Keywords: Naturalism, Capitalism, Emile Zola, Novel, Grand magasins.
The essay explores some aspects of the Zolian novel Au Bonheur des Dames,
published in Paris by Charpentier in 1883. The first part focuses on some textual
examples in which episodes, utterances and the action of the characters hide very
different authorial intentions. So, behind the textual reality, the study of the preparatory
papers allowed me to highlight the author’s desire to allegorize and create
parallels. The second part aims to demonstrate the historical character of the novel.
The authorial intention to express the entire century of social and economic transformations
is therefore recognizable in the attempt to represent the characteristics
of the ideology of progress, from the capitalist drive to the mutation of cities to