Kate Chopin's Short Stories

Why does the little girl make such an impression on Madame Carambeau?

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The little girl showed signs of illness, and though Madame was initially annoyed, her experience in nursing, and her compassion for the sick took over. The child's illness.... and her inherent trust in the older woman impressed Madame, who later learned the child in question was her granddaughter.

Though she was a creature of prejudice, she was nevertheless a skillful and accomplished nurse, and a connoisseur in all matters pertaining to health. She prided herself upon this talent, and never lost an opportunity of exercising it. She would have treated an organ-grinder with tender consideration if one had presented himself in the character of an invalid.

Madame's manner toward the little one changed immediately. Her arms and her lap were at once adjusted so as to become the most comfortable of resting places. She rocked very gently to and fro. She fanned the child softly with her palm leaf fan, and sang "Partant pour la Syrie" in a low and agreeable tone.

The child was perfectly content to lie still and prattle a little in that language which madame thought hideous. But the brown eyes were soon swimming in drowsiness, and the little body grew heavy with sleep in madame's clasp.


A Matter of Prejudice