Part 2, Chapter 2 Summary

All is quiet in the Maheu household after the workers leave—except for the snoring of Bonnemort, the children’s grandfather, home from his night at the mine. There is a flurry of activity in the quarters as the women who work in the screening-shed leave for work at six o’clock. Silence reigns until seven; then the sound of slapping and screaming through the partition walls wakes Alize and she hurries to wake her mother who has overslept.

La Maheude gets herself ready and Alize both calms baby Estelle and breaks up the fights between six-year-old Lenore and four-year-old Henri as she dresses them, trying not to wake their grandfather. La Maheude gathers the last meager supplies for some breakfast and knows she has...

(The entire section is 765 words.)