Study Material of Villa for Sale (Summary, Character Sketch and Word Meanings)

Character Sketch

• Juliette : She was a business lady and hard times were going on for her so she decided to sell her villa. She acted like a fool and seemed to be very trustful to her first customer Jeanne and Gaston which return in loss.

• Gaston: He was an oppurtunist . He understood the situation very well and took the full advantage of the situation for his own profit. He instantly made profit of one hundred thousand francs only by taking advantage of situation and some acting.

• Jeanne: She was a nice and simple lady. Although she tried to rebel against her husband. She knows the value of relationships and emotions. She is exactly the opposite of her husband who is cunning and opportunist. She was very eager to buy the house for her parents. This shows that she was very caring towards her family and wanted everybody to live peacefully and comfortably. Her conversations with Juliette show that she was kind hearted and friendly as well.

• Mrs. Al Smith: She was an American woman who was trying her hand at movies and therefore wanted to have a piece of land to build a bungalow near to Joinville studios. She was also a very busy woman. She also thought French people were silly as they had to consult many people before taking any decision or taking care of their grandparents.

Summary of the Chapter

Juliette wishes to sell her villa but is really disappointed that no prospective customers walked that way. The sign ‘For Sale’ has been there since a month but the villa appeared not to interest anyone. Juliette confesses to her maid that she was so fed up that she would do anything to get the wretched place off her hands. She starts doubting whether it was sensible to ask for two hundred thousand francs. The villa was located near French Hollywood and was in reasonable condition but no one seemed interested to buy it. Meanwhile the maid requests Juliette to give her an off since she had been offered the role of a maid in a movie. Juliette is surprised to discover that the maid was going to earn a hundred francs just for a day’s work. The maid surprises Juliette by suggesting that even she could act as a cook and earn quite a bit of money. Juliette is amazed to know that the entire locality was busy taking up one role or the other in movies.
As Juliette retires for relaxation, two customers, Jeanne and Gaston are ushered in by the maid. They are a young couple. From their conversation, it is evident that the wife Jeanne is more eager to buy the villa. She wants to buy it for her parents and her sister’s family. Gaston is very business-minded, very shrewd and he is least interested in making any investment for his wife’s family. Meanwhile Juliette makes an appearance. She pretends to be very proud of her villa and single handedly announces that the villa perfectly suited the personality of the customers. She flatters the young couple, calls them ‘exceptional’ that the villa was according to their taste. Juliette hikes up the price and then brings it down to two hundred thousand francs and pretends to do a favour to the couple. Gaston is totally irritated by now and makes it very clear that he has no intention of purchasing the villa. As they are leaving, Jeanne expresses a desire to see the upper floor. Both Juliette and Jeanne go upstairs.
Gaston is busy cribbing when the maid ushers in another customer, Mrs Al Smith. Mrs Al Smith mistakes Gaston to be the owner of the villa and expresses her desire to buy the villa. Initially Gaston just wiles away the conversation but his business-instincts are aroused when he discovers that Mrs Al Smith is really interestedin buying the villa. Mrs Al Smith was an actress. She wanted to buy this villa to make a new house near Hollywood. She has loads of money but has no time to inspect the house or go in details. Gaston quotes three hundred thousand and to his utmost surprise the lady hands him the cheque and makes a quick departure. In the meantime Jeanne and Juliette come back. Jeanne is astounded to discover that within a short while Gaston has changed his mind. He gives a cheque of two hundred thousand to Juliette and walks out, smiling to himself, with his wife. The transaction had been quite worthwhile, chuckled Gaston to himself.

Terms and Meanings from the Chapter

• Sell - disappointment due to failure or trickery
• Wretched - extremely bad or unpleasant
• Paltry - an amount which is too small to be considered important or useful
• Greta Garbo - a Swedish actress during Hollywood's silent period
• Cretonne - a heavy printed cotton or liner fabric used in furnishings
• Pastel - a drawing made with pastels which are powdered paints in the form of small sticks, for easy holding
• Witty –funny
• Corot - a French landscape and portrait painter
• Philanthropic - helping poor people by giving money
• Shanty - a crudely built hut, cabin or house
• Queer – strange
• Souvenir - A thing that you keep to remind yourself of a place

Previous Post Next Post