The False Gems Summary

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The False Gems was a short story published in 1883, which was a work typical of Guy de Maupassant’s style. The deep and profound social reality reflected in the story is always a highlight of Maupassant’s short novel, and The False Gems is no exception. It was only a 4500-word story, completely show French society’s reality in the 19th century through objective description and meaningful irony, though. As the skillful use of irony in the text really contributes a lot to the expression of the theme, this paper tries to appreciate the art of using irony in the text. The author wishes to give some interpretations of the ironic symbols in the story on a personal note.
The False Gems presents a twisted story in a short length. Monsieur Lantin deeply loved his wife, who looks virtuous and was almost a perfect lady, sharing a deep affection in fake jewels, though. On an evening, his wife died of a bad lung inflammation. Consumed by sorrow and suffering destitution, Monsieur Lantin had no choice but to sell his wife’s fake jewel for a mouthful of rice. What shocked him is that those ‘false gems’ were all real and worth much money. He sold his wife’s gems and became rich, and eventually married another woman who was virtuous in fact, bad-tempered though, which gave him much sorrow.
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What this short story is to express can be understood from different angles, like the disappointment at this society where money talks, a pessimistic attitude towards marriage or money’s incapability of giving people happiness. But what is undoubted, is that all these were expressed via the use of irony. Such a skill, which is really thought-provoking and still meaningful nowadays, should be applied by us to interpret more work of Maupassant, even other authors’
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