Zola uses the main character, Etienne Lantier, to further educate the readers and sets him up to be the leader of the strike against the Monstou Company. Through Etienne, Zola expresses the need for a strike to...
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... the behaviors of these women who she believed were the victims of prostitution because they lacked education and felt they had no other options available to them. She wanted to save the women and fought hard to prove that men were in the wrong because it was them who allowed for this immoral act to continue. The women who served as prostitutes did so as a result of the sexual double standard in place during the Victorian era. During this time, sex was about power and control with the men dominating over the women. Women were expected to be submissive no matter the circumstances. Butler wanted others to see that the men were the ones who needed to be condemned for their actions because they were the reason prostitution had such high rates, and she knew that in order for this to happen there had to be a stop to the ongoing sexual double standard in place at the time.
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