When Camille then brings home a selfish colleague, Laurent, a former painter, Thérèse becomes aware of feelings she never knew she had. On an idyllic summer outing, Camille drowns and no-one suspects a thing, not Mr Michaud, not Grivet, not Olivier who even vouches for Laurent’s heroic attempt to rescue Camille, not even Mme Raquin, not even the students who were out at the same time.
They start a mad and daring affair in her own bedroom, but as his boss demands of him that he take no longer a long lunch,… Thérèse and Laurent play their cruel comedy and eventually get married, by her aunt and clever Mr Michaud’s ‘design’, but the image of a drowned and semi-decayed Camille in the mortuary haunts them.
Therese Raquin was originally published in French by Emile Zola in the 19th century.
It was also originally released one chapter at a time in a Parisian newspaper and then was later compiled into a novel.
The story contains quite a bit of symbolism most of which relates to animals.
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It is also quite scary but at the same time very gripping and interesting.
This is because our generation is not used to such putrid smell as the people in Paris were a long time ago Therefore, Suskind's highly detailed description helps the reader to nearly place himself in the fish market and feel the same unpleasant sensations as the characters did.
As in Perfume, the opening lines in the morgue scene in Therese Raquin begin with the author writing that the smell was unbearable.
The background histories of both are presented, as well as their current circumstances (the symptoms), enabling us to understand the motivations for their later actions: namely, adultery and murder, and their consequences: madness and suicide.
Although Zola's attempt to portray the situation in a purely scientific, detached manner is unsuccessful (as any such experiment done through the medium of literature must be) the story of the two lovers and their ill-fated affair is a highly engaging one and Zola's considerable skills as a writer are effectively employed in this novel.--Submitted by Elizabeth Madden Thérèse Raquin is leading a life of utter misery.