Social Commentary and Sexuality in Maupassant's 'La Maison Tellier'


Read typically as an ironic juxtaposition of church and brothel that paints a satiric portrait of prostitution, Maupassant's "La Maison Tellier" (1881) reveals a program to control sexuality by incorporating it into the norms of urban middle-class society. But the argument that a well-regulated house of prostitution can control the potential danger and violence associated with female sexuality attempts to hide a deeper fear, triggered by the increased "clandestine prostitution" in late nineteenth-century France, the fear that patriarchal society will lose its power to identify and label female sexuality. (GM)

Mead, Gerald
Release Year:
1995-1996 Fall-Winter; 24(1-2): 162-69