Study Guide

Thérèse Raquin Chapter 16

By Émile Zola

Chapter 16

  • Fifteen months pass, and life returns to normal. By which we mean: everyone recommences the same monotonous routines. 
  • The lovers never try to meet in secret, not even once, even though they now have plenty of opportunities to sneak away.  
  • Over time, they start to feel indifferent toward one another. And that indifference turns to fear. 
  • Thérèse begins to read avidly, devouring novels about love and honor and chastity.  
  • Laurent returns to his former hedonistic ways and grows fat. And lazy.  
  • He meets a model and keeps her as his mistress for nearly a year, until she just packs up and leaves one day.  
  • Laurent sometimes thinks of marriage. He thinks about how pointless it would be to have murdered a man for his wife, if he doesn't intend to marry her. 
  • Um. Okay. Whatever, dude.