Response Paper #1
Throughout the short story “The Jewelry” the common theme seemed to center around deception. M. Lantin relies on accepting things as they first appear to him. Due to this gullible state of mind there were many bad decisions throughout the story. They seemed to cause the emotional torment within Lantin’s life.
The game of treachery started in the very beginning of the story where Lantin allows himself to fall in love without knowing much about the woman in question. Only after reading it to the end did I notice a slight foreshadowing effect. In the description of his wife he had said “she seemed to be the very ideal of that pure good woman…” which is a minute tip off. Also, another lie came out of this description. When he first demanded she marry him he thought she was perfection personified. Later on in the marriage he comes to find that her flaws stemmed from her hobbies of the theater and her love of collecting fake jewelry. Although these flaws are hardly determined as deal breakers they still is detract from her being the “ideal wife” for him.
To follow this line of thought, another situation of trickery comes up during the climax of the story when M. Lantin takes the jewelry to be appraised. When Maupassant reveals that the jewelry is actually real this brought up two points of the theme. The first being that the wife had convinced her husband that they were fake. She even went as far as to rub it in his face a little when he commented on her love for it. The second point being in what the jewelry represented. Maupassant seems to insinuate the wife had taken a lover (maybe even more than one) and that was how she was lavished with such expensive gifts. Due to the adultery that would make the marriage between them deceitful.
Another key point would be Lantin’s actions after he sells his wife’s prized possessions. He goes from being the grieving husband to the man who is on top of the