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“Was It A Dream?” by Guy de Maupassant Essay

“Was It A Dream?” written by Guy de Maupassant begins with a man describing his deep love for a woman, when suddenly she becomes sick and dies. All the man knew was that the woman comes home on a rainy day and was very ill. A few doctors and nurses visit and give her medicine, the woman dies shortly after. He is so distraught that he could hardly remember anything people would say to him. They hold a funeral for the woman and bury her. The narrator takes a trip and when he returns to their house the memory of her becomes too much to bare. He visits the cemetery where she is buried and sees where her tomb reads “She loved, was loved, and died.” He mourns by her grave for a while and wanders off. After walking a distance he discovers that he is lost and cannot find where his loved one was buried.

Suddenly he hears a noise and the ground beneath him moves. The tomb of a deceased man rises from the ground and the skeleton of the man appears. As the skeleton reads his own grave stone he etches into the stone new words, telling the truth of his own life. The narrator realizes that every person that was buried in the cemetery has risen from the dead and is rewriting the words on their grave stones. Each of the corpses were buried with kind and loving words written on the gravestones, they write the truth of how they were malicious, dishonest, disgraceful liars to their loved ones and neighbors. As the narrator realizes that all of the corpses have come back from their graves he runs to find his love only to find out that she too had rewritten the words on her tomb to say “Having gone out in the rain one day, in order to deceive her lover, she caught cold and died.” He was found the next morning unconscious.


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