“The Terror” by Guy de Maupassant is a story about a man who is getting married because he’s afraid to be alone.

First, the story begins with a man who talking about is upcoming nuptials to a woman he barely knows. The guy (nameless) has only met his future wife four times, and thinks she is what any man could want in a spouse; he talks about how she’s not really rich, but was raised for the sole purpose of marriage. He says the only reason he’s getting marriage is because he doesn’t want to be alone: he’s afraid of himself. Next, he describes the night that set his fear into motion. One rainy night, he was having a hard time going to sleep. There was something that was keeping him awake, and he paced his room back and forth. Since he couldn’t go to sleep, he figured he would go out and meet up with someone. After walking the streets for a while, he decided to finally return home. When he arrived home, he noticed his door was ajar; it was strange because he always locks his door, but he thought the cause was letter brought up for him. He shuts the door and locks it when he notices a man sitting in his chair near the fire. He figured the man was a friend who had fallen asleep waiting for him to return. He walked closer to the guy, and he appeared to be sleep. When he reached out to wake the man, no one was sitting in the chair–it was empty. For the rest of the night, the guy had a hard time going to sleep because he feared seeing the dark figure again. After that incident, the next day left no traces of what had occurred the following night. He went out and enjoyed himself, until he thought about going home. He wandered around until midnight until he thought what he was doing was crazy. He went into his room, not seeing the mysterious figure, but afraid that somehow he still lingered in the room. That night was hard: he did not sleep well and kept waking up to images and noises. Finally, the man came to a decision that the only reason the “spirit”–even though he didn’t believe in such things–was only stalking him because he was alone; that’s how he came to decision to get married. The man figured if he had someone else with him in the room, the ghost would disappear altogether. Overall, “The Terror” was an okay story. It seemed more fitting for a camp fire or Halloween. Because it was a “supernatural” story, I thought it would be a little more eerie, but it wasn’t. It did, however, turn me off to the idea of marriage. Knowing that a guy would only want to marry me because he was afraid of the dark is disheartening. I thought it could have been better on the suspense side, but it okay.

Setting
.......The story takes place in Paris in the apartment of Monsieur Raymon, the narrator, as he writes a letter to his friend, Pierre Decourcelle. Paris locales mentioned in the letter are a theater, a restaurant, and the streets of the city. The time is approximately 1883.

Characters

The Title . Pierre Decourcelle: Narrator’s friend. tells his story in first-person point of view. on the other. Mademoiselle LaJolle: Narrator’s bride-to-be. to him... Themes Inescapable Terror . In Maupassant's story. Janitor and Porter: Men who work in the apartment building where the narrator lives.. peur de l'épouvante qui me saisirait.. Monsieur Raymon. In 1904. it was published in the compendium Les soeurs Rondoli. I was not afraid of him. under the signature of Maufrigneuse.. However. Maupassant died in an asylum. no werewolves.Monsieur Raymon: Narrator.. her. as in the following passage: J'avais peur de le revoir. who lives in Paris. edited by Paul Ollendorff.... 1883.. he frets about what he saw on the chair next to the fireplace. lui. à laquelle je ne croyais point. but I was afraid of being deceived again. One can escape such creatures—or slay them. either congenitally or through sexual contact... Maupassant. the reader cannot be certain that he presents an accurate account of his experiences... no sea serpents.Monsieur Raymon suffers from both internal and external conflicts. to her. I was afraid of some fresh hallucination. peur de l'hallucination. he betrays a fear that the incorporeal intruder is real. I was afraid of seeing him again. him.. It first appeared in Gil Blas magazine on July 3... Instead. or to it. Narration . Non pas peur de lui. Type of Work and Year of Publication ..... when he hides the chair.“The Terror” (French title. His apparent hallucinations and nervous state of mind indicate that he is mentally unstable. True..... “Lui?") is a short story about a terrifying episode in the life of an apparently mentally disturbed man.. as was the author himself. there are no dragons.. he rejects the existence of the supernatural. They are referred to in the story but are not described or quoted. mais j'avais peur d'un trouble nouveau de mes yeux. lui refers to the figure he sees in the chair. and of overwork and the use of drugs and alcohol. afraid lest fear should take possession of me. no Frankensteins or Draculas.In Maupassant’s story.. to whom he reveals his fears. non pas peur de sa présence. in which I did not believe.. not afraid of his presence. there is the . he agonizes about his mental state.The narrator. Because he is mentally unstable and because he recounts events only as he sees or interprets them. toward the end of his short life apparently as a result of his earlier development of syphilis.. Conflict . it. It is one of many tales of the fantastic—about bizarre or chimerical happenings—that Maupassant wrote. On the one hand.The original French title ("Lui?") is a personal pronoun that may mean he.

There was nothing there. et je jetai un regard effaré vers la cheminée. Mais je ne me sentais pas rassuré . such as a dog or a cat. The story Monsieur Raymon tells is the anguished account of a man haunted by the bugbears of his own creation. This fear is relatively commonplace in persons suffering from anxiety...... for he tells Decourcelle that Elle appartient enfin à la légion des jeunes filles honnêtes "dont on est heureux de faire sa femme" jusqu'au jour où on découvre qu'on préfère justement toutes les autres femmes à celle qu'on a choisie. either congenitally or through sexual contact... She belongs. He is powerless to banish them. and cast a frightened glance toward the fireplace.. and of overwork and the use of drugs and alcohol. the narrator is afraid of going insane... together with the hallucination. A-h! What a relief and what a delight! What a deliverance! I walked up and down briskly and boldly. and kept turning round with a jump.Monsieur Raymon’s fatigue. to that immense number of girls whom one is glad to have for one's wife. It is clear that he does not love her and has no more regard for her than he would for a pet. depression. and melancholy. they are his own obsessional thoughts. Raymon's callous attitude toward Mademoiselle Lajolle reflects the mindset of some men toward women in nineteenth-century Western society. Women as Mere Objects ...Monsieur Raymon plans to marry a young woman he hardly knows for the sole purpose of having her keep him company. Quel soulagement ! Quelle joie ! Quelle délivrance ! J'allais et je venais d'un air gaillard.. Symptoms of this fear can also manifest themselves in people who are otherwise normal and mentally stable.. hypochondria. he enters: Je poussai d'un coup de pied la porte entrebâillée de ma chambre. Maniaphobia) . till the moment comes when one discovers that one happens to prefer all other women to that particular woman whom one has married. Monsieur Raymon's symptoms. je me retournais par sursauts . Je ne vis rien. the very shadows in the corners disquieted me. Fear of Insanity (Agateophobia.worst terror of all: a mind that is out of control. ...The climax occurs as Monsieur Raymon recounts the moment when he returns from an outing to a restaurant and a theater but is reluctant to go into his bedroom for fear of seeing the phantom. however... in a word. Such a flaw would obviously tend to isolate him and exacerbate his fear of being alone. It also suggests the presence of a character flaw that makes it difficult for him to form a mature and loving relationship with a woman.. Maupassant himself became mentally unstable later in his life apparently as a result of his earlier development of syphilis. which was partly open. and he cannot escape them or kill them. However. l'ombre des coins m'inquiétait. Ah !. suggest the presence of a serious mental disorder. after mustering courage... I kicked open my bedroom door. .. Climax . but I was not altogether reassured... They are part of him.In his debilitated but still somewhat rational state of mind.. indicate that he suffers from a serious mental disorder. or other conditions or disorders.. He has no intention of remaining faithful to her. anxiety.

Third. the narrator fears being alone while entertaining the notion that he is not alone. he appears to believe in the existence of a ghostly presence even though he declares that he does not believe in such things.Irony and Paradox ...Irony and paradox are powerful figures of speech in the story. First.. Second... he fears the unknown but is about to marry a woman he knows very little about ..

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