Boule de Suif


Guy de Maupassant

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Miss Elizabeth Rousset (Ball-of-Fat)

Miss Rousset, the story’s protagonist, is a young woman who works as a prostitute. Her nickname is Ball-of-Fat, due to her robust figure. Passionate and patriotic, Miss Rousset chooses to leave her home in Rouen… read analysis of Miss Elizabeth Rousset (Ball-of-Fat)

Mr. Loiseau

Mr. Loiseau is a crass, lower-middle class wine merchant from Rouen who is traveling in the carriage to Havre. He sells “bad wine at a good price,” and he has two principal interests: making a… read analysis of Mr. Loiseau

Mrs. Loiseau

Mrs. Loiseau, one of the travelers in the carriage to Havre, is the sturdy brains behind her husband Mr. Loiseau’s sociable lifestyle. She runs the numbers for their wine business and is far… read analysis of Mrs. Loiseau

Mr. Carré-Lamadon

Mr. Carré-Lamadon is a rich cotton merchant traveling to Havre in the carriage. With a beautiful young wife, plenty of money, and a few titles, he is perfectly comfortable financially and thus he is a… read analysis of Mr. Carré-Lamadon

Mrs. Carré-Lamadon

Mrs. Carré-Lamadon, a traveler in the carriage to Havre, is the model bourgeois wife—dainty, young, and wrapped in furs. Like her husband, she represents a middle ground between the boorish Mrs. Loiseau and the… read analysis of Mrs. Carré-Lamadon
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Count Hubert de Bréville

Count Hubert de Breville is the wealthiest among the travelers in the carriage to Havre. With one of the most “ancient and noble” names in Normandy, this man has been (and will be rich) for… read analysis of Count Hubert de Bréville

Countess Hubert de Bréville

Countess Hubert de Breveille, one of the travelers in the carriage to Havre, is the daughter of a small Nantes ship owner, although she married into nobility through her husband, the Count. In… read analysis of Countess Hubert de Bréville


Cornudet, a traveler in the carriage to Havre, is a ruddy, red-bearded French democrat. He is the only single man traveling from Rouen to Havre, and the only politician, openly opposing Napoleonic imperialist rule… read analysis of Cornudet

The German Commander

This unnamed Prussian officer is the story’s antagonist, as he holds the French traveling party hostage at an inn in Tôtes until Miss Rousset agrees to sleep with him. He is young, gawky, and off-putting… read analysis of The German Commander

The Two Nuns

The two nuns in “Boule de Suif” are unassuming and demure women of faith who are riding in the carriage from Rouen to Havre. Both women spend much of their time with their heads bent… read analysis of The Two Nuns
Minor Characters
Mr. Follenvie
Mr. Follenvie is the heavy-breathing owner of the inn in Tôtes. He always has the unpleasant task of communicating between the travelers and the Prussian officer.
Mrs. Follenvie
Mr. Follenvie’s wife, who dines with the travelers on their first night and talks brashly and honestly about the Prussian occupying soldiers.