Study Guide

Thérèse Raquin Chapter 30

By Émile Zola

Chapter 30

  • Mme Raquin starts to starve herself in hopes that she can end her agony.  
  • But when she realizes that her death would mean that Laurent and Thérèse might find happiness, she decides it would be cowardly to die.  
  • This woman is tough, man. 
  • Meanwhile, Thérèse starts to suspect that she is pregnant. She is terrified that she might give birth to a drowned child—she and her hubby are really totally bonkers by this point. 
  • So, one day, after provoking her husband, she allows Laurent to kick her in the stomach. She suffers a miscarriage. 
  • This novel just keeps getting sunnier and sunnier. 
  • Laurent finds his life intolerable, of course. 
  • And what's worse is that his scar has been acting up again. It aches constantly.  
  • Laurent also has a particular loathing for the tabby cat François, whose large green eyes are constantly staring at him. At least in his head.  
  • Laurent imagines that François will somehow learn to talk and reveal the murder, so he throws the cat out the window. Pauvre François spends the rest of the night meowing in pain. 
  • Thérèse starts leaving the house more frequently now. Laurent grows ever more paranoid and becomes convinced that she is going to blab to the police.