What does this quote tell us about the relationship between M. and Mme. Loisel? What bearing will this relationship have on the rest of the story?"When she sat down to dinner, before the round...

What does this quote tell us about the relationship between M. and Mme. Loisel? What bearing will this relationship have on the rest of the story?

"When she sat down to dinner, before the round table covered with a table cloth three days old, opposite her husband, who uncovered the soup tureen and declared with an enchanted air, “Ah the good pot-au-feu! I don’t know anything better than that,” she thought of dainty dinners, of shinning silverware…”

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The quote from Maupassant's story tells us that the husband is quite contented with their social status and way of life, while his wife yearns for better things which her husband may never be able to provide. The husband is aware of his wife's feelings and welcomes the rare opportunity to take her to the kind of exotic setting she wishes were a customary part of her life rather than an exception. She has been described as a beautiful woman who was unable to marry into a higher social class because of her lack of connections and of a dowry. Because of the wife's chronic dissatisfaction and the husband's desire to please his beautiful wife, they get themselves into a tragic situation which ends up destroying her beauty and depriving them even of the small luxuries they were able to enjoy before she borrowed the necklace from her friend. The three-day-old table table cloth, undoubtedly stained with previous dinners of pot-au-feu, is an excellent descriptive touch which tells a lot about their income, their lifestyle, and their relationship.

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