The Scarlet Pimpernel

by Baroness Orczy
Start Free Trial

How was Le Chat Gris different from The Fisherman's Rest?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Throughout The Scarlet Pimpernel, Orczy draws a strong contrast between the orderly world of the English and the chaotic atmosphere of revolutionary France. She does this with both the Fisherman's Rest and Chat Gris, an English and French inn respectively.

Located in Dover, the Fisherman's Rest is homely and...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Throughout The Scarlet Pimpernel, Orczy draws a strong contrast between the orderly world of the English and the chaotic atmosphere of revolutionary France. She does this with both the Fisherman's Rest and Chat Gris, an English and French inn respectively.

Located in Dover, the Fisherman's Rest is homely and comfortable. Orczy introduces us to the Fisherman's Rest with imagery of food sizzling in saucepans and kitchen maids giggling. Miss Sally, the owner's daughter, is described as "shapely" and beautiful, both authoritative over the kitchen maids and friendly with the customers. The owner Jellyband is a jolly man, his cheerful nature evoked in his name. The folks gathered in the coffee room are contented, laughing, and happy.

By contrast, Chat Gris is dismal. Located in Calais, Chat Gris is to Marguerite "the most dilapidated, most squalid" place she's ever seen, with paper peeling off the walls and crumbling furniture in every corner. The employees running Chat Gris are rude and mistrustful. The owner Brogard does not bother to be polite or appear inviting because he believes in treating all his patrons, aristocratic or not, as equals, or so his reasoning goes.

The implication is that the ordered class structure of England is far more beneficial to all members of society than that of revolutionary France. While there are class divisions in England, all the members get along. Orczy shows no real sense of disorder or animosity between the working people running the Fisherman's Rest or the upper-class folk who go there to meet with the French refugees.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team