Attitudes toward sexual and martial fidelity. The attitudes of the two protagonists of those stories, Calixta and Mrs. Baroda to the marital fidelity are quite alike. It’s obvious that Calixta sees the occasional sex she had with Alicee, the man she liked in her adolescence, as a perfect way to resolve the tension she has. It’s well known that after a few years of marriage the couple’s sexual life becomes a little less active than it was in the beginning of the common living, and lot’s of people see occasional sex as a way to resolving this problem. After Alicee, her lover was gone, Calixta behaved herself as if she was very satisfied. Moreover, as she is feeling good she tries to transfer this condition to her husband and a child.
The same as Mrs. Baroda, the heroine of “The respectable Woman”, Calista feels a little guilty because of the adultery she committed, and tries to compensate it by behaving herself as a perfect wife and a mother. She asks about her child’s and husbands well-being, prepares a supper for them for to ensure herself that she hasn’t become a “bad girl” after committing a socially disapproved act. Mrs. Baroda, the heroine of the next story is more dependent from the society’s opinion about her behavior.
Despite of the fact that she is attracted to her Husband’s friend Gouvernail a lot, she doesn’t allow herself to commit anything that would seem inappropriate for the married and “respectable” woman. But after thinking this issue over, she changes her attitude towards adultery, as she persuades herself that there are desires that should be fulfilled despite of the society’s opinion about it. The main motivation that drives these women is to be the “respectable woman”. Calixta feels guilty after having sex with Alicee not because she realizes she betrayed her husband, but because she presumes her act to be socially inappropriate. Mrs. Baroda’s thoughts when she feels the attraction towards Gouvernail also show that she cares more for the social opinion