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The False Gems

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Author Guy de Maupassant This is a story with an unsuspected turn of events. The story portrays the ironic disparity between illusion and reality. Foreshadowing examples on page 484, left column One would swear they were real and she examined the gems as though they were in some way connected with a deep and secret joy. Madame Lantins infidelity was disguised by a charming angelic faade. Not only did she accept expensive jewels, wines and delicacies from her lover, but she deceived her husband by passing the jewels off as fake imitations and convincing him that the wine was a product of her well-managed budget. Mr. Lantin (unsuspecting) was extremely happy with his illusions. Irony if he had not sold the jewels, he might never have known the truth, but he also might have starved. Irony Mme. Lantins sin her deep and secret joy made her a happy wife and provided a fortune for her husband when she died. Last paragraph of the story makes the reader suspect that some men may be much happier married to an illusion of virtue than to a truly virtuous woman. His 2nd wife was faithful, but she had a violent temper and caused him much sorrow.

How would you judge good and evil in this story Answers to For Discussion questions (p. 488) 1. a. Probably the gems were a gift from M. Lantins wifes lover. b. He was so horrified at the thought that she had been unfaithful to him that he fainted on the street. c. His first reaction lasts until he sells the gems and becomes rich. d. After this, he lived a carefree life spending his money, and then remarried. 2. a. If the gems were given to her by her lover, they actually were connected with a deep and secret joy. b. She either received the wines and delicacies as gifts or received the money to buy them from the same person who had given her the gems. 3. Answers will vary. M. Lantins daily life was extremely happy with his 1st wife, but after her death he realized he had been deceived. Although he could be reasonably sure his second wife was not deceiving him, he was miserable with her. 4. M. Lantins despair was so great that his hair became white in a month The widower opened his eyes wide and remained gaping, not comprehending the merchants meaning The earth seemed to tremble beneath him the tree before him was falling throwing up his arms, he fell to the ground unconscious.

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