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Suicide according to Zola


Pridmore, W and Pridmore, S, Suicide according to Zola, Dynamics of Human Health, 5, (1) ISSN 2382-1019 (2018) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

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Objective: To investigate the fiction of Emil Zola to understand the beliefs of the author and his readers (second half 19th-Century France) regarding the triggers of suicide.

Method: Four novels were examined: Térèse Raquin (1867), The Fortune of the Rougons (1871), Germinal (1885), and The Beast Within (1890).

Results: Five completed suicides were related, triggered in two instances by loss of a spouse and in three cases by guilt. Suicide (or related behaviour) was mentioned on more than 20 further occasions, all as a consequence of settings of discontent. There was no instance of suicide secondary to mental disorder.

Conclusion: Triggers of suicide in the second half 19th-Century France were not exclusively the result of mental disorder, at least in the opinion of Zola and his readers, and were not unlike those in the contemporary Western world.

Item Details

Item Type:Contribution to Refereed Journal
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Mental health services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Mental health
UTAS Author:Pridmore, S (Professor Saxby Pridmore)
ID Code:124752
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2018-03-07
Last Modified:2018-03-07

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