Gissing’s Zolaist determinism and the heroines of The Nether World

Document Type : Research Paper


PhD in English Language and Literature, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran


Zola, in his book The Experimental Novel, introduces the aspects of what is now called the naturalistic novel. Later on, Zola’s ideas were exported to the English literature and the works of English novelists. George Gissing is one of the English authors who have successfully adopted the premises and the key elements of Zola’s naturalistic novel in their work. This paper deals with the naturalistic and Zolaist essence of George Gissing’s novel, The Nether World. The crucial aspects of Zola’s experimental and naturalistic novel are first discussed. Then the idea of determinism and its connection to the novels of Zola and Gissing’s The Nether World comes to light. Finally, the subject of Gissing’s treatment of the presence of women and their entrapment in deterministic webs of life is discussed.  


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