“The False Gems” by Guy de Maupassant

In the literature book (Glencoe Literature) my high school uses for sophomores is a short story I really enjoy teaching: “The False Gems” by Guy de Maupassant. I have my students read it–in the more unruly classes I have to read it to them—and then have them write a paragraph explaining the meaning of the ending expressed in the last two paragraphs. Bless their hearts—while they do make some good points, they can’t figure out how the deceased wife had made the money to help the clerk live their fine life on his meager salary. Yet, the man didn’t know either. I guess he never took the time to do the simple math of their budget.

4 thoughts on ““The False Gems” by Guy de Maupassant

  1. I really enjoyed this story as well. I am a college junior doing a reasearch paper comparing and contrasting his works the necklace and the false gems. Any insight you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Honestly, I have not necessarily figured out how she could afford such lavish items.

  2. Ashley: Well, she must have been a working girl is all I can figure out. She gave him a hint that she wanted out of it by asking him to the theatre with her. I don’t know how that would have affected her income if he had. The story is indeed complex. Email me and we can talk some more of it. rickeyp@bayou.com

  3. I have read a few of Guy de Maupassant’s short stories and found them quite interesting…his stories seem to always end on a cynical note…even I have pondered over how the wife manages to get hold of such expensive necklaces but cant seem to arrive at a conclusion!

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