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Western Civilization Since 1650, Fall 2004 Exam III

This exam will have two sections.  The first section is made up of ID questions, the second is an Essay question.  Each section will account for 50 percent of the exam grade.

Part One.

Below is a list of names, terms, and "events" for you to identify.  Your  job is to look up these people (etc) in your textbook (chapters 23-26) and in your lecture notes.  (DO NOT substitute use of other sources for your lecture notes and textbook!!!!)  On the exam, I will give you a list of ID answers, and you will have to match each ID with the correct answers. 

To study for this part of the exam, you must review your lecture notes and the textbook.  You need to be aware of two basic aspects of each ID:  1) where and when; 2) why is it important?  Write down the following information:

1) When and where did this person live/this event happen/this idea become important?

2) What did this person do, write, say, or think that made them an important historical figure?  If dealing with an event, what happened and why was it of historical importance.  If dealing with an idea, what was the idea and why was it of historical importance? 

List of IDs:



Part Two.

Answer the following question with an essay that is at least six paragraphs long and that includes specific examples from Zola's novel L'Assommoir.  The intro to the essay should present your main point.  Each of your four body paragraphs should focus on one distinct idea, and must include specific evidence from the novel to support your point about that idea.  Your conclusion should sum up your main points. 

You can bring ONE page of notes to the exam.  The notes can include a) an outline for your essay; b) quotations or other specific references from the novel, which you will use as evidence.   (The notes CAN NOT include any answers to the ID questions, and CAN NOT include sections of the actual text of your essay.)


Essay Question:

Emile Zola was a great 19th century novelist, whose works of fiction reflected many of the complex ideas of his times.  One of his major interests, and one of the major concerns of intellectuals of his time, was understanding the complex factors that shape human behavior.  Zola wrote a series of twenty novels that followed the lives of one fictional family (the Rougon-Macquart family) through almost 100 years of French history.  (L'Assommoir was the seventh novel in this series.)  He understood his "project" in these novels as a sort of "natural history" of French society, and he hoped to describe life for people in various strata (levels) of French society during the reign of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte.

Zola had no simple "moral" message in mind in L'Assommoir, and instead was trying to capture many aspects of human life--in particular the many different factors that shape human behavior.  Like many other thinkers of his time (Darwin, Spencer, etc), Emile Zola was interested in the way that heredity shapes the lives of individuals.  Like many social reformers of his time, he also was concerned with the effects that the environment (people's surroundings) had on individual behavior.  Although he was not a Marxist, Zola (like Marx, etc.), was interested in the way that social class relations (economic relationships) shaped behavior.  Like many philosophers (Mill, Nietzsche, etc), he believed that free will (the power of the individual to make decisions about their own life) played an important role in shaping human behavior.  But he also believed that people were always, to some extent, subject to chance (fate).

So---here is your task: 

Write an essay in which you use the experiences of different characters in L'Assommoir as examples to show how (according to Zola), the lives and behaviors of individuals were shaped by at least three of the following factors:  heredity, the environment, social class relations, free will, and fate. You must use specific examples from the lives of at least three different characters.  Then, using your textbook, lecture notes, and/or documents from the Brophy reader, explain briefly how some other major thinker of the 1800s understood at least one of these three factors.

In other words, the essay should A) devote three body paragraphs to explaining how heredity, the environment, social class relations, free will, or fate shaped the lives of three different characters (1 character per factor); and B) devote a fourth body paragraph to explaining how some other major thinker of the 1800s understood at least one of these three factors.