p e u p l e s , comme on d i s a i t , n ' e n f e r a i e n t b i e n t o t p l u s qu'un s e u l . Ca, c ' e ^ t a i t l e p r o g r e s , t o u s f r e r e s , r o u l a n t t o u s ensemble, l k - b a s , v e r s un p a y s de C o c a g n e . ( p . 87)  The  paradox i s c l e a r .  Isolation  i s thrown i n t o r e l i e f  progression o f a v e r i t a b l e multitude whom p a s s by c o m p l e t e l y  of travelers,  unaware o f t h e p e r i l  by t h e  a l lof  i n which  Phasie  exists:  C e l a l u i s e m b l a i t d r o l e , de v i v r e p e r d u e a u f o n d de c e d e s e r t , s a n s une ame a q u i s e c o n f i e r , l o r s q u e , de j o u r e t de n u i t , c o n t i n u e l l e m e n t , i l d e f i l a i t t a n t d'hommes e t de femmes, dans l e coup de temp£te d e s t r a i n s . . . ( p . 87)  In e f f e c t  the concept  o f progress  i s encapsulated  i n the  l i n e a r p r o g r e s s i o n o f the r a i l w a y , a f e a t u r e which i s associated  d i r e c t l y with  the structure of the novel:  C ' ^ t a i t comme u n g r a n d c o r p s , u n §tre ge'ant couche" e n t r a v e r s de l a t e r r e , l a fete k P a r i s , l e s v e r t e b r e s t o u t l e l o n g de l a l i g n e , l e s membres s ' e l a r g i s s a n t a v e c l e s embranchements, l e s p i e d s e t l e s m a i n s a u H a v r e e t dans l e s autres v i l l e s d'arriv6e. E t c a p a s s a i t , ca. p a s s a i t , m ^ c a n i q u e , t r i o m p h a l , a l l a n t "a I ' a v e n i r a v e c une r e c t i t u d e m a t h ^ m a t i q u e , dans 1 i g n o r a n c e v o l o n t a i r e de c e q u ' i l r e s t a i t de l'homme, aux deux b o r d s , cache* e t t o u j o u r s vivace, l'6ternelle passion et l'dternel crime. ( p p . 90-91) 1  76  This quotation later  i n the novel  integration  forward deadly  with  11  and a n t i c i p a t e s t h e  the Croix-de-Maufras.  consequences  resumed  two e l e m e n t s a t t h e p o i n t o f  momentum o f t h e t r a i n  The  the binary formula  a s "amour-mort,  o f these  intersection —  the  concludes  (chapter  The p o i n t a t w h i c h t h e  i s h a l t e d on two o c c a s i o n s seven and c h a p t e r  ten).  m u l t i p l e uses t o which Z o l a puts t h e r a i l w a y (and  locomotive)  arise  i n v a r i a b l y from the t e n s i o n  r e g r e s s i o n and p r o g r e s s i o n .  s o l e l y as the manifestation  the  b l u r s and t h e h e a r t  distinction  revealed.  between  The r a i l w a y may a t f i r s t  been c o n s i d e r e d  o f the paradox i s  For a l l i t s a s s o c i a t i o n with  accessible  to a l l ,  technological  the  Consequently,  profound  is  established.  a result  be s t a g e d  In chapter  novel  least  i s at the o r i g i n of  at fixed  one a t r i p  points  (chapter  eight) a stay  (Le Havre, associations  t o P a r i s and a  rooms a r e u s e d t o p r e s e n t  o f w h i c h murder i s p l a n n e d .  prompts a d r a m a t i c in  the railway  the Croix-de-Maufras) a pattern o f r e f l e x  i n Mere V i c t o i r e ' s  the  i s a t the very  ina  s e n s e o f c l o s u r e w h i c h marks t h e n o v e l .  B e c a u s e a c t i o n may o n l y Paris,  made  the author approaches the r a i l w a y  which i f not e x a c t l y c o n t r a r y ,  ambiguous.  have  o f progress y e t  a d v a n c e a n d t h e s u b s e q u e n t p r o m i s e o f new h o r i z o n s  spirit  with  sojourn  a r e v e l a t i o n , as  I n the second h a l f o f  i n Victoire's  rooms  again  d i s c l o s u r e , b r i n g i n g t h o u g h t s o f murder  i t s wake. At  t h e same t i m e t h e l o c o m o t i v e  momentum.  Each chapter  represents  i s marked by t h e r u s h 77  forward  and r a t t l e o f  an  e n g i n e and  are  identified  C h a p t e r one ce  the  train  e a r l y chapters  by  their  concludes:  (one  - three)  p o r t r a y a l o f the ".  train  . . e t r i e n ne  lance a toute vapeur.  the  train  e x i t s from the  se p e r d a i t v e r s  I I d i s p a r u t " (p. 80).  heures cinquante loin, case is  clearly  with  s'ebranla,  initiating  6:30  du  o f an But  troop  not  action with s y s t e m and  (chapter  a sense o f f a t a l i t y , therefore having  the  In  The  From t h e  au each Zola  to the the  departure  uncontrolled sensation i s  to d e s t r u c t i o n . dynamism  train,  inform  as p a r t o f  the p o r t r a y a l o f cause r u l e d by  s p o u s e s measure t h e p a s s i n g and  neuf  imbue t h e a c t i o n  of the r a i l w a y workers are  successive departures  the  a  r e g u l a r i z e d movements, a l s o  effect.  Even t h e i r  de  the d i s t a n c e .  twelve,  locomotive's  t h e means t o i n t e n s i f y  by  one)  And  disparut  (p. 130).  two  fuyait,  . . le train  into  surge; f o r w a r d s . . .  provides  timetable.  (p. 102).  doom.  i n chapter  o n l y does the  lives  ..."  a d e v i c e which w i l l  train  inexorable  le train  soleil"  disappears  Le H a v r e t r a i n  dash o f the  "Deja,  ".  The  i n chapter  roula plus v i t e ,  d'or  s p e e d and  three:  an a t m o s p h e r e o f i n e s c a p a b l e  o f the  that  i n chapter  dans l a p o u s s i e r e i t gathers  tunnel:  l a Croix-de-Maufras  impetus c o n t i n u e s  i n motion.  d e v a i t p l u s arre"ter  sensation of rapid a c c e l e r a t i o n i s sustained as  in particular  and the  moments  arrivals:  E l l e ZfSeverineJ se l e v a i t a s s e z t a r d , h e u r e u s e de r e s t e r s e u l e au l i t , b e r c e e p a r l e s d e p a r t s e t l e s a r r i v d e s de t r a i n s , q u i m a r q u a i e n t p o u r e l l e l a marche des h e u r e s , e x a c t e m e n t , a i n s i qu'une h o r l o g e . ( p . 188) 78  Because s t a t i o n  e x i s t e n c e forms the  infrastructure  drama, Z o l a i s a b l e t o draw a t t e n t i o n at  the micro  level  Jacques has  heure,  depuis  1'inevitable" engine  timetable  related  killed  un an,  sans q u ' i l  must  conceived  as  Grandmorin's k i l l i n g ) .  linking  word i s n o t  locomotive  inevitable  The  frequency level  and  ferocity  Z o l a i s u s i n g the  device,  the  the  the  consequence  t o be  punctuating  of i t s passing. locomotive  combined  and  to t h i s  i m p l i c a t e d (and It figures  a more  obvious  drag  interminably:  De n o u v e a u , un t r a i n p a s s a , un descendant c e l u i - c i , 1'omnibus q u i c r o i s a i t l e d i r e c t devant l a Croix-de-Maufras, a c i n q minutes de d i s t a n c e . J a c q u e s s ' 6 t a i t arr£te\ s u r p r i s . C i n q m i n u t e s s e u l e m e n t ! comme ce s e r a i t l o n g , d ' a t t e n d r e une d e m i - h e u r e ! ( p . 345)  79  the  the  as a t e n s i o n b u i l d i n g  by means o f w h i c h t h e m i n u t e s seem t o  end.  largely  the a c t i o n w i t h On  of  of  various functions of t r a i n  continues  chapter,  une  (namely, t h e murder  e x c e s s i v e ) i n the a c t i o n .  t h i s penultimate  r o t a t i o n of  the c u l m i n a t i o n o f  r a i l w a y examined t h u s f a r have i n f a c t However, t h e  "pas  the e v o l u t i o n o f  inflexible  i n the n o v e l  the  notes:  adhere.  eleven presents  mainstream o f the a c t i o n SeVerine  the  the author  Thus  e u t marche' v e r s  thereby  state with  t o w h i c h he  Chapter  progression  t o t h e movement o f t r a i n s .  SeVerine  (p. 349),  driver's  the  i n a c o n t e x t where a w a r e n e s s o f p a s s i n g  moments i s d i r e c t l y after  to temporal  of  in  Yet t h e t r a i n has a d i r e c t within  l i n k w i t h t h e scene  the walls of the isolated  passage  house.  unfolding  The t u m u l t u o u s  o f s u c c e s s i v e l o c o m o t i v e s s c a n s t h e drama o f  Jacques's  struggle  to repress the beast  until:  . . . i l a b b a t i t l e poing, e t l e couteau l u i c l o u a l a q u e s t i o n dans l a g o r g e . . . . A c e t t e s e c o n d e , p a s s a i t 1 ' e x p r e s s de P a r i s , s i v i o l e n t , s i r a p i d e , que l e p l a n c h e r e n t r e m b l a ; e t e l l e £tait m o r t e , comme foudroye'e dans c e t t e tempete. ( p . 348)  The  t i m i n g o f J a c q u e s ' s blow t o c o i n c i d e w i t h t h e a r r i v a l o f  the P a r i s  e x p r e s s i s n o t mere a r t i f i c e ;  of the t r a i n ' s and As  desire, Jacques  contain  symbolic s i g n i f i c a n c e  an a s s o c i a t i o n which paces  i t marks t h e f r u i t i o n  as an a v a t a r o f death  began w i t h t h e f i r s t  murder.  t h e "chambre r o u g e " d e s p e r a t e l y t r y i n g t o  t h e wave o f v i o l e n c e  that  the r o a r o f each p a s s i n g t r a i n  t h r e a t e n s t o e n g u l f him,  denotes  the increasing  dominance o f t h e b e a s t . The  pattern  c h a p t e r two. interrupted crossing  i sdirectly  Here J a c q u e s ' s  at regular  related  t o that developed i n  conversation with Phasie i s  i n t e r v a l s by M i s a r d ' s f u n c t i o n a s  keeper:  Une s o n n e r i e b r u s q u e l u i fPhasie") f i t j'eter a u - d e h o r s l e me'me r e g a r d i n q u i e t . . . . On e n t e n d i t l e t r a i n , u n e x p r e s s , c a c h e p a r une c o u r b e , s ' a p p r o c h e r a v e c u n grondement q u i grandissait. I I p a s s a comme e n u n coup de f o u d r e , e b r a n l a n t , menagant d ' e m p o r t e r l a m a i s o n b a s s e , a u m i l i e u d'un v e n t de tempete. ( p . 85) 80  Attention  i s drawn s i m u l t a n e o u s l y t o M i s a r d  However t h e r e l e v a n c e o f t h e a s s o c i a t i o n apparent is  i n the  light  poisoning her.  s a i g n a n t comme des  events  murder on  attempt  terms i n which  b l e s s u r e s o u v e r t e s , que  l e s t r o i s feux  the  rouge."  —  the r e a d e r  suspects  l o c o m o t i v e w i t h an a u r a o f  l e a d i n g to the  (Jacques's  t h e murder p l a n  v o y a i t de l u i ,  le triangle  "On  conclusion of chapter  on F l o r e ' s l i f e  and  death.  impression  the  and  of desire  death.  *  Renoir  of v i s u a l the f i l m  and by  the  camera. from  i n La Bete  r e f e r e n c e s t o moving  humaine i n t o an  a c o u s t i c mastery.  to a d e l i b e r a t e  a shift  *  condenses the repeated  machinery found  and  that  h i s witnessing of  the p a s s i n g t r a i n ) c o n f i r m t h i s  de  two  enhance i t w i t h an a w a r e n e s s o f t h e a s s o c i a t i o n with  husband  ne  Zola i s surrounding The  the f a t a l i s t i c  i s described —  train.  that her  Taken i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h  the d e p a r t i n g t r a i n  the  o n l y becomes  of Phasie's a s s e r t i o n  o f t h e p r e c e d i n g c h a p t e r and  l'arriere,  and  The  audience  impetus o f the engine, interplay  The left  opening  an  i s swept  o f movement: t h a t o f man,  surge  o f the  cab  emphasized  f o l l o w i n g the motions o f  i n a movement c o n t r a s t i n g w i t h  engine,  which i s suddenly 81  due  machine  the  by  either  J a c q u e s o r Pecqueux, t h e camera t h e n draws b a c k a l o n g l e n g t h o f the  into  e f f e c t which i s  a c t i o n s o f the o p e r a t i v e s are to r i g h t  sequence  the forward  t h r u s t upon us by  an  external lateral  shot.  At t h i s  stage  the t r a i n  i s filmed at a  angle while the passing countryside f i l l s  of  the left-hand  is  one o f r a p i d  s i d e o f the screen. progress.  A little  f o c u s e d ahead o f t h e t r a i n .  Now  a quarter  The r e s u l t a n t later  t h e camera i s  t h e t r a c k s c u r v e away  t h e v o r a c i o u s w h e e l s o f t h e l o c o m o t i v e and we p l u n g e into not  the d i s t a n c e .  But speed,  headlong  of these  images.  Renoir,  h i s u s e o f sound and camera a n g l e , p r e s e n t s t h e t r a i n  as t h e dominant f o r c e .  For the f i r s t  external  sound-track  silences  t h e men, f o r c i n g  Lateral  breaks  few moments, b e f o r e t h e  i n , the engine  noise  alone  them t o communicate by g e s t u r e .  shots o f the engine  i n t e r p o s e t h e b u l k o f t h e machine  between u s a n d t h e s c r e e n s p a c e and  from  a l t h o u g h a major f a c t o r , i s  the sole b a s i s f o r the e f f e c t  through  sensation  while s h i f t s  e x t e r n a l s h o t s evoke t h e d i m e n s i o n s  between  internal  o f t h e machine i n  p r o p o r t i o n t o i t s human o p e r a t i v e s , c r e a t i n g a n o v e r w h e l m i n g sense  o f i t s mass and power.  Thus t h e i m p a c t  s e q u e n c e c a n be r e s o l v e d i n t o impressions: by  the imperiousness  yet related  o f t h e machine  emphasized  t h e s u b s e r v i e n c e o f t h e men whose a c t i o n s a r e p e r f o r m e d  solely —  two d i s t i n c t  o f the opening  to maintain the f u n c t i o n i n g  o f the engine  —  and s p e e d  the achievement o f a s e n s a t i o n o f i n e x o r a b l e forward  momentum. The respect.  s e q u e n c e i s d e f i n e d by m o t i o n I t begins a t f u l l  throttle,  Pecqueux en r o u t e , and ends w i t h t h e i r L a z a r e when t h e e n g i n e  at last  i n more t h a n one joining arrival  Jacques and a t gare S t .  steams t o a h a l t .  82  Viewed  independently, on  a central division constituted  entry cab  i n t o the  and  the  from  left  now  train  view of  by  a tunnel.  Pecqueux  a b r i e f period  tunnel.  ahead o f  the  view of  the  provided  by  the  tunnel.  back, back - f r o n t ; reversed The  blackness  the a  camera  forward  a number o f  Clearly, a pattern  possibilities  shots form a  i n r e l a t i o n to i n reverse  a r r a n g e s the  for  s e r i e s of  times is  symmetry  left;  front,  matching  now  p r o v i d e s the  conclusion;  r e s t of the  end  the and  film.  It i s  recurs  in  Around t h i s c e n t r a l d i v i s i o n the  i s followed  sequence can  the  order at  action.  planned attempt  it  series  o p e n i n g s e q u e n c e becomes e v e n more i n t e r e s t i n g when  midway t h r o u g h .  attempt  total  Left - right, right -  the  the  pairs.21  considered repeated  operatives. the  This  engine to give  with a rear  b a s e d on  inside  I t emerges and  a shot which a l t e r n a t e s  to  alternate  of  tracks,  based  Prior  back a g a i n .  the  being established  structure  camera i s p o s i t i o n e d  t o r i g h t and  i s i n the  repositioned  by  J a c q u e s and  shots i s interrupted  when t h e is  tunnel,  medium s h o t s o f  successively of  i t betrays a very deliberate  In by  the  first  director  h a l f a compulsive  a c a l c u l a t e d murder, i n t h e  p r e c e d e s a c o m p u l s i v e murder. be  seen to serve three  dynamism a s s o c i a t e d  part  with  The  distinct the  second initial  purposes:  novel's  i t a l s o p r o v i d e s a means o f d i v i d i n g  murder  fatal  and  ?1 F o r a more d e t a i l e d breakdown o f s h o t s see S e s o n s k e , p. 374. 83  t h i s sequence  of  a  enclosing  the a c t i o n ;  body o f t h e f i l m ,  further  i t i s a m i c r o c o s m o f t h e main  effectively prefiguring  i t s symmetrical  structure. The  f i l m ' s c e n t r a l d i v i s i o n i s marked by t h e r e c u r r e n c e  of a unique shot —  t h e one o c c a s i o n  framed i n the l e f t - h a n d Jacques craning  quarter  when t h e l o c o m o t i v e was  o f t h e s c r e e n and s h o w i n g  out o f the cab.  The f o c u s s h i f t s  tracks  t h e n b a c k t o a r e a r v i e w o f t h e men.  stoker  communicate by s i g n  Jacques's a t t e n t i o n hand.  The s e c o n d  D r i v e r and  l a n g u a g e , w o r k i n g a s a team.  i n p a r t i c u l a r i s w h o l l y on t h e t a s k i n  t i m e t h a t we s e e t h e s h o t  Jacques has d e c l a r e d Pecqueux t r i e s  h i s love  repeatedly  i s directly  f o r SeVerine.  to catch  On t h i s  success.  Comparison w i t h the i n i t i a l  clearly  invited.  Jacques's o r i g i n a l  given  way t o a s t a t e  this and  another  short  t o do away w i t h  Roubaud  h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with  Now t h e e n g i n e d r i v e r i s s u l l e n a n d w i t h d r a w n a n d  deliberately monologue.  ignores  Pecqueux who m a i n t a i n s a  Thus, w i t h a d m i r a b l e b r e v i t y ,  conveys the extent  o f the characters' detects  cheerful  the d i r e c t o r  o f Jacques's d e t e r i o r a t i o n , using the  opening sequence a s a y a r d s t i c k  One  Later  on t h e men i n w o r k i n g mode i s i n c l u d e d ,  has, as a r e s u l t , jeopardized  evolution  competence  o f d i s t r a c t i o n , i n d i c a t e d by t h e  time a f t e r Jacques has f a i l e d  SeVerine.  occasion  sequence i s  a i r of cool  breakdown i n t h e men's w o r k i n g r a p p o r t . sequence f o c u s i n g  after  Jacques's a t t e n t i o n but  without  has  to the  by w h i c h t o measure t h e  states within  the f i l m .  a s i m i l a r i n t e n t i o n i n Renoir's use o f 84  Lebleu,  a c h a r a c t e r who  scheme o f t h i n g s .  i s otherwise  Lebleu  redundant  i n the r e v i s e d  i s o n l y s e e n on t h e s t a i r w a y  o f the  e m p l o y e e s ' q u a r t e r s a t L e H a v r e a s he r e t u r n s f r o m o r l e a v e s for a shift. the  He r e p r e s e n t s  o u t s e t he r e p l i e s  station-master  the routine o f s t a t i o n  Roubaud h a s d e g e n e r a t e d  about h i s bad t i m e - k e e p i n g  is  Lebleu  the form o f a rebuke  by t h e e n d , t h e d e p u t y hours that  SeVerine  a p p r o a c h f o r t h a t o f h e r h u s b a n d and a kiss.  r e g u l a r i t y which i s the b a s i s o f s t a t i o n  either  indicated directly  being  existence  by t h e movements o f e m p l o y e e s  a n i m m e d i a t e example —  or indirectly  b a c k d r o p o f t r a i n s and t h e l o c a l e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h platforms,  tool  sheds, the workers' canteen.  made aware o f t i m e i n t h e s p e c i f i c three  separate  occasions:  h a l f o f the f i l m ,  Victoire*s  context  and t h e second h a l f . before  the l a t t e r  Jacques  gare S t . Lazare; l o o k s down f r o m t r a i n s and  t h i s a c t i o n i s repeated  J a c q u e s i n t h e same l o c a t i o n and s i t u a t i o n . links  —  o f a t i m e t a b l e on  room on t h e d e p a r t i n g and a r r i v i n g  c o n s u l t s h i s watch; t h i r d l y ,  clearly  them  The a u d i e n c e i s  Firstly,  Roubaud, w a i t i n g f o r S e v e r i n e ,  by  Repetition  two i n s t a n c e s and p a r a l l e l s t h e 85  —  by t h e  i n the opening sequence, the f i r s t  c h e c k s h i s w a t c h on t h e s t r e t c h secondly,  Lebleu's  which h i g h l i g h t s the extent o f  Ironically,  p r e c i p i t a t e s her fate with The  takes  keeps such e r r a t i c  mistakes Lebleu's  L a t e r , when  i n t o a compulsive gambler,  acknowledgment o f h i s c o l l e a g u e  station-master  At  t o Roubaud's g r e e t i n g a s t h e d e p u t y  h u r r i e s e a g e r l y t o see h i s w i f e .  Roubaud's d e c l i n e .  life.  episodes i n question.  In each  place,  of which  first  the consequence  case, a c o n f e s s i o n i s murder.  example o c c u r s i n i s o l a t i o n and may  d i s m i s s e d as unimportant  byplay —  that  However, perhaps  o f the  engine d r i v e r w i t h a t i m e t a b l e to f o l l o w . becomes a p p a r e n t not is  i s the sheer r i g o r  and  What  When R e n o i r h a s introducing  Jacques  check  be  quickly  of the f i l m ' s  n o t h i n g more so t h a n t h a t  structure; Everything  initial  gesture.  h i s w a t c h , he i s  the concept o f temporal  constraint.  Jacques  must f o l l o w a t i m e t a b l e j u s t a s t h e t r a i n he d r i v e s follow  the t r a c k s .  scene. up  The  comprise  audience  of urgency  a s s o c i a t i o n between d r i v e r and  by t h e s e r i e s  that  Soon a s e n s e  of a l t e r n a t i n g  interior  atmosphere.  the  locomotive p a r a l l e l s  the  d i c t a t e s o f h i s n a t u r e and h a s  the  c o u r s e i t s e t s him.  Consequently,  the  p r o c e s s o f c a u s e and  e f f e c t which  sequence  o f r a p i d and  pervades engine  and  Jacques's  The  opening Jacques  the  cab;  shots the  he  cannot  c h o i c e but to t h e s e images  deny  follow instigate  locks events into  a  inevitable succession.  between t h e r a i l w a y and  the  is built  forward rush of  condition; no  the  exterior  Obviously Renoir i s e s t a b l i s h i n g a d i r e c t  c o n f i r m e d by  must  a mesmeric p a t t e r n d e s i g n e d t o e n v e l o p  i n i t s compulsive  the  conscientious  a s h o t , n o t e v e n a movement i s s u p e r f l u o u s . relevant  takes  subsequent  action.  relationship  A p o i n t which  e x a m i n a t i o n o f a n o t h e r , and m a j o r ,  is  aspect of  sequence. and  Pecqueux a r e shown i n t h e l i m i t e d  t h e i r actions are s i m i l a r l y 86  limited  space  to the scope  of of  t h e m e c h a n i c a l manoeuvres r e q u i r e d Considered  thus, each a c t i o n  preformulated  result.  that w i l l towards latter  c a n be s e e n t o have a  When t h e d i r e c t o r  encompass t h e i r a c t i o n s s t r u c t u r e he i n f a c t  i n a repetitive  produces  half  conclusion.  of the f i l m ,  goes  on t o  symmetrical  the d e t e r m i n i s t i c  inform the entire f i l m  i t s fatal  t o o p e r a t e t h e machine.  and p r o p e l  mechanism  i t relentlessly  The mechanism r e c u r s  this  time i n a s o c i a l  i n the  context as  J a c q u e s a n d S e V e r i n e dance a t t h e " b a i d e s c h e m i n o t s . " The  p r e d e t e r m i n e d movements r e q u i r e d  a r e resumed  i n the p r e s c r i b e d motions  leads SeVerine round closer  to the f a t a l  The final  t h e dance f l o o r  c o n n e c t i o n i s emphasized  h e r body w i t h s c e n e s f r o m rendition of a ballad  minutes  t o which  before.  Jacques  and each s t e p b r i n g s him  by t h e way i n w h i c h t h e  When t h e p l a n t o k i l l  and S e V e r i n e l a y s dead  t h e same t u n e  o f the waltz.  blow.  murder i s p r e s e n t e d .  misfired  t o operate the engine  Renoir intersperses shots o f  the b a l l  entitled  Roubaud h a s  where a s i n g e r  "Le P e t i t  Coeur  i s giving a  de N i n o n "  J a c q u e s a n d S e V e r i n e were d a n c i n g  The s i l e n t  c o u n t e r p o i n t e d by t h e b r i g h t  — just  d a r k n e s s o f S e V e r i n e * s bedroom i s and animated  c a m e r a f o c u s e s on h e r l i f e l e s s  b a l l r o o m and a s t h e  hands t h e words o f t h e song  resume:  Le p e t i t c o e u r de N i n o n e s t s i p e t i t e t s i f r a g i l e , C ' e s t un l e g e r p a p i l l o n , l e p e t i t c o e u r de N i n o n .  87  And  conclude a f t e r a shot of her s t a r i n g  eyes:  I I e s t mignon, mignon. S i l a pauvrette a q u o i de c o q u e t t e e t n ' e s t pas f a c i l e , C ' e s t pas s a f a u t e , non, p e t i t c o e u r , p e t i t c o e u r de N i n o n . (direct  The  lyrics  t r a n s c r i p t i o n from  d e s c r i b e the d e l i c a t e  beauty  of a  film)  flirtatious  y o u n g woman; what i s d e p i c t e d i s t h e f r o z e n h o r r o r o f death.  The  technique of contrast  has  violent  reached i t s  culmination. Throughout  the f i l m  g r e e t s S e V e r i n e a s she s o o n he life  soon  their  t o be  to k i l l  Jacques  subsequent  the scene  Roubaud.  symbolically, latter,  sits  v i e s w i t h shadow.  a s p i r a t i o n s and  meetings  r u p t u r e when J a c q u e s  despair, slips  the dichotomy  his capabilities  park,  they h i d e i n the dark  t e n s i o n between l i g h t  hope and  gathers, h i s  S e V e r i n e meet i n a s u n l i t  of t h e i r  The  revealing  and  Roubaud  i n t h e sun a t t h e open window,  l o o k s o u t o f a n o t h e r window a s d a r k n e s s  in ruins.  during  light  that —  and  depot,  i s unable  darkness,  i n e x o r a b l y towards  the  e x i s t s between man's the e s s e n t i a l  irony  of  t h e human c o n d i t i o n . Renoir e x p l o i t s  the p o t e n t i a l  for visual  l o c o m o t i v e c o n t a i n s but d i s a s s o c i a t e s thematic dimension association  which i t has  i n the n o v e l  of death with d e s i r e ) .  r a i l w a y , which i s t o t a l l y  i t from  drama w h i c h the  particular  (namely,  Yet R e n o i r ' s use  the of  the  a p p r o p r i a t e to the requirements  88  the  of  his  own medium, p r o d u c e s  tracks." effect  How e l s e  characters  o f t h e "metaphor o f t h e  s h o u l d one d e s c r i b e t h e f u n c t i o n and  o f the opening  which p a r a l l e l s  a variant  sequence?  The r u s h t o d e s t r u c t i o n  the deadly obsessions o f the i n d i v i d u a l  i s necessarily associated with  the author's  p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h a t a v i s m and i t s c o n t r a s t w i t h both  o f w h i c h c e n t e r on t h e l o c o m o t i v e .  however, e x p l o i t s  the mechanical  s e t t i n g up a v i s u a l operate  succinctly  between t h e s e about  metaphor,  and e f f e c t  the f i l m .  that  the r e l a t i o n s h i p  will  The d i f f e r e n c e  two m e t a p h o r s r a i s e s a n i n t e r e s t i n g  Renoir omits by  Renoir's  aspect o f the engine,  e q u a t i o n o f cause throughout  progress,  point  o f theme t o f o r m .  much o f t h e t h e m a t i c  content o f the novel,  s o d o i n g he a v o i d s t h e p a r a d o x i n h e r e n t i n Z o l a ' s  ambivalent different  approach  to the railway.  paradox —  the d u p l i c i t y  laughter are invariably suffering.  I n s t e a d , he d e v e l o p s of l i f e  He d o e s s o t h r o u g h  suited  by t h e o p e n i n g  t o t h e end ( t h a t  i n which l i g h t and  o v e r s h a d o w e d by d a r k n e s s and the technique  which i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the f a t a l i s t i c generated  a  sequence.  of contrast,  atmosphere  The means i s i d e a l l y  i s to say, the c o n t r a s t o f  l i g h t - h e a r t e d m u s i c and gruesome d e a t h  scene,  to c i t e  a  more r e c e n t example) and a t once c o n v e y s a m i x t u r e o f pathos  and i r o n y .  The is  I t i s , i n fact,  visually  eloquent.  p r o c e s s o f e x p r e s s i o n (be i t l i t e r a r y  subject primarily  formulated.  or filmic)  t o the c o n s t r a i n t s w i t h i n which i t i s  What may be d i f f i c u l t  89  t o convey v i a t h e w r i t t e n  medium may for a  lend i t s e l f  i n s t a n c e , gropes  locomotive  to p o r t r a y a l  f o r words t o e x p r e s s  i n motion,  the film-maker  p l a y s b a c k images o f a f a s t i s hampered  nature  literary.  however, t h i s  Indeed, recur  the f u l l  to suggest,  Yet  the  When one  approach  therefore, that  impact and  film-maker  t o c o n t e n t assumes a  theme i s s u b o r d i n a t e t o o f theme and  particular.  90  form  form. will  i t s subject  those areas of e x p r e s s i o n that appear e x c l u s i v e to in  some  deeper  c h a p t e r which takes as  to the novel  It  i s d e a l i n g w i t h an a d a p t a t i o n ,  I t implies that  i n the f o l l o w i n g  of  w h i l e o t h e r m a t e r i a l i s by  r e f e r e n c e to the a s s o c i a t i o n  medium, and  writer,  simply records  moving t r a i n .  i s by n a t u r e f i l m i c ,  significance.  The  i n a r e a s where t h e w r i t e r moves w i t h e a s e .  w o u l d seem r e a s o n a b l e material  on f i l m .  each  Chapter  Five  Limits of Style  The p r e c e d i n g the a d a p t a t i o n . with  chapters  have p l o t t e d t h e c o u r s e  The p a t t e r n w h i c h h a s emerged  a n a s s e s s m e n t made by G e o r g e B l u e s t o n e :  intersecting  lines,  novel  d i v e r g e . " 22  some o f t h e r e a s o n s b e h i n d  t e n d e n c y have a l r e a d y cases  they  " L i k e two  this  then  divergent  i n the majority o f  have prompted t h e c o n c l u s i o n  themselves preclude  corresponds  and f i l m meet a t a p o i n t ,  been d i s c u s s e d ;  t a k e n by  closer identity.  t h a t the media  This  chapter,  concentrating  particularly  on t h e c r e a t i o n o f f i g u r a l  meaning, w i l l  confirm  conclusion.  this  Creation of figural  meaning  be t r a c e d t o t h e o p e r a t i o n 1. 2. 3.  The L i s o n ' s  journey  a particularly modes.  i n t h e l i t e r a r y medium c a n  o f three  t e x t u a l modes:  Narrative Metaphoric Epic-Symbolic.  t h r o u g h t h e snow  good example  (chapter  provides  o f the f u n c t i o n i n g o f these  The d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e j o u r n e y  represents  George B l u e s t o n e , N o v e l s i n t o F i l m J o h n H o p k i n s P r e s s , 1 9 5 7 ) , p . 63. 2  seven)  2  91  three  the f i r s t ;  (Baltimore:  The  the  r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e L i s o n a s a s h i p on a s e a o f snow t h e  second;  and  the p o r t r a y a l  o f the s i t u a t i o n  i n terms  d e a t h l y s t r u g g l e between o p p o s i n g e l e m e n t a l f o r c e s Listed  t h u s an o b v i o u s gap  modes.  However, t h e key  interaction out  to t h e i r  o f the t h r e e l e v e l s ,  opening paragraph  effectiveness a p o i n t which  immediately  i t i s an o u t and  and  lies will  third. third  i n the be  borne  seven.  journey w i t h the weather c o n d i t i o n s . inconvenient,  the  e x i s t s between t h e f i r s t  by an e x a m i n a t i o n o f c h a p t e r The  of a  out  associates The  the  snow i s n o t  train merely  hazard:  . . . i l s [ J a c q u e s e t Pecqueux\ a v a i e n t eu un grognement d • i n q u i e t u d e , d e v a n t c e t t e n e i g e ent'et^e, d o n t c r e v a i t l e c i e l n o i r i l s a t t e n d a i e n t l e coup de s i f f l e t . . . r e g a r d a n t l a tomb^e m u e t t e e t s a n s f i n d e s f l o c o n s r a y e r l e s te"nebres d'un f r i s s o n livide. ( p . 213)  Not  surprisingly,  conditions: et  " L a n e i g e des  les portieres  barricadait, train  pulls  the passengers  seek  c h a u s s u r e s ne  l e quai r e s t a i t  desert . . . "  o u t o f t h e s t a t i o n and:  into  the l a s t  contained  the s i g n i f i c a n c e remarkable  few  chacun (p.  The  . . dans l a n u i t ,  ( p . 214).  l i n e s and  se  214).  £tait comme mangle p a r  e p a i s s e u r s b l a f a r d e s qui tombaient" condensed  ".  the i c y  se f o n d a i t meme p a s ;  se r e f e r m a i e n t a u s s i t 6 t ,  l u m i e r e e c l a t a n t e du f a n a l  Immediately  refuge from  ces  Much i s  i n them i s a l s o  o f the p r e c e d i n g r e f e r e n c e s .  a r e t h e terms  92  i n which  t h e snow i s  la  described. ciel  I t i s a looming presence —  noir" —  and a n a l l e n c o m p a s s i n g  muette e t sans f i n des f l o c o n s . .  . .  "dont c r e v a i t l e mass —  11  Further, the  p a s s e n g e r s do n o t s i m p l y t a k e s h e l t e r . of the verb " b a r r i c a d e r "  a c t u a l l y appears  icy assault.  The s c e n e  The  immediate  overlaid The  (snow), impact  by v i v i d  f o r c e s denoted  t o be i n r e t r e a t  i s dominated  i s that  before the  by t h r e e c o l o r s :  and r e d ( f i r e  —  from  of contrast,  the b o i l e r ) .  extends  further.  by t h e c o l o r s a r e i n c o m p e t i t i o n :  epaisseurs blafardes  black  b l a c k and w h i t e  flame r e d , y e t the e f f e c t  l u m i e r e e c l a t a n t e du f a n a l  from p a s s i v e  The r e f l e x i v e u s e  i n t r o d u c e s a s e n s e o f s i e g e and t h e  human e l e m e n t  ( n i g h t ) , white  " l a tombde  "la  e t a i t comme mange"e p a r c e s  . . . " (emphasis  added).  The s w i t c h  t o a c t i v e v o i c e h a s b e e n made, i n d e e d t h e r e h a s  been a r e v e r s a l . confined within  The human e l e m e n t  has been  incapacitated,  t h e c a r r i a g e s and cab o f the t r a i n ,  and from  a v a s t b r o o d i n g p r e s e n c e t h e snow h a s b e e n t r a n s f o r m e d an a g g r e s s o r a g a i n s t w h i c h personified ".  the locomotive,  i n t u r n by r e f e r e n c e s t o t h e lamp a t i t s head a s :  . . un o e i l  geant,  e"largissant au l o i n ,  s a nappe d ' i n c e n d i e " ( p . During  i s pitted  into  dans 1 • o b s c u r i t e ^ ,  214).  t h e c o u r s e o f t h e n e x t few p a g e s ,  association with f i r e  i s reinforced,  comete, t r o u a n t l a n u i t . " p r o g r e s s i s enhanced  i ttrails  the t r a i n ' s a "queue de  The s e n s a t i o n o f l a b o r i o u s  by t h e way i n w h i c h  the engine  appears  t o be s e a r i n g a p a t h t h r o u g h t h e d a r k n e s s , d a r k n e s s w h i c h i s identified  by i t s d e n s i t y and a c t i v e l y 93  j o i n s w i t h t h e snow t o  form a  barrier:  Ce q u ' i l ^ J a c q u e s } s ' i m a g i n a i t d i s t i n g u e r , a u - d e l a du p u l l u l e m e n t p a l e d e s f l o c o n s , c ' e t a i e n t d'immenses f o r m e s n o i r e s , des masses c o n s i d e r a b l e s , comme d e s morceaux g r a n t s de l a n u i t , q u i s e m b l a i e n t se d e p l a c e r e t v e n i r a u - d e v a n t de l a m a c h i n e . ( p . 218)  Inversely, these  J a c q u e s and  monolithic  Pecqueux a r e  forces.  be  engulfed  effectively a t any  reduced  moment.  "shroud" around  produces  s i f f l e m e n t de  ce d e s e r t a new  de  neige."  element  i s o l a t i o n are about the laissant  sillage"  description.  i s imminent.  then f r e e d only  in this  distance  ahead.  paricularly operation The  to face An  dramatic  could  whistle au  desert  fond  de  introduces  emptiness  The  i s brought  prospect  and  situation  but  epic-symbolic  passage through the 94  of  to a  of being  paquebot,  o c e a n de  end  Drama i s g e n e r a t e d  o f t h e m e t a p h o r i c and train's difficult  insecte  i n t u r n , become "un  (p. 220).  interesting one.  t o the  " d e s o l a t i o n d'un  engine  the  the  image o f a v a s t w h i t e s e a c l o s i n g  which has,  The  the  qui p l e u r a i t  The  by  i s omnipresent.  t r a i n while  reference  i m o b i l i s e dans l a tourmente" journey  the  "un  t o a mere s p e c k w h i c h  d^tresse  resumed i n an  locomotive un  The  i n t o the  dwarfed  i s compared w i t h  Indeed, death  Snow f o r m s a "un  and  When J a c q u e s s t r u g g l e s a c r o s s  e n g i n e t o g r e a s e a c y l i n d e r , he rampant" and  isolated  the  standstill  trapped not by  glace,  a  short  a the  levels. snow becomes  a struggle for survival laboring  engine a c q u i r e s  engaged i n  on an  increasingly large scale.  the a t t r i b u t e s  o f an a n g r y  The  giantess  battle:  . . . l a L i s o n , r a i d i s s a n t l e s r e i n s , b u t a du p o i t r a i l , a v e c s o n s o u f f l e e n r a g d de g d a n t e . Enfin e l l e p a r u t r e p r e n d r e h a l e i n e , e l l e banda ses m u s c l e s de m d t a l en un supreme e f f o r t , e t e l l e passa . . . ( p . 224)  Zola's  colorful  imagination  transforms  the  engine i n t o  t r u l y amazonian f o r c e y e t a f u r t h e r t r a n s f o r m a t i o n to occur. with  the  The  lamp f r o n t i n g  opportunity  the b o i l e r  to develop  the  provides  a  i s about  the  author  parallel:  . . . l e f a n a l b l a n c . . . l u i s a i t dans l e j o u r , comme un o e i l v i v a n t de e y e l o p e . Elle roulait, e l l e a p p r o c h a i t de l a t r a n c h e e , a v e c c e t o e i l largement ouvert. (emphasis added) (p. 225)  The of  Lison i s identified legend,  single fire  lamp  —  engine  and  (suggesting  the f i e r y  a glide  clearly  represents sea —  t h e one  glow o f the  ("her" b o i l e r ) .  the  the  Cyclops,  the  the a s s o c i a t i o n i s based not  made —  with  with  eye)  but  lamp and  In f a c t  o n l y on  a l s o the  the f i e r y  a telling  from female to male.  The  mer  blanche" 95  giant  the  link heart  with of  s w i t c h has  been  locomotive  now  t h e male f o r c e ; snow/water  "une  one-eyed  (identified  [ p . 219} ) r e p r e s e n t s  the  the  female  f o r c e and  male and  female  The  The  trail  t o "un  l e grand  i s resolved  of the b a t t l e  of f i r e  p a n a c h e de  frisson  banner the t r a i n  blazing  definitivement,  and  elle  from  p a l e du c i e l "  ".  etait  immobile,  1'ensevelissait  (p. 229).  o f the t r a i n  now  The  parallel  journey Jacques  the t h r e a t  of being  froid.  s'arreta Son  (p. 225).  "La n e i g e  triumphed.  the f a t e  f o r they too are  o f the  Dead...  une The  inhabitants  immobilized  i s not c o i n c i d e n t a l .  souffle  tombait  surement, avec  M a t t e r has  share  funereal  et morte"  lentement,  salissait  Under t h i s  . . l a Lison  e x p i r a n t e , dans l e g r a n d  of the Croix-de-Maufras trapped.  epaisse, qui  c o n t i n u e s t o advance but  o b s t i n a t i o n muette" passengers  of  the f u r n a c e i s  (p. 225).  b u r i e d , Z o l a emphasizes the p o i n t :  toujours,  the c l a s h  i s , of course, i t s  fumee n o i r e ,  swamped looms e v e r l a r g e r u n t i l :  s'eteignit,  into  on a huge s c a l e . 23  significance  outcome. reduced  the s t r u g g l e  During  and the  recalls:  " The C y c l o p e s were male, f u r t h e r m o r e t h e y were a s s o c i a t e d w i t h f i r e a s b o t h s o n s o f t h e s t o r m gods and h e l p e r s o f Hephaestus a t h i s f o r g e . Gaston B a c h e l a r d i n h i s work L ' E a u e t l e s r e V e s . E s s a i s u r 1 ' i m a g i n a t i o n de l a m a t i e r e ( P a r i s : C o r t i , 1942) d i s c u s s e s t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f f i r e a s t h e male e l e m e n t and w a t e r a s t h e f e m a l e e l e m e n t i n literature. I n c h a p t e r s e v e n o f L a Bfete humaine t h e l o c o m o t i v e ( f i r e ) i s n o t a b l e f o r i t s powers o f p e n e t r a t i o n : " a u - d e s s u s du t r a i n . . . f l a m b a i t 1 ' ^ b l o u i s s a n t e queue de corriete, t r o u a n t l a n u i t " ( e m p h a s i s a d d e d ) , w h i l e t h e snow e n v e l o p s and i s r e f e r r e d t o on one o c c a s i o n a s "une s o r t e de b r o u i l l a r d l a i t e u x , ou l e s c h o s e s ne s u r g i s s a i e n t que t r e s r a p p r o c h e e s , a i n s i qu'au f o n d d'un r e v e " ( e m p h a s i s a d d e d ) , a r e f e r e n c e w h i c h i s , a c c o r d i n g t o B a c h e l a r d , an u n m i s t a k a b l e s i g n o f t h e f e m a l e myth.  96  . . . une t r a n c h d e p r o f o n d e , q u i se t r o u v a i t a t r o i s c e n t s m e t r e s e n v i r o n de l a C r o i x - d e - M a u f r a s : e l l e s ' o u v r a i t dans l a d i r e c t i o n du v e n t , l a n e i g e d e v a i t s'y e t r e a c c u m u l e e en q u a n t i t y c o n s i d e r a b l e ; e t , t o u t de s u i t e , i l e u t l a c e r t i t u d e que c ' e t a i t l a l ' e c u e i l marque oh i l n a u f r a g e r a i t . (emphasis added) ( p p . 224-225)  The  m e t a p h o r s o f s h i p and  Croix-de-Maufras.  The  shipwreck  a l r e a d y been n o t e d ,  Croix-de-Maufras  o f t h e c o u n t r y and, i t  the s t a s i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h  theme —  the c o n t r a s t  the  of atavism  When t h e t r a i n makes i t s u n s c h e d u l e d  civilization naturel  the r e s t  p r o v i d e s the b a s i s f o r the development  the novel's c e n t r a l progress.  the  a r e a i s r e p e a t e d l y d e s c r i b e d i n terms  of a w i l d e r n e s s cut o f f from has  connect with  The  n a t i v e s o f the  and  stop  i s s t r a n d e d a t the Croix-de-Maufras  etait p e r v e r t i . "  of  and  "l'ordre  crossing:  . . . d e v i s a g e a i e n t ce monde i n c o n n u qu'un a c c i d e n t j e t a i t s u r l a v o i e , i l s l e c o n t e m p l a i e n t a v e c des y e u x r o n d s de s a u v a g e s , a c c o u r u s s u r une c o t e o\i d e s E u r o p e e n s n a u f r a g e r a i e n t . ( p . 227)  While  a t the c r o s s i n g keeper's  P h a s i e about  her  illness  cottage Jacques  and M i s a r d ' s p a r t  woman r e p l i e s :  "Je s a i s  veux p a s  qu'il  me  response  i s f o r m u l a t e d i n terms which r e c a l l  description,  that  qu'il  v e u t me  in it.  97  The  manger, e t moi  mange, n a t u r e l l e m e n t " ( p . 2 3 3 ) .  o f the passage  questions  o f the t r a i n  an  sick  j e ne  The  earlier  through  the  snow.  To  reiterate:  £ c l a t a n t e du  " M a i s , dans l a n u i t ,  fanal 6tait  comme mangle p a r  b l a f a r d e s qui tombaient" t h e f o c u s has  returned  dominance c a r r i e d Appropriately  on  to the  Female —  the F a l l .  t e x t u a l modes — the n o v e l  struggle for  Croix-de-Maufras i s the  core  of  the  the a l i e n a t i o n which opposes Male Through the  i n t e r a c t i o n o f the  individual  of i n t e r l o c k i n g  three  epic-symbolic  a c o n t i n u a l movement upwards  outwards, e s c a l a t i n g from the through a s e r i e s  the  couples.  n a r r a t i v e , m e t a p h o r i c and  expresses  e'paisseurs  Appropriately  c h a r a c t e r s and  between p a r t i c u l a r  because the  lumiere  ces  (emphasis added).  symbolism a s s o c i a t e d w i t h and  la  to the  —  and cosmic  s t r u g g l e s between male  and  female. E m p h a s i s on that  linearity  i s , i t s separation into  operation — achieved.  may  belie  overlapping  i t contains.  example, has implication  the  The  three d i s t i n c t  significance  the w i l d e r n e s s i n the  the  the Genesis  s t o r y i s not  The  the n o v e l .  The  elements  second  immediate isolation.  The  atmosphere  References  o f the house a t the the  seven  shipwreck, f o r  soon a c q u i r e mythic o v e r t o n e s context  of  o f the v a r i o u s  the god-forsaken  Croix-de-Maufras.  —  effects  of chapter  metaphor o f the  i s that of disaster,  technique  levels  of the  a number o f r a m i f i c a t i o n s .  which surrounds the  considered  literary  complexity  image c o i n c i d e s n e a t l y w i t h  and  o f the  Even a c u r s o r y examination  r e v e a l s the that  the  to  outcasts  when  crossing.  o n l y e l e m e n t o f myth p r e s e n t  Yet in  drama o f L a Be^te humaine i s t h a t o f p h y s i c a l 98  passion;  i t s s e t t i n g i s the  physical  environment.  unrelieved  Here n i g h t  w o r l d d i v i d e d between b l a c k world  i n which sexual  obliteration.  This  i s the  Unequivocally,  of Zola's  mythic  the as  turns  identity  H e r e s y and  into cannibalism resolves  dimensions.  grandiloquent  becomes s y n t h e s i s .  malignant  fusion  and  itself  Zola  of  characters  a l t h o u g h the kind  scope of  at  his  pen,  sense)  fictional Titanic  literary theme  to symbol  e n t i t y a n i m a t e d by  a  own.  *  i m p e t u s and the  the  center  returns o f the  the  focus  plot.  Yet,  drama i s r e d u c e d , f i l m  of a m p l i f i c a t i o n .  murder o f f e r s one  described  darkness, f a r from a  a material  *  the  of  his original And  as  its  Renoir reverses  better  i n t o opposing f o r c e s of  inflates  is felt  spirit  individual  list  However, i n  ( i n the Manichean  escalates u n t i l  proportions.  o f moral decay,  reigns  Manicheanism to the  Thus, t h r o u g h a p r o c e s s  amplification,  own  add  (dark) Eros  a  for  orthodoxy mingle under Z o l a ' s  b e c o m i n g a c t i v e as  universe  f o r m o f an u r g e  o f h i s admix o f myths i t m i g h t be  syncretism.  passive  can  light;  elements interwoven i n the n o v e l i s t ' s  scheme t h a t  light  ascendancy i n a  w h i t e , d a r k n e s s and  r e a l m where  one  a  ingredients.  c l o s e l y are  creative  the  d e s i r e takes the  supreme.  So  and  has  c o r p o r a l i t y of  The  example. 99  staging  of  to  the  effects i t s  Grandmorin's  The  killing  i s n o t a c t u a l l y shown, i n s t e a d  of growing t e n s i o n the  escalation  culmination.  i s created  The camera i s t r a i n e d  glimmer s p a s m o d i c a l l y  corridor.  on t h e s h u t t e r e d  Suddenly a s h a f t  stations; of light  The a c t o f murder h a s b e e n When t h e l i g h t  the  t h e a u d i e n c e knows t h a t  knife  i n t o Grandmorin*s The  painstaking  SeVerine  to  effectiveness. thereby  description  duration  climactic effect. Film  increasing  slices  the carriage ricochets  precisely  through the t w i l i g h t o f Roubaud h a s p l u n g e d t h e  o f t h e murder g i v e n by  h a s been c o n d e n s e d  combining  light,  Simultaneity  i n t o a scene o f  m u s i c and s o u n d - t r a c k  i s i n f a c t the key t o i t s  e n g a g e s b o t h v i s u a l and a u r a l  to the imagination.  under d i s c u s s i o n  The i m p a c t  from  its ability  o f t h e example  i s generated p r e c i s e l y because the a c t o f  murder i s n o t shown.  The f r e n e t i c i n t e r a c t i o n o f l i g h t and  sound i s f a r more e l o q u e n t  than a shot o f a k n i f e  s u c c e e d e d by more s h o t s o f a b l o o d i e d  a p r i n c i p l e o f mutual e x c l u s i o n .  meaning i n t h e f i r s t  thrust  corpse.  W r i t t e n and c i n e m a t i c media appear t o o p e r a t e on  senses  the emotive impact o f the a c t i o n .  M o r e o v e r , t h e c i n e m a t i c medium g a i n s g r e a t l y to appeal  along  body.  (chapter eight)  a few moments  lights  through the b l i n d i n d i c a t i n g the speed  pinpointed. corridor  door t o  Music r i s e s t o a crescendo,  the locomotive as i t r a c e s past  r o c k s a n d sways. the  to p a r a l l e l  o f Roubaud's f u r y and i t s i n e v i t a b l e  G r a n d m o r i n ' s compartment.  of  which i s designed  an atmosphere  The c r e a t i o n  largely of figural  i s the r e s u l t o f l i n e a r development 100  while  i n the  despite  second s i m u l t a n e i t y i s i t s source.  the f a c t  t h a t the  o f t e n exceed the compensate w i t h  limits the  stylistic  of f i l m i c  w r i t e r Ian Fleming,  its  versions.  primarily and  This  in action.  i s the  of the problem  significance. just  s u c h an The  case  to the f i g u r a l  i s located i n areas  I n L a B £ t e humaine t h e  divergent  trend associated with  the L i s o n i s not  female s e x u a l i t y .  i s described  dimension  as  the  overlapping represents  train  to Jacques, but  terms:  has  the  i s also associated with  "II avait  the  t h e n i g h t and  a  "en chapter rarement  la  chevauchait  (pp.  184-185).  s a v a g e power  evident  in  chapter  o f Jacques's mania i s d e s c r i b e d .  of the p a s s i n g  the P a r i s express  engine  also acquires  du m a i t r e "  a p o i n t which i s e s p e c i a l l y  ferocity  plunges i n t o  of  Indeed,  imminence o f h i s l o s s o f c o n t r o l i s e x p r e s s e d  s p e e d and just  of  i l l a posse'dait,  l'absolue volonte  e l e v e n when t h e r e s u r g e n c e The  in  nature  H i s d r i v e b a c k t o Le H a v r e i n  i n o v e r t l y sexual  locomotive  the beast,  of  i n impact  i t i s s t a t e d , loves "her"  l a Lison s i obeissante;  a sa g u i s e , avec  of  Jacques,  reconnaissant."  the  may  area.  only feminized  But  work  locomotive  driver,  senti  The  f o r the film-maker.  In r e l a t i o n  five  latter  because i t i s based  a l r e a d y been i n d i c a t e d .  mcile  former  the  Works o f a more c o n t e m p l a t i v e  l a n g u a g e a r e more p r o b l e m a t i c crux  o f the  f o r example, g a i n s  w h i c h have g r e a t e r r e c o u r s e  the  expression,  immediacy o f i t s i m a g e s .  thriller film  techniques  However,  t r a i n s and  the  i n the blow  h u r t l e s by;  then  Jacques  disappears  : ".  . . et i l  101  too  falls  s'enfuit  . . . se lanc.a d e h o r s ,  g a l o p se p e r d i t , exploited speed  furieux"  dans l a n u i t  (p. 350).  The  f o r i t s male p r o p e r t i e s —  which, a s s o c i a t e d w i t h  The  beast  i t s shape, has  train  In f a c t  he  a gigantic  being of metal  description Clearly,  the  which f i l l s various  locomotive  re-use  novelist  moves i n t o  the realm  material. point.  The  director power by  subsequently  Jacques  interesting be  in a violent  of s t y l i s t i c  through  The  apparent to  the  (a  and  one  coexistence of  point concerning  o b j e c t , use  ends.  But  unless  the f i l m  these the film. and one  director  relationship with h i s objective  intensifies the use  state.  a s he  S e V e r i n e ' s murder an  the  termed m u l t i p l e v a l u e s t o  the  i s a case i n  impression of  o f camera a n g l e s and  introduces a t r a i n  i n t e r r u p t s Jacques  blindly  The  R e n o i r ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the t r a i n  unrestrained He  a male f o r c e .  to serve Jacques  of cartoon animation,  enjoys a l e s s f l e x i b l e  of  a s a " b e t e dompte'e" o r  can animate a f i c t i o n a l  i t for a variety  being  the e v o c a t i o n o f the C y c l o p s ) .  a multitude of r o l e s .  t r a n s f e r e n c e o f what may  son  the v i c t i m s a r e  i s an a n d r o g y n o u s e n t i t y  images r a i s e s an  The  surge  compounds i t by r e f e r r i n g  striving  s e p a r a t e from  i s here  to r e c o n c i l e  i n a number o f o t h e r r e g i s t e r s ;  ou  phallic  that  i s unmistakably  a u t h o r , however, d o e s n o t a t t e m p t contradiction.  train  the v i r i l e  c o n n o t a t i o n s , n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g the f a c t always female.  d'encre,  which focus  passage o f a  train  i s strangling Flore;  after  engine  the n i g h t .  The  i n t o scenes  h u r t l e s p a s t him Renoir 102  framing.  a s he  i s highlighting  on  walks qualities  germane t o t h e l o c o m o t i v e ferocity music.  and a s s o c i a t i n g them w i t h t h e  o f Jacques's compulsion. The d r a m a t i c  violence  strains  The l i n k  i s emphasized by  t h a t accompany moments o f  o r r e f e r e n c e s t o Jacques's mania a r e a l s o used t o  orchestrate  images o f t h e t r a i n  i n motion.  identifying  the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  o f an o b j e c t w i t h  a major p r o t a g o n i s t , value  o f the object  of course The  i n question.  i s diversify preceding  potential  the d i r e c t o r  forfigural  g o e s t o some l e n g t h s violent  or sexual  work w i l l  to avoid  scenes.  meet s e c r e t l y  a shed. rapidly  e x p l a i n why.  physical  passion  rain  technique  when t h e f u l l - t h r o a t e d replaces  they  The  disappear  inside  bucket  i s i n fact  inside  the shed.  the couple  o f that used  emerge.  When t h e The  i n P a r t i e de campagne  singing of a bird  i n a nearby  bush  the scene o f p h y s i c a l love as i t nears i t s  consummation. metaphorical LA  relationship.  t o convey t h e i n t e n s i t y o f  stops  i s reminiscent  i sthe  The o v e r f l o w i n g  taking place  eases and f i n a l l y  The d i r e c t o r  on a b u c k e t w h i c h i s f i l l i n g  f r o m t h e downpour. metaphor d e s i g n e d  o f some  the staging o f e x p l i c i t l y  one r a i n y n i g h t ;  a visual  of film's  An e x a m i n a t i o n  Such a n o c c a s i o n  The c a m e r a f o c u s e s  t o do  itself.  consummation o f J a c q u e s and S e V e r i n e ' s couple  extends the  are indicative  expression.  examples f r o m R e n o i r ' s  effectively  those o f  What he i s n o t a b l e  the object  observations  Thus by  I n each case role  BETE HUMAINE,  t h e o b j e c t w h i c h assumes a  i s integral  to the scene.  f o r instance, a c t i o n occurs 103  In during  a  thunderstorm  when J a c q u e s and  the e x t e r i o r view o f a shed i n t o a bucketnot  p l a y s an  formulation of f i g u r a l contextualization  and  water f l o w i n g from  important  i s an  essential  role  i n the  literary  p a r t o f the  Thus  medium, creation  Nowhere i s t h i s more  of  clearly  i n the d i r e c t o r ' s approach t o  composition  lighting. T h o s e on  called  the  t r a i n when G r a n d m o r i n was  f o r q u e s t i o n i n g by  SeVerine and  Jacques wait  the examining their  turn.  o p p o s i t e s i d e s o f t h e s m a l l room. shaft  of l i g h t  by b a r s  while  o f shadow.  disposed  they  Throughout the  i n t h i s way  —  a metaphorical  of a p r i s o n c e l l . o f imminent  The  The  loss of l i b e r t y  two  men  are p a r t i a l l y  inquiry  blind.  effect  are  magistrate.  a patch of l i g h t  relationship  murdered  Roubaud, stand  They a r e s e p a r a t e d  themselves  o f shadow c a s t by a l o w e r e d bear  a gutter  o f the a c t i o n which i s  meaning i n t h e  meaning i n f i l m . than  hence  i n the t u r b u l e n c e of the deluge.  where d i v e r s i f i c a t i o n  demonstrated  and  F u r t h e r , the nature  shown i s i m p l i c i t  figural  SeVerine s e e k s h e l t e r ,  scene  by  by  is strips  Undoubtedly these  bars  t o t h e more s u b s t a n t i a l  certainly  thereby  c o n j u r e s the  contributing  a  obscured  light  succeeded  at  bars  prospect  to the  tense  atmosphere. The divides  composition the  o t h e r but physical  space  their  i s effective  into  two  distinct  areas.  expressions are v e i l e d  disposition actually  undercurrents  f o r another  o f the  by  crystalizes  situation. 104  The  reason.  The  men  shadow. the  Light  face This  dramatic  protagonists are  each  s e p a r a t e d by knows how  the o t h e r w i l l  are e a s i l y us?"  t h e i r doubt  imagined:  While  Jacques  and m i s t r u s t react.  "Does he  o f each o t h e r .  Roubaud's a n x i o u s  suspect?"  " W i l l he  i s no d o u b t w o n d e r i n g  thoughts denounce  what m o t i v a t e s t h e  c o u p l e and what S e V e r i n e ' s i n v o l v e m e n t i s . accessible  Neither  A l l this i s  t o the a u d i e n c e but the motives o f each  character  remain hidden from the o t h e r . Light i n which cache.  and  shadow have a c o m p a r a b l e  function  S e v e r i n e s u r p r i s e s Roubaud r e m o v i n g The  setting:  Roubauds' a p a r t m e n t  i n the  money f r o m  i n near  scene the  darkness.  C l o s e up o f Roubaud b e n d i n g o v e r t h e c a c h e , h i s f a c e i n shadow.  A shaft  of l i g h t  c u t s a c r o s s the f l o o r ;  up,  startled.  She  s h o u t s a c c u s i n g l y a t Roubaud: " V o l e u r ! V o l e u r ! "  t h e end goes  o f the f i l m  Renoir p a r a l l e l s  this  once more t o t h e h i d i n g p l a c e and  watch.  Finding  approaches The  C l o s e up o f S e V e r i n e f r a m e d  he  the k n i f e d i s c a r d e d  t h e open bedroom d o o r ,  looks  i n t h e doorway.  scene.  takes out  Towards  Roubaud Grandmorin's  by J a c q u e s he g e t s up  still  carrying  camera g i v e s a r e a r v i e w o f Roubaud o u t l i n e d  the  and  watch.  i n the  doorway, t h e n f o c u s e s on t h e w a t c h h a n g i n g f r o m h i s h a n d . The  narrative  link  i s clear,  the d i r e c t o r  i s underlining  c o n n e c t i o n between SeVerine's murder and G r a n d m o r i n ' s . t h a n t h i s he  i s s u g g e s t i n g the i n d i v i d u a l ' s d u p l i c i t y  the background  of a shared s e c r e t .  Roubaud i n t h e a c t o f " s t e a l i n g " Roubaud, i n t u r n ,  The  against  t o pay f o r h i s g a m b l i n g  interplay 105  More  Thus S e v e r i n e d i s c o v e r s  e n t e r s a room o n l y t o f i n d  Jacques's deadly s e c r e t .  the  and  the evidence o f  of l i g h t  and  shadow  is  common t o t h e t h r e e m a i n c h a r a c t e r s a n d h a s t h e d u a l  effect  of uniting  them i n t h e u n s t a t e d knowledge o f t h e  crime and, c o n v e r s e l y , o f i s o l a t i n g doubts  Their  a n d m o t i v a t i o n s make them i m p e n e t r a b l e ,  them i n t h e d a r k hide-and-seek hidden  them.  shadows o f t h e e g o .  approach  to lighting,  The  lovers  Jacques.  enclosing  The d e a d l y game o f  between what i s r e v e a l e d a n d what  i s expressed b e a u t i f u l l y  individual  remains  by R e n o i r ' s c h i a r o s c u r o  c u l m i n a t i n g i n t h e murder o f S e V e r i n e .  l i e i n w a i t f o r Roubaud; S e V e r i n e  This action  t r i g g e r s h i s mania.  kisses  He s e i z e s h e r ;  S e V e r i n e ' s eyes widen w i t h h o r r o r and she s t r u g g l e s t o escape.  Jacques  reaches f o r the k n i f e ;  h i s f a c e i s i n shadow, t h e u p p e r  part  f o c u s e s on h i s c o n t o r t e d f e a t u r e s . echoes is  i n t h e room: " P o u r q u o i ,  no l o n g e r J a c q u e s  SeVerine glimpse of Jacques's  glass); relief  in  SeVerine's shocked  Jacques?  the dark depths  Pourquoi?"  But t h i s does  i s t h e h e a r t o f t h e drama a s e n v i s a g e d by  the mirror motif and, n o t l e a s t , t h e paradox Indeed,  utilized  contrast  by t h e d i r e c t o r  (crosscutting  (Jacques's glimpse  to the  o f himself i n the  l i g h t i n g which throws i n t o g r e a t e r  developed  through  the technique o f  the source o f the f i l m ' s  effectiveness  t h e way i n w h i c h o p p o s i t e s a r e p o i s e d a n d t h a t  balance  voice  o f h i s being, the d u p l i c i t y  I n i t the v a r i o u s elements  contrast.  The c a m e r a  a n d o n l y now, when i t i s t o o l a t e ,  combine a n d come t o f r u i t i o n : ball);  i n light.  n a t u r e w h i c h i t was beyond h i s power t o c o n t r o l .  T h i s scene Renoir.  the lower p a r t o f  i s then tipped with i n c r e a s i n g v e l o c i t y 106  lies  delicate  t o one  side...  the darkest.  Z o l a ' s n o v e l c o u l d be r e g a r d e d expression  " c a r n a l knowledge," s i n c e i t uses  s t o r y and o t h e r mythic ascendancy different  elements  solely  angle.  the Genesis  i n o r d e r t o evoke t h e  o f man's c o r p o r e a l e x i s t e n c e .  longer informed  The f i l m  Under R e n o i r ' s d i r e c t i o n ,  action  by a vague t h e o r y o f a t a v i s m ,  terms which r e v e a l transgression. the  as an e l a b o r a t i o n o f the  I n s t e a d , one i s l e f t of existence.  weakness o f t h e human s t a t e .  I f one c a n t a l k  i n f l u e n c e o f myth i n r e l a t i o n  to the f i l m ,  awareness o f the F a l l  o f man's f l a w e d n a t u r e .  shows u s t h e i n t r i n s i c  equally  situation  ironic  Jacques,  by t h e S e V e r i n e and  own w e a k n e s s e s ,  i s a l s o a microcosm o f a wider and  state —  that  condemnation does n o t f i g u r e is  out o f p l a c e i n both.  in  the s o - c a l l e d  of l i f e  itself.  Moral  i n e i t h e r book o r f i l m , i t  Z o l a s e t out t o d e p i c t  human s p e c i e s .  closed within their  o f the  i t must be i n  suggested  Roubaud a r e a l l p r i m a r i l y v i c t i m s o f t h e i r their  formulated i n  Z o l a p r e s e n t s an extreme  Renoir  but  own e g o e s .  the s i t u a t i o n Undoubtedly  s i n c e , by  rationale.  t h e t e c h n i q u e s employed by R e n o i r  The s t o r y —  remain  A w a r e n e s s dawns o n l y i n  e x c e e d s human  an a l t o g e t h e r d i f f e r e n t novel.  bestiality  Renoir's characters  e x t r e m i s and i s n o t a c c o m p a n i e d b y u n d e r s t a n d i n g then,  i s no  w i t h a s t r o n g sense o f  v i e w o f t h e human c o n d i t i o n .  portrayal  a  a d e e p l y r o o t e d awareness o f  implacable nature  the r e s i d u a l  exploits  emphasis from  that found  produce  i n the  a doomed l o v e s e t a g a i n s t t h e b a c k g r o u n d 107  of a f a t a l  compulsion —  remains  u n d e r l y i n g f e a t u r e s which  have c h a n g e d .  (composed o f c h a r a c t e r s and rest  of the n o v e l —  that  however, i s i n d e l i b l y which  t h e same; i t i s t h e In e f f e c t ,  events) i s d i v i s i b l e  from  i s , i t s thematic content.  l i n k e d w i t h t h e w r i t t e n word  i t i s expressed.  story  Thus,  the Theme,  through  anyone u n d e r t a k i n g a n  adaptation:  . . . l o o k s n o t t o t h e o r g a n i c n o v e l , whose l a n g u a g e i s i n s e p a r a b l e f r o m i t s theme, b u t t o c h a r a c t e r s and i n c i d e n t s w h i c h have somehow d e t a c h e d t h e m s e l v e s f r o m l a n g u a g e and, l i k e t h e h e r o e s o f f o l k l e g e n d s , have achieved a mythic l i f e of t h e i r own. 2 4  Consequently, alteration  t h e i n t e g r a t i o n o f theme and  form  i s such  o f the n o v e l ' s content i s not a by-product of the  p r o c e s s o f a d a p t a t i o n but  intrinsic  much s u b o r d i n a t e t o f o r m ,  i t i s i n s e p a r a b l e from i t .  24  that  Bluestone,  p.62  108  to i t .  Theme i s n o t  so  Concluding  This study film  o f L a B e t e humaine and  f u n c t i o n s as a b a l a n c e  fallen,  with  n o v e l and  Remarks  sheet.  on  the d i s p a r i t y  t o n i n g down o f t h e v i o l e n c e w h i c h i s i n t r i n s i c Z o l a ' s c h a r a c t e r s , d e f i n e d by  specific  which i d e n t i f y  share  types,  a common v i g o r , a b a r e l y  o f the  of types;  c h a r a c t e r s a l s o produces a s e r i e s  the f i l m  Similarly,  the  considerably scenes  with  extent less  prefers closed  i n the n o v e l .  or sexual  the d i r e c t o r ,  provides  one  considered. suggerer  Renoir's  content  r a t h e r than by  and  which i n the evasive.  cutting  training  reason,  yet preference  Renoir,  observes  ".  of  approach  from a  should  P o u l l e , "se des  . . i l se d i s p e n s e 109  On  In  images  also  to text  several  scene,  t h e c a m e r a on  N e c e s s i t y i n the form o f c e n s o r s h i p  l e s accouplements par  furthermore,  conception  i s deliberately  to b l o c k a c t i o n out door.  these,  a c t i o n i s subject to moderation.  are described i n d e t a i l , occasions  bourgeois  treatment  to which v i o l e n c e i s d e p i c t e d i s  than  violent  novel.  physical features  Renoir's  character.  a  to the  r e s t r a i n e d urge to v i o l e n c e or p a s s i o n .  however, i n d i c a t e a d i s t i n c t l y  has  between  Almost a t once, comparison r e v e a l e d  them a s  into  Throughout emphasis  increasing insistence,  film.  i t s conversion  a  laws  be  contente  de  poetiques,"  compfetement du p o n c i f , s i  francais,  du c o u p l e a u l i t . "  copulation blatant  i n beds,  mood o f t h e f i l m  tastes.  i s pessimistic.  The s o u r c e o f t h i s  pessimism and t h e sense o f i n e v i t a b i l i t y which it,  a r e t o be f o u n d  Unrelieved interplay  contributes to  i n t h e somber t o n e o f t h e f i l m ' s  darkness  i s , however, l e s s  o f two d i f f e r e n t  w i t h dark enhances  portrayal of  s h e d s o r d a r k a l l e y w a y s was c l e a r l y t o o  f o r the film-maker's  The  Zola's insistent  shades.  effective  The c o n t r a s t  the depth o f the l a t t e r .  images.  than the of light  With an a r t i s t ' s  a p p r e c i a t i o n o f shading, Renoir c o u n t e r p o i n t s dark w i t h light.  N i g h t / b l a c k n e s s i s an i n t e g r a l  backdrop  and, because  unremarkable a sunlit  of this,  assume u n e x p e c t e d  o f the f i l m ' s  scenes which poignancy.  at f i r s t Jacques  l a n d s c a p e t o S e V e r i n e and t h e image e v o k e d  words s t a n d s i n s h a r p c o n t r a s t shunting yard. colors  part  Indeed,  abilities. for  of figural  Contrast i s also  (chapter seven).  5  which around  meaning  Renoir's use o f which  t h e g u l f between man's a s p i r a t i o n s a n d h i s  example, o f f s e t s  2  o f the dark  a s t h e c h a r a c t e r s ' h o p e s and dreams a r e  generates a l e v e l  highlights  by h i s  b u t f o r e b o d i n g a s shadows c l o s e  e n g u l f e d by a b l e a k and i n e s c a p a b l e r e a l i t y , contrast  describes  Thus i t i s n o t hope, o r even romance,  t h e atmosphere  the c o u p l e .  to the " r e a l i t y "  appear  Poulle,  evident  i n the novel.  Snow,  t h e b l a c k n e s s o f t h e pre-dawn s k y  Yet here  i t i s used p u r e l y  p . 29. 110  to identify  opposing elements. characterized substance.  by what t h e y  elements a r e  have i n common —  their  material  A phenomenon w h i c h h a s a s i t s b a s i s t h e  h o m o g e n e i t y o f a l l t h e e l e m e n t s , b o t h a n i m a t e and  inanimate, The  these  The c o n t r a s t o f c o l o r i s , t h e r e f o r e , p a r t o f a  w i d e r phenomenon. essential  More i m p o r t a n t l y ,  which c o n s t i t u t e the world  of the novel.  u s e o f c o n t r a s t , more t h a n any o f t h e o t h e r  changes  made by R e n o i r ,  p i n p o i n t s the d i f f e r e n c e i n h i s approach.  While  o f an e x p l a n a t i o n  i n search  from the n o v e l , personalities  f o r the f i l m ' s  one may have n o t e d n o t o n l y  eras  different  s e t o f a t t i t u d e s and c o n v e n t i o n s  i n which each  perceptions.  extent  nature quite  lived,  and t h e i m p a c t on  to which novel  t a s t e was f o u n d  and f i l m  differ.  fundamental  t o account f o r The  organic  o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between theme and f o r m simply,  former.  t h a t when t h e l a t t e r  Accordingly,  h i s medium, R e n o i r eloquently criterion  on f i l m .  just  of a  their  However, s o m e t h i n g more  than background o r p e r s o n a l the  the d i f f e r e n t  o f n o v e l i s t and f i l m - m a k e r b u t , e q u a l l y , t h e  different  individual  departure  means,  c h a n g e s , s o must t h e  a s Z o l a c h o s e a theme s u i t e d t o  s e l e c t e d a theme w h i c h he c o u l d  treat  Indeed, the d i r e c t o r a p p l i e s the  o u t l i n e d by B ^ l a B a l a z s ,  according  t o whom t h e  film-maker:  . . . may u s e t h e e x i s t i n g work o f a r t m e r e l y a s raw m a t e r i a l , r e g a r d i t f r o m t h e s p e c i f i c a n g l e o f h i s own a r t f o r m a s i f i t were raw r e a l i t y , and p a y no a t t e n t i o n t o t h e f o r m once already given to the m a t e r i a l . The p l a y w r i g h t , 111  S h a k e s p e a r e , r e a d i n g a s t o r y by B a n d e l l o , saw i n i t n o t t h e a r t i s t i c f o r m o f a m a s t e r p i e c e o f s t o r y - t e l l i n g but m e r e l y the naked event n a r r a t e d i n i t . 2 6  Yet  what a r e  claim  the  implications  to f i d e l i t y ?  His  of  the  above f o r  s t a t e m e n t may  now  be  Renoir's  reassessed:  . . . j ' a i 6t4 a u s s i f i d d l e que j e l ' a i pu "a 1 ' e s p r i t du l i v r e ; J e n'en a i pas s u i v i 1 ' i n t r i g u e , m a i s j ' a i t o u j o u r s pense* q u ' i l v a l a i t mieux "§tre f i d e l e a 1 ' e s p r i t d'une o e u v r e originale qu'a s a forme e x t ^ r i e u r e . . . . j ' a i pense au cOte* p o ^ t i q u e de Z o l a . 2  R e n o i r ' s words r e v e a l is  e r e c t i n g a defense  Behind the  this  e l e m e n t s he  then r e l i e d  on  could h i s own  However, i f t h i s  a l s o uncovered which the  the  hope o f d i s a r m i n g  is really  saying  e x p l o i t to f u l l e s t skills  s t u d y has  Renoir's assertions  a simple motivation.  i n the  s m o k e s c r e e n he  7  to develop  revealed  with regard inherent  a  t o LA  falseness  concept of f i d e l i t y  The  criticism.  that  effect the  lack of  director  he on  selected film  and  project. sincerity  in  BETE HUMAINE, i t  has  of  i s based —  the  p r e m i s e upon  namely, t h a t  the  26 B 6 l a B a l a z s , T h e o r y o f t h e F i l m ( C h a r a c t e r and Growth o f a New A r t ) , t r a n s . E d i t h Bone ( L o n d o n : D e n n i s Dobson L t d . , 1 9 5 2 ) , p. 263. 2  7  Rivette  et T r u f f a u t ,  " E n t r e t i e n avec Jean  p.4. 112  Renoir,"  media s h o u l d  and  fidelity  j u d g e an  and  do  correspond. adaptation  which i t adheres to the mistaken approach. that  this  dog  the  adaptation regard  as  d i r e c t o r must t h e r e f o r e position. his is  own now  He  more  LA  i s being  case.  The  of f i d e l i t y  l o n g as  t h e w r i t t e n work a s  the  sense of g u i l t  canon.  little  of  hope o f  underlying  to The  his putting  Renoir's  words  comprehensible.  Maurice Bessy i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e  ans!"  to  p u b l i c continues  BE^TE HUMAINE r e c e i v e d m i x e d c r i t i c a l  exclaiming:  obvious  the  invidiousness  judged w i t h  to  and  continue  undertakes  the  of  extent  as  will  a pre-established  feel  the  i t i s just  f i l m - m a k e r who  of a novel,  on  i s patently a naive  Unfortunately,  o f any  erect a principle  strictly  original  ill-founded notion  heels  To  "Voici  le plus  L e p r o h o n , who  film,  associates  " D-la  g r a n d e u r du  construction:  this  ".  o f the  beau f i l m  response.  favorable  que  reaction,  j ' a i vu  depuis  a l l u d e s to Bessy's response to enthusiasm with  f i l m , " w h i c h he  what he  dix  the  describes  as  locates in i t s  . . cette conjonction  d'elements  plastiques  29 et  du  rythme."  derive in  from the  Both the  d i r e c t o r ' s use  h i s e x p l o i t a t i o n o f the  cSte" p o e t i q u e de  2  8  f i l m ' s s t r u c t u r e and  Zola."  C h a r d e r e , p.  o f the  railway  The  train  264.  pq  ° L e p r o h o n , p.  80. 113  railway.  that Renoir s c a n s and  i t s rhythm Indeed,  i t is  touches " l e  punctuates  the  film  and,  from the  causality. aspect  o p e n i n g frames, engages the  What one  witnesses  i s , in fact,  o f Z o l a , which reposes i n the by  poetic  i n the  of Renoir  p r o f e s s i o n a l way images o f t h e w h i c h LA  i n w h i c h he  train  BETE HUMAINE d i f f e r s  example, and  The  film  integrates p e r f e c t l y with the  encapsulates To diffuse  the  novel  film?" Renoir  i t must be  i n Z o l a and  the  faithful  question to the  I b e l i e v e the was  faithful...  than  the and  potential of  t h a t make  as  that i t  setting,  that Renoir  I f he  visually  i t has  but  answer i s y e s . art  takes the  is guilty overly  exciting  that should  114  colleagues.  engine d r i v e r ' s s i t u a t i o n .  o f a complex and  t o h i s own  workers,  F l o r e i n t h e meadow w h i c h ,  said  original?"  the  Pecqueux,  camaraderie of h i s  o f a diamond.  i n t o a r i g o r o u s and  often  railway  i n s u c h a way  condenses i t u n t i l  transformation  Accordingly, Renoir  from the n o v e l  b i t t e r n e s s of the  conclude:  i s the  full  p a s t o r a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of the  compact q u a l i t i e s it  the  poetic  O v e r a l l , i t i s t h e ways i n  s c e n e between J a c q u e s and  because of the  the  p o r t r a y a l o f the  but  the  of  comprehensive  i n p a r t i c u l a r C a r e t t e who,  b r i n g s humor t o t h e  Or  h i s prose,  realizes  i n motion.  f i l m most memorable. for  revealed  less  s a v a g e and  h a l l u c i n a t o r y atmosphere c r e a t e d aspect  thread  be  of  anything  emphatic  i s not:  "Did Renoir  form.  glistening,  film.  asked  This  what i s  "Was  make a  good  i s so b e c a u s e  Jean  Works C o n s u l t e d The  Bachelard, Gaston.  L'Eau e t  1 ' i m a g i n a t i o n de Barioli,  Marc.  Paris:  Le  Paris: Borie,  Paris:  Zola  Zola  S.  University  Hemmings, F. Press,  du  et  W.  Corti,  du  1942.  francaise.  Seuil,  Ecrivains  Seuil,  de  Toujours.  1971.  l e s mythes ou  de  l a n a u s ^ e au  salut.  1971.  i n Zola's Novels.  Athens:  1952.  " Z o l a ' s Machine M o n s t e r s . "  Romance N o t e s ,  1-3. J.  Emile Zola.  London: O x f o r d  University  1966.  Jagmetti, Antoinette. de  lui-meme.  of Georgia Press,  (1962),  Paris:  sur  1964.  Repetition  Duncan, P h i l i p A. iii  M.,  par  Editions  Brown, C a l v i n  Essai  T r a i n dans l a l i t t e r a t u r e  Editions  Jean.  l e s reVes.  l a matiere.  E d i t i o n s N.  Bernard, Marc.  Novel  "La  Be^te humaine" d ' E m i l e Z o l a :  stylistique critique.  Geneve: L i b r a i r i e  E.  etude  Droz,  1955. Kanes, M a r t i n . Creation. Martino, P i e r r e . Paris:  Zola's  "La  Be^te humaine": A  Berkeley: Univ. of Le  Librairie  C a l i f o r n i a Press,  Naturalisme f r a n c a i s Armand C o l i n ,  Study i n L i t e r a r y  1930.  (1870-1895).  1962.  Matthews, J . H. Symposium,  "The R a i l w a y Spring  Rougemont, D e n i s d e .  i n Z o l a ' s L a Bete  (1960),  humaine."  13-14.  L'Amour e t 1 ' O c c i d e n t .  Paris:  U.G.E.,  1962. Zola,  Emile.  L a B e t e humaine.  Paris:  Garnier-Flammarion,  1972. Zola,  Emile. Niess.  Letters  t o J . Van S a n t e n K o l f f .  S t . L o u i s : Washington U n i v e r s i t y  116  E d . R. J . P r e s s , 1940.  The  Balazs,  Bela.  New  Theory  Art.  Ltd.,  o f the F i l m  Jean Renoir.  B l u e s t o n e , George.  Chardere, B e r n a r d , ed. 22-24, L y o n :  California Graham. p.  Baltimore: University  1974.  "Jean R e n o i r . "  Premier  Plan,  1962.  Jean Renoir.  Press,  Paris:  1971.  S.E.R.D.O.C.,  Raymond.  Leprohon,  Dobson  Ed. F r a n c o i s T r u f f a u t .  Novels into Film.  of C a l i f o r n i a Press,  1939,  London: Dennis  1952.  E d i t i o n s Champs L i b r e s ,  Greene,  ( C h a r a c t e r and Growth o f a  T r a n s . E d i t h Bone.  B a z i n , Andre*.  Durgnat,  Film  Berkeley: University  of  1974.  " L a B e t e humaine." The  Spectator, 5  May  760.  Pierre.  Jean Renoir.  Paris:  Editions  Seghers,  1967. P i n c u s , Edward. American Poulle,  La  S i g n e t Books,  New  1969.  R e n o i r 1938,  BeHe  USA:  ou J e a n R e n o i r p o u r Paris:  humaine  rien,  E d i t i o n s du C e r f ,  (Scenario).  Paris:  1969.  Copy  n.d.  Jacques,  Renoir." pp.  to Filmmaking.  s u r un c i n ^ a s t e .  Jean.  Bourse, Rivette,  Library,  Francois.  enque'te Renoir,  Guide  e t Francois Truffaut.  C a h i e r s du Cinema, No.  3-12. 117  34  " E n t r e t i e n avec (avril  1954),  Jean  Sesonske, A l e x a n d e r . 1924-1939. Press,  J e a n R e n o i r The  French  Films,  Cambridge, M a s s a c h u s e t t s : H a r v a r d  1980.  118  University  

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