1. Why has Stephen come to France?
On a late spring evening, the Azaires' house shows a strong, formal front on boulevard du Cange, and Stephen Wraysford readies himself for dinner where Mr. Azaire introduces him to Mme. Azaire and the children, Lisette and Gregoire. As they eat, Azaire asks Stephen what he knows about textiles, and Stephen explains that he deals mostly with financial matters and his boss wants him to understand more of the manufacturing process which is the reason he will be learning about Mr. Azaire's business.
2. What two events foreshadow Stephen's romantic relationship with Mme. Azaire (Isabelle)?
On his first night at the Azaires' house, Stephen notices Mme. Azaire's beauty, foreshadowing his romantic interest in her. That night, Stephen overhears Rene and Isabelle Azaire fighting. His offense at the noises that indicates a physical scuffle between the two also foreshadows his relationship with Isabelle.
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