Michel Tremblay’s satirical play Les Belles-soeurs focuses on Germaine, a woman who has had the amazing luck of winning a million trading stamps that she can use to obtain a wide variety of products. Because this huge quantity of stamps must be mounted quickly, she enlists the aid of family and friends. Their reunion for the gluing project highlights both commonalities and conflicts among them. The satirical play critiques consumerism as a negative element association with class inequality. Tremblay also suggests the superficiality of religious beliefs within the Catholic group.
As the women endlessly moisten and affix the stamps, they converse about various aspects of their lives. One common topic is complaints about their spouses, including sexual shortcomings. The author reveals family divisions such as generational rifts between Germaine and her daughter, Linda, as well as the contempt that her younger sister, Pierrette, shows for Germaine’s conventional, upwardly mobile, bourgeois aspirations.
The other, non-winning women initially seem to be glad for Germaine’s good fortune, but are soon revealed as more envious than genuinely congratulatory. Germaine does not help her cause by bragging about her intended purchases. In the end, the falseness of the conviviality is exposed through the theft of all the stamps.