Study Guide

Thérèse Raquin Chapter 19

By Émile Zola

Chapter 19

  • Thérèse and Laurent's secret plan seems to be working. Allow us to explain how. 
  • See, Thérèse adopts an attitude of melancholy and despair until Mme Raquin becomes alarmed. 
  • Then Mme Raquin confides her worries to Michaud, who announces that he thinks Thérèse is depressed because she needs a husband. 
  • What woman wouldn't be helplessly depressed without a husband? 
  • Anywho. 
  • Laurent plays the part of the sensitive, obliging man, and makes himself indispensible to Mme Raquin.  
  • Then, on one of their Thursday evening extravaganzas, Michaud observes Laurent asking Thérèse about her health.  
  • Even though Laurent is only playing the role of affectionate friend, Michaud whispers to Mme Raquin that Laurent would make the perfect husband for Thérèse. 
  • Mme Raquin is pleased by the idea, and Michaud takes it upon himself to talk to Laurent privately and convince him to marry Thérèse. 
  • Laurent pretends to let Michaud persuade him to marry, while Mme Raquin has a similar conversation with Thérèse. 
  • The next morning, Thérèse and Laurent agree to marry in front of Mme Raquin, who urges them to kiss one another. How lovely. 
  • The following Thursday, the engagement is announced to everyone.  
  • Mme Raquin generously gives the couple forty thousand dollars, and they get on planning their blood-wedding. 
  • Happily ever after time, right? Right?