Study Guide

Thérèse Raquin Chapter 5

By Émile Zola

Chapter 5

  • One Thursday, Camille brings home a young man named Laurent. 
  • He also works at Orléans Railway, and he and Camille were friends way back in the day. 
  • Thérèse literally can't take her eyes off Laurent, whose good looks are, well, really good. And the complete opposite of Camille, who always looks sickly.  
  • Laurent is described as a hedonist, which means someone who is only concerned with satisfying his own pleasures. Delicious. 
  • We also learn that Laurent used to be an artist who indulged his large appetite for women and good food. He eventually became so poor that he had to find another job, but he's still all about indulging his appetites. (Foreshadowing much?)  
  • After the rest of the regular Thursday guests arrive, Laurent notices Thérèse staring at him. 
  • He announces that he must paint Camille's portrait.