Study Guide

Thérèse Raquin Chapter 13

By Émile Zola

Chapter 13

  • Laurent wakes up the next morning feeling cheerful. After all, now that the rascal Camille is out of the picture, he can have all the one-on-one time he wants with Thérèse. 
  • Then he notices the bite on his neck. He tells himself the wound will heal in a few days. Even though the human mouth is a dirty, dirty place. 
  • Since Camille's body was not recovered, his death hasn't been officially confirmed. And Laurent wants it to be, so he decides to go visit the morgue. Maybe Camille's body has turned up there. 
  • At the time, people could basically stroll into the Morgue at any time to see if they could identify any dead bodies. So the author takes this opportunity to provide us with a very in-depth description of all the yet-unidentified corpses at the Morgue, and the different kinds of people who come to visit it. 
  • Laurent goes to the Morgue every day for a whole week. Because he's a weirdo. He's simply fascinated by this display of death. 
  • He does eventually find Camille's body, however. And when he does, he's horrified by the sight of it decomposing.
  • Laurent runs to tell Michaud that he recognized Camille, and an official death certificate is drawn up.  
  • Good ole Laurent has nothing to worry about now; he appears to have gotten away with murder.