If it's possible with quotes from the text and in three main axes.
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Zola actually went to live in the mining villages, which were located in northern France, so he could experience their plight first-hand. In doing so, he has proven himself committed to his work, and he is able to provide the reader with an honest account of the miners' lives. This account exposes their living conditions, their poverty, and the oppression and exploitation they experience at the hands of the mine owners.