Thursday, January 12, 2012

Quotes from Therese Raquin by Emile Zola

"The Morgue is a show that anyone can afford, which poor and rich passers-by get for free. The door is open, anyone can come in. There are connoisseurs who go out of their way not to miss one of these spectacles of death. When the slabs are empty, people go out disappointed, robbed, muttering under their breath. When the slabs are well filled, and when there is a fine display of human flesh, the visitors crowd in, getting a cheap thrill, horrified, joking, applauding or whistling, as in the theatre, and go away contented, announcing that the Morgue has been a success that day."

"The bodies stayed throughout the night on the dining room floor, twisted, arched and lit by the streaks of yellowish light cast by the shade of the lamp. And for nearly twelve hours, until the following day around noon, Mme Raquin, silent and unmoving, stared at them where they lay at her feet, unable to have enough of the spectacle, crushing them with her merciless gaze."

This is a short yet powerful story of the extremes of love and the heavy price that must be paid. No one is a winner here, no one survives the horrible drama played out without a scar, be it physical, psychological or emotional. Emile Zola has shown us, the readers, to be careful what one wishes for, especially when it comes to unrequited love.

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