The Maids is an Absurdist drama by French author and playwright Jean Genet that was first performed in 1947 under the French title Les Bonnes. It centers on two maids—sisters Claire and Solange—and their complex relationships with each other and with Madame, their employer. In his introduction to The Maids, French Existentialist and fellow Theatre of the Absurdist Jean-Paul Sartre argues that both maids are "Others," defined by their opposition to societal convention. Not only are they Others to Madame, however, but they are Others to themselves.


See a complete list of the characters in The Maids and in-depth analyses of Solange, Claire, and Madame.

Literary Devices

Here is where you will find analysis of the main themes, motifs, and symbols in The Maids.


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Deeper Study

Go further in your study of The Maids with background information about Jean Genet and the play as well as mini essays about key topics.