The Monnier Family Plots To Stop Blanche’s Affair
Madame Monnier told her son Marcel about Blanche’s relationship. He was very obedient and loyal to his mother, and he fully believed in the traditional ideas of society, as well. He was shocked at how angry and vicious the fights between his sister and mother were getting, and he thought that Blanche was out of control. They both agreed that they did not want Blanche to be with this man, and they wanted to teach her a lesson.
In the middle of the night, Blanche returned home from seeing her lover. Madame Monnier and Marcel were hiding at the top of the stairs, and their arms reached out to grab Blanche in the darkness. They shut her into the attic, which had a straw mattress laying on the floor waiting for her. Blanche must have been screaming at them, and her mother told her through the door that if she wanted to come out, she would have to promise that she would break up with her boyfriend.
The shutters had been nailed shut to the windows, and heavy curtains hung over those shutters, which made the room completely black, even in the daytime. .Blanche would have had to feel around the room to figure out where everything was. Bugs and mice crawled through the attic, as well. Her mother would not even open up the door to give her food or let her use the bathroom. Instead, she would slip whatever scraps of food could slip underneath the space in the doorway.
These were even worse conditions than someone being held in solitary confinement. Being alone and in the dark for so long is known for driving people insane, no matter how mentally capable they were beforehand. Blanche was actually very strong, and clearly very stubborn, because she refused to give in to her mother’s demands.
Days passed, and Madame Monnier could see that Blanche remained steadfast in her decision. She began to tell her friends in town that Blanche had disappeared in the middle of the night, and she gave a good show with fake crying and the whole nine yards. We don’t know if Blanche’s boyfriend stopped by the house to look for her, but if he did, Madame Monnier would have told him the same story.
Her son, Marcel, was very loyal, and told everyone the same story. They probably decided that if she finally agreed to come out, they would tell the neighbors that she had returned home. Marcel went on to become an administrator at a local commune, and for him and his mother, their reputation was all that mattered to them.
Blanche grew thinner and thinner, and she was living in her own filth, growing more and more insane by the day. She screamed out the windows, hoping that someone would hear her on the street, but help never came. Twenty five years later, and Blanche never gave into her mother’s demands, yet she remained imprisoned in the attic.