Gervaise and Coupeau are happily married and through hard work they manage to advance in society. Until Coupeau is injured and takes to idleness, gluttony and eventually to drink. The novel shows the affect of alcoholism and poverty on the lives of people in the working-class districts of Paris.
Seventh in Émile Zola's twenty-volume series ”Les Rougon-Macquart”, ”L'Assommoir” is one of Zola's masterpieces and his most realistic work.
Émile Zola (1840 – 1902) was an influential French novelist, the most important example of the literary school of naturalism, and a major figure in the political liberalization of France. Zola was nominated for the first and second Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 and 1902.