Cousin Bette: Part One of Poor Relations Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Who is the first character introduced in the novel? What information is surmised about his age? How is this information revealed?

The first character introduced in the novel is Monsieur Crevel. It is surmised that he is in his fifties. This information is revealed by the comments the narrator makes about Monsieur Crevel's movements.

2. Describe Lisbeth. How old is she? How does she dress? How does this affect her social standing in comparison to her cousin, the Baroness?

Lisbeth is forty-three years old. She dresses in the fashion of the Restoration. This gives the impression that she is of a lower social standing than her cousin, the Baroness.

3. Why does the Baroness summon Monsieur Crevel? Which of Monsieur Crevel's actions have affected the Baroness? Why has he acted this way?

The Baroness summons Monsieur Crevel because she wishes to speak with him about the calling off of Hortense's engagement. Monsieur Crevel has insinuated to the prospective suitor that the Baroness will not be able to pay Hortense's dowry. He has acted this way to avenge himself upon the Baron.

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