The Flood by Emile Zola | Plot Analysis


There lived a rich farmer at Saint Jory with a family consisting of 11 members. They lived peacefully, it’s only them, the ground and the crops. They lived joyfully in Saint Jory. It was the month of May that their crops had grown promising. It was the month that blessing is overflowing in their lives. They can’t even imagine how blessed they are to receive all that just happened on their farm. They were so happy about it. Though they worry a little about the 60 hours of rain without stopping, it may be bad for the crops.


But all of a sudden, there was a terrible cry sounded, saying “Garonne, Garonne.” They saw 2 men and 3 women that were running like hell. And after a while, they already saw a big blanket of water swarming towards them. The flood has come.

Rising Action

They took refuge upstairs. They look upon the animals that were fighting for survival. They felt sadness, sorrow and mostly fear, because of what just happened. Louis makes encouragement to fight the tragedy they are into. The water slowly entered the house, after a while death has already entered the house. They went up to the rooftop to stay away from the water that was entering from their house. They were thinking so many plans to survive. They thought that the only way to survive is to reach the church and shout for help there.


Cyprien volunteered to get to the church by jumping through rooftops and his wife joined him, but unfortunately, he fell and got tangled in a wire, and died. All were full of sorrow but still full of hope that they can be saved. They made the rooftop that they are in, into a raft. Many strong waves that hit them made them roll around on top of the rooftop.  Struggling for survival after so many waves hit them. They were so eager to survive that they thought that there is a rescue team that is coming for them but it was not.

Falling Action

Slowly each of them died one by one. Every big wave hit them someone dies. There were only 5 of them on the roof or raft. But Peirre couldn’t take it anymore; he let himself drown in the water to give some space for them in the raft. Gaspard tried to save Veronique by swimming her across the water to the church, but he failed to save her and himself. Marie, on the other hand, laughed, enjoying the last moments of her life, and let her drown herself into the water. Only Louis was left alone in the raft. Wondering what’s the point of living if he doesn’t have any family left.


Nearly two thousand houses were destroyed, 700 deaths and it was a terrible disaster. He saw the dead bodies of his family. He was the only survivor of their family he looks at his family and he weeps, continued to live alone.