Down and Out in Paris and London

by

George Orwell

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The Patron Character Analysis

The Russian owner of the Auberge de Jehan Cottard (a Norman-themed restaurant), the Patron is fattish, well dressed, and smells of cologne. He longs to play golf and bores Orwell with talk of the sport. An incompetent cheat, his demeanor is both shifty and aristocratic. He repeatedly lies to Orwell and Boris about the restaurant’s impending opening in order to trick them into helping renovate the building for free. He keeps company with mobsters and he bribes industry insiders to keep his restaurant open.

The Patron Quotes in Down and Out in Paris and London

The Down and Out in Paris and London quotes below are all either spoken by The Patron or refer to The Patron. 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:
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Mariner Books edition of Down and Out in Paris and London published in 1972.
Chapter 9 Quotes

Appearance—appearance is everything, mon ami. Give me a new suit and I will borrow a thousand francs by dinner-time.

Related Characters: Boris (speaker), George Orwell, The Patron
Related Symbols: Clothing
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

It is fatal to look hungry. It makes people want to kick you.

Related Characters: Boris (speaker), George Orwell, The Patron
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Patron Character Timeline in Down and Out in Paris and London

The timeline below shows where the character The Patron appears in Down and Out in Paris and London. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 9
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
Honesty Does Not Pay Theme Icon
...surest way to not get hired—and then they go to the restaurant and meet the patron, who proceeds to proudly show them around the restaurant. (full context)
Poverty as Opportunity Theme Icon
Honesty Does Not Pay Theme Icon
It’s a modest establishment, but the Patron has great expectations. He has christened it Auberge de Jehan Cottard, and he claims (falsely)... (full context)
Chapter 13
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
Poverty is Unnecessary Theme Icon
...they are lower than waiters. Above the cooks is the manager, and above him the patron, whom the staff never sees. The maître d’hotel is just below the manager and takes... (full context)
Chapter 16
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
Poverty is Unnecessary Theme Icon
Honesty Does Not Pay Theme Icon
...to see if it is close to opening. There’s been very little progress and the patron proceeds to borrow five francs from Orwell, who is now convinced the restaurant will never... (full context)
Chapter 19
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
Poverty is Unnecessary Theme Icon
Honesty Does Not Pay Theme Icon
...progress has been made since the last time. It’s immediately apparent to Orwell what the patron is doing. He has engaged a small staff, including Boris and Orwell, in order to... (full context)
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
Poverty is Unnecessary Theme Icon
Honesty Does Not Pay Theme Icon
...staff go to work at the Auberge, painting and staining and cleaning up, while the patron dodges bill collectors. Meanwhile, Orwell, who is broke again, is back to a diet of... (full context)
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
Poverty is Unnecessary Theme Icon
Honesty Does Not Pay Theme Icon
...cook weeps because there is not enough equipment for her to feed the customers. The patron and his wife, meanwhile, drink with their creditors, and in the morning the narrator and... (full context)
Chapter 20
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
Poverty is Unnecessary Theme Icon
Honesty Does Not Pay Theme Icon
The patron, in contrast, stands around smoking and looking gentlemanly. It’s his only job. Late in the... (full context)
Chapter 21
Poverty as Prison Theme Icon
Poverty is Unnecessary Theme Icon
Honesty Does Not Pay Theme Icon
...London looking after a disabled man, so he gives one day’s notice and leaves. The patron, strapped as usual, pays Orwell his wages minus 30 francs. (full context)