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The False Gems: An Analysis Essay

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Monsieur Latin, a man who only made three thousand five hundred francs a year, fell in love with a young girl who seemed to be a very virtuous woman, one that "every sensible young man dreams of one day intrusting his happiness" (1). Once they were married Monsieur Latin's wife "governed his household with such clever economy that they seemed to live in luxury" (1). This quote gives us a hint of what exactly Monsieur Latin's wife was doing behind closed doors or in this case at the theatre. Even though they seemed to have a picture perfect marriage - it wasn't at all. Monsieur Latin's wife actually having an affair. In "The False Gems" Maupassant uses the theme of the story to show us that ignorance is bliss. By using the ironies in the story he gives a cynical statement of the superiority of false happiness versus real unhappiness.

Throughout the first six years of Monsieur Latin's marriage, he had come to the conclusion that he loved his wife even more now than the first days of their honey moon. The only downfall was, Monsieur Latin's wife had a love for imitation jewelry and the opera - these were the only two things that Monsieur Latin despised about his wife. Ironically, if Monsieur Latin knew the truth about these two things he would despise her as well. Before Monsieur Latin went with his wife to the opera, and she dressed "in good taste, and always modest; but [once Monsieur Latin decided no to accompany her to the opera] she soon began to adorn her ears with huge rhinestones, which glittered and sparkled like real diamonds" (1). It was no doubt that the wife of Monsieur Latin was having an affair.

Monsieur Latin turns the other way to all the obvious signs that he has an unfaithful wife. The perfect wife of Monsieur Latin always had an "imperceptible smile which constantly hovered about the [her] lips" (1). Clearly, Madame Latin is not what she seems and that she is hiding a secret which makes her oh so happy. Monsieur Latin always tried to convince her not to wear these faux jewels, "but she would smile sweetly and say: What can I do? I am so fond of jewelry. It is my only weakness. We cannot change our nature." (2). This showing that even though Madame Latin may be making her husband "unspeakably happy" (1), that she could not be faithful because she loved the jewelry, and the wealth so much more. Monsieur Latin's wife would also say, "Look are they not lovely? One would swear they were real" (2). This sentence is explaining that she too is a false gem. Even though she seemed to be the "perfect type of virtuous woman" (1) she was a fake.

Madame Latin died one evening after the opera from inflammation of the lungs, and "Monsieur Latin's despair was so great that his hair became white in one month" (2). Monsieur Latin just could not believe the one thing that made him happy was now gone. Who would manage the household expenses, who would coax and fondle him the way she used to? Soon enough, Monsieur Latin couldn't even manage the household expenses, and was soon in absolute poverty. This is just the beginning to Monsieur Latin's unhappiness.

Monsieur Latin becomes so desperate for money he decides to sell the false jewelry, hoping that they are possibly "worth about six or seven francs" (3). He decides to take the faux diamond necklace to the jeweler first. Instead of the necklace being almost worthless it was worth eighteen thousand franc and that he is to come back tomorrow to get his payment. Monsieur Latin cannot understand how his wife was able to afford such a "costly ornament" (4), then it hits him, it was a present - but from



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