Daughters of the House Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Describe the nightmare with which the chapter "The Wall" opens.

The dream sequence takes place in the ancestral house on the Martin estate, and in the dream Thérèse's mother Antoinette is buried in the cellar under a heap of sand. Antoinette's mouth is full of torn-up letters and broken glass, and she clutches her red handbag, which is full of flesh, as she tries to get out of the house. The farmhouse has strict rules by which Léonie must abide. An evil presence in the back bedroom, for example, repels her. Léonie prefers to stay at the front of the house. The house is "changeable." Sometimes it is safe, and other times it is torn apart by the evil forces that Léonie senses. Léonie dreams that she rushes up the cellar stairs, the death and evilness she has been dreaming still inside her. She runs to the bathroom to be sick, and she imagines that she is vomiting up her cousin Thérèse. She feels relief that Thérèse is no longer inside her.

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