Study Guide

Thérèse Raquin Chapter 17

By Émile Zola

Chapter 17

  • Laurent returns home and finds that he cannot fall asleep. 
  • He daydreams that Thérèse is waiting for him in her bedroom, and he can feel his lust for her intensifying.  
  • Suddenly, blood rushes to Laurent's scar on his neck. It feels like it's burning. 
  • Laurent starts to hallucinate that Camille is in the room, shaking his bed. 
  • When Laurent finally manages to doze off, his nightmares return: he is on his way to see Thérèse, but instead of finding her alone, he comes face to face with Camille's disfigured corpse. 
  • Ick. 
  • The next morning, Laurent notices that his scar is beaming bright red against his white neck. 
  • He goes to see Thérèse that evening. When he does, he finds out that she also suffered nightmares last night. 
  • The two lovers become even more desperate to unite against Camille's ghost. 
  • Because obviously it's Camille's ghost that is causing them both to have nightmares. Duh.