Au Bonheur Des Dames = the Ladies' Delight Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Summarize the story of AU BONHEUR DES DAMES.

Denise and her brothers come to Paris a year after their parents' death, hoping to receive some help from their uncle. Their uncle however, suffers from competition with the growing shop Au Bonheur des Dames across the street. As the shop seduces Denise and consumes the neighborhood, its owner Octave Mouret is finally conquered himself.

2. How does Denise first come in contact with Au Bonheur des Dames?

Denise and her brothers Pépé and Jean arrive in Paris after an exhausting trip. They look for their uncle's shop when they become entranced by Au Bonheur des Dames. The three children present an odd sight to the neighborhood as they stand gawking at the extravagant and alluring displays.

3. What does Denise tell her Uncle Baudu about why she and her brothers have come to Paris?

Denise quickly explains the circumstances. Jean is starting a new apprenticeship with an ivory craftsman the next day. Denise thought she and Pépé would be no worse off than they were in Valgones, where she could not make enough money to feed all three of them.

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