Did you know you can highlight text to take a note? x

Madame is not as merciless as the maids paint her to be, but she is not altogether kind, either. While she favors Claire, whom she thinks was fit for better things, she lashes out at Solange and thoughtlessly takes back her gift to Solange. Whatever guilt or shame she has is minimal; she feels guilty over having tea when Monsieur is in prison, and she feels mildly ashamed for not knowing her way around the kitchen—an indictment that only affirms her wealth. Madame would not be out of place in modern-day America as a trophy wife who sets up fund-raisers to make herself feel better—she admits that giving to others is pleasurable, showing that her altruism is mostly self-directed. Like a trophy wife, imprisoned by her husband, and having few skills of her own, Madame dreams of independence. She fantasizes about breaking into Monsieur's prison with her sexuality as a weapon and fleeing France with him. While she remains dependent on her husband in these fantasies, her imaginary "descent" into a criminal lifestyle is arousing. She is even jealously shocked when the maids demonstrate their superior knowledge of crime.