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Copy of Guy de Maupassant - The False Gems
Transcript of Copy of Guy de Maupassant - The False Gems
The False Gems
-Morganne van der Kamp
Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant was born August 5, 1850. A famous 19th century French writer, he was and is still considered one of the fathers of the modern short story.
Many of his short stories take place during the Franco-Prussian War and portrays the common man caught in conflict and as a result , emerges changed.
He authored over 300 short stories, 6 novels, three
travel books and 1 volume of verse.
The False Gems
He died at age 42 on July 6, 1893. He continues to influence many contemporary writers.
This short story takes place in Paris, France
during the late 1800's.
There are two main characters,
Lantin, the protagonist and his wife whom
remained nameless and takes on the role of
Lantin is the chief clerk at the office of the Minister of Interior and his wife is described as innocent and amazing.
The story begins by telling us how Lantin met his wife at the house of the office-superintendent and how he immediantly fell in love with her who "seemed to be the very ideal of that pure good woman to whom every young man dreams of entrusting his future.
We are walked through the six years of marital bliss they had and clearly notes Lantin's wife's passion for theatres and fake jewelry. She was the ideal housewife who maintained her household well and provided her husband with a luxurious lifestyle.
One cold winter night, his wife had went to the opera and came back home freezing, she died eight days later from pneumonia. Lantin was heart broken and left everything in the house the way it was at the time of her death.
But then the narrator went on to explain that Lantin was unable to live comfortably on his income, which was odd since his wife was able to manage the household and give them luxurious lives based on that income.
Broke and in debt, Lantin has no choice but to sell his wife's fake jewelry. To his surprise, he is told that the jewels were real, thinking the jeweler was inept, he took it to another jeweler who confirms it was real and had even sold the said jewelry. The jeweler looks up his register and affrims that it was sent to the address of Madame Lantin.
It had then became clear that Lantin's wife was a courtesan and describes the feelings of betray Lantin felt.
He sells all his wife's jewelry, and goes on to marry an girl described as "The most upright of spouses and had a terrible temper." The story ends with the sentence, "She had made his life very miserable."
The story emphasized that looks can be deceiving and that sometimes we are blind to whats really going on. We can question if being happy by dishonest values is worth the financial gains or if the unhappiness from honest values is worth the pain.