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Short story – “The Model” by Guy de Maupassant

Selected Short Stories by Guy de MaupassantI read “The Model” by Guy de Maupassant in Selected Short Stories, the collection of stories that I have been working through on and off. I tend to turn to them when I need something short and straightforward, but the problem with that is that there is nothing much to say about them.

This story tells of a painter who is married to a disabled ex-model. The story of how they were married is told by a friend of the painter to an acquaintance as they watch the married couple taking a walk together but not speaking, she in a bath chair. Before they were married, the painter left her, but she chased him down and said she would kill herself if he went off and married someone else. So he told her to go ahead. She did, jumping out of a window and breaking both her legs. Out of guilt and remorse the painter married her.

It is an interesting way to tell a story. It starts by describing the place in which it is set, and then describing the married couple taking a walk. Then the narrative switches to the two young men and the story is told from the point of view of one of them.

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