The Jewelry Essay

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Guy De Maupassant’s “The Jewelry” tells the story of midlevel chief clerk M. Lantin and the pleasant life he shared with a young woman described as, “the very ideal of that pure good woman to whom every young man dreams of entrusting his future.” (pg. 58) Throughout the story M. Lantin seems to have it all: a decent job that provides him with enough money for a good home and a loving wife with only two flaws: her love for the theater and fake jewelry. But not everything is at seems; is there more to this “perfect” marriage than it leads on? Is there perhaps, a secret? Never judge a marriage by kind words and thoughtful actions, for looks can be deceiving. As a chief clerk of the Minister of Interior, M. Lantin fell in love with the daughter of a country tutor, and demanded for her hand in marriage. Her beauty, described as, “a charm of angelic shyness; and the slight smile that always dwelt about her lips seemed a reflection of her heart,” (pg. 58) and was such that people surrounded her with praises, considering the man to marry her rather lucky. And indeed, he was. She made him utterly happy with her tender actions, her enthusiastic attention, playful caresses, and the upright home she provided him with. Despite making only 3,500 francs a year, she “ruled his home with an economy so adroit that they really seemed to live in luxury” (pg. 58) and she was able to “furnish him with excellent wines and with delicate eating.” (pg. 60) She provided him with so much happiness, that he chose to overlook her love for the theater and fake jewelry, claiming she had the tastes of a regular gypsy. Her love for the theater was such that it soon became her downfall. One night after the theater she came home chilled and trembling, followed by a bad cough the next day, and eight days later she died of pneumonia. M. Lantin loved his wife so much that it seemed that he was following her right into her tomb. Despite the passage of time he grieved for her death day and night,...
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