Discussing “Secret Woman”

Use the comment section for this post to engage in a discussion of Colette’s short story “Secret Woman.”

To see your requirements and parameters for our discussion, see our Reading/Discussing Short Stories guidelines. Strive for a vigorous exchange, including debating differing interpretations, but always strive for mutual recognition of each other, working toward enhancing our collective understanding of the story.

Watch your period’s group presentation on the story and see the DQs below, if you are looking for inspiration.

period 1
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  • What purpose does the continual usage of colors and descriptions of the costumes serve in the story other than just simply describing disguises?
  • Why do you think they both lied to each other?
  • Who do you think is more in the wrong in this situation? The husband or the wife?
  • Do you think the husband’s “decision” on what she’s doing is accurate?
  • Do you think he should’ve told her or continued the one sided secrecy?

period 2
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  • Why do you think Irene said she did not want to go to the opera ball but still ended up going?
  • What do you think Colette is trying to say about Irene when she calls her a “pierrot”?
  • Why do you think that the husband never confronted his wife?
  • Do you think the wife knows that her husband has been spying on her?
  • What are some power relationships in this text?

period 3
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54 thoughts on “Discussing “Secret Woman”

  1. JAMES T.

    In The Secret Woman I feel like its a very interesting point to wonder if the wife knew she was being spied on. To start off I feel like this was not a good relationship at all and these people were not meant for each other. I feel like the wife knew she was being spied on at the ball as the husband was a little careless when he was doing the spying. For some off reason this short story gave me back to the future vibes but not everyone would understand that reference. Anyway, the husband gets very close to the wife as to see the sparkle in her teeth and I feel like it would be weird to not have noticed him. When you have loved someone and know someone really well you notice when they’re in the same room as you so she knows. She also messed with him a little by how she acts with guests at the ball. Plus its natural to feel like you’re being watched when you really are being watched.


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