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 over, praying Hail Mary’s and Our Father’s into their rosary beads. Still, somehow, they play a huge role in convincing Miss Rousset to sleep with the Prussian officer, as they tell a story from the Bible that the Countess interprets as meaning that Miss Rousset should do as the officer wishes. One might think that two sisters of faith would share food with Miss Rousset in the second half of the journey, but they keep their provisions to themselves. Maupassant, who famously rejected religion when he intentionally got expelled from a seminary, consistently shows the nuns either failing to stand up to injustice or actively (if accidentally) furthering injustice, thereby critiquing religious faith.
The Two Nuns Quotes in Boule de Suif
The Boule de Suif quotes below are all either spoken by The Two Nuns or refer to The Two Nuns. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Thrift Editions edition of Boule de Suif published in 1992.).
Boule de Suif Quotes
The Countess put to use the authority of her unwitting accomplice, and added to it the edifying paraphrase and axiom of Jesuit morals: “The needs justify the means.”
The Two Nuns Character Timeline in Boule de Suif
The timeline below shows where the character The Two Nuns appears in Boule de Suif. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Boule de Suif
...joy. Everyone compliments each other, admires each other, and starts to drink heavily. Even the nuns share in a toast. Cornudet is the only traveler not wildly partying, and he leaves... (full context)