Sylvain Dielman: [Referring to his dead father] If he was ugly, did you want to make love with him?
Jeanne Dielman: Ugly or not, it wasn't all that important. Besides, "making love" as you call it, is merely a detail. And I had you. And he wasn't as ugly as all that.
Sylvain Dielman: Would you want to remarry?
Jeanne Dielman: No. Get used to someone else?
Sylvain Dielman: I mean someone you love.
Jeanne Dielman: Oh, you know...
Sylvain Dielman: Well, if I were a woman, I could never make love with someone I wasn't deeply in love with.
Jeanne Dielman: How could you know? You're not a woman. Lights out?
Sylvain Dielman: [Referring to his friend Yan] He bought a book that explains lots of things about climaxes and orgasms. He says we should be interested in women at our age, but he doesn't want some young girl. He says a man's penis is like a sword. The deeper you thrust it in, the better. But I thought, "A sword hurts." He said, "True, but it's like fire." But then where's the pleasure?
Jeanne Dielman: There's no point talking about these things.
Sylvain Dielman: He's the one who told me everything when I was 10. I said, "What? Dad does that to Mom?" I hated Dad for months after that, and I wanted to die. When he died, I thought it was punishment from God. Now I don't even believe in God anymore. Yan also said it wasn't just to make babies. So I started having nightmares so you'd stay with me at night and Dad wouldn't have a chance to thrust inside you.
Jeanne Dielman: You shouldn't have worried. It's late. I'm turning out he light.
Neighbor: What are you making for dinner?
Jeanne Dielman: Wednesdays it's breaded veal with peas and carrots.
Jeanne Dielman: I met your father after the Americans had left. I was living with my aunts, because my parents were dead. One Saturday, I went to the Bois de la Cambre with a girlfriend. I don't remember the weather. She knew him. You know who I mean. I've shown you her picture. So, we began seeing each other. I was working as a billing clerk for horrible pay. Life with my aunts was dull. I didn't feel like getting married, but it seemed to be "the thing to do," as they say. My aunts kept saying "He's nice. He's got money. He'll make you happy." But I still couldn't decide. But I really wanted a life of my own, and a child. Then his business suddenly hit the rocks, so I married him. Things like that happened after the war.
Jeanne Dielman: [about her food] I added less water than last week. Maybe that's why it's better.
Jeanne Dielman: Don't read while you eat.
Jeanne Dielman: I could have made mashed potatoes, but we're having that tomorrow.
Sylvain Dielman: Aren't we going to listen to the radio today?
Jeanne Dielman: Did you wash your hands?