Red velvet dress

When Claire and Solange argue about which dress Claire will wear as the fake Madame, Solange makes her wear a red velvet dress. Later, in a temporary altruistic mood, Madame bequeaths the red dress to Claire. It becomes Claire's status symbol, an aristocratic cloth. But at the end of the play, in her monologue about the end of another play, Solange says the attendant is drawing the red velvet curtain. Throughout The Maids, as well, the sisters constantly draw curtains in Madame's bedroom. The dress suddenly symbolizes a theater curtain and a passport to an illusory world on-stage. Were she not dead at play's end, one suspects that, just as she took back the furs she gave to Solange, Madame would also recall her dress from Claire's wardrobe. The illusion is only a temporary veil over reality, and the theatre curtain will be drawn at the end of the play.