A quiet and shy woman is sent into an arranged marriage with a slaughterhouse boss. He is a rough man who communicates with his new wife only by shouting and scowling and has never heard of foreplay. The woman howls in agony every night, which leads her gossipy female neighbours to conclude that she is a slut.
Initially, it seems the husband may be a good man underneath all the scowling. He saves the life of the gossipy neighbour (whom he detests) when she tries to hang herself, and this incident is later held up as "proof" that he is a good and kind man.
But his behaviour degenerates rapidly and, of course, the wife gets the worst of it.