Study Guide

Thérèse Raquin Chapter 24

By Émile Zola

Chapter 24

  • Life continues as before: every Thursday evening, the Raquins have their usual guests over to play dominoes.  
  • So Thérèse and Laurent start leading a kind of double life. 
  • In the morning, Laurent leaves for the office while Thérèse stays to run the shop, and the two enjoy a few hours of peace and freedom apart from each other. They both act a little happy. 
  • But at night, when they're together again, they experience the same misery.  
  • To avoid being alone together, the two actually spend as much time as possible listening to Mme Raquin prattle on about her day. What fun. 
  • But Mme Raquin is slowly becoming paralyzed; her limbs and voice are growing weaker. 
  • At least that gives Laurent and Thérèse something to rally together against. They spend all their energy attempting to preserve Mme Raquin's health, and Mme Raquin is deeply touched by all the attention. 
  • (Maybe she has Munchausen Syndrome.) 
  • Everyone working and living along the Passage du Pont Neuf regards Laurent and Thérèse as the perfect couple…  
  • Little do they know, the two inflict a constant torture on one another in private.