A Beauty (Bunin)

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A Beauty
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: An elderly official married a young beauty who despised his son from a previous marriage, leading to the boy's isolation and independent life within the household.

An elderly widower, who worked as a provincial revenue official, married a young, beautiful woman. The man was tall, thin, and unassuming, while the woman was short, robust, and assertive. Despite his seemingly uninteresting demeanor, this was the second time he had married a beautiful woman, leaving many puzzled as to why such women chose him.

The Official — elderly widower; thin, tall, and modest; works in the provincial revenue department; wears glasses and speaks hoarsely; uninteresting but married to beautiful women.
The Beauty — young, self-assured woman; short, splendidly and strongly built; always well dressed; has sharp gaze in her wonderful blue eyes; married to the official.

The woman developed a strong dislike for the man's seven-year-old son from his first marriage.

And so the second beauty calmly came to hate his seven-year-old boy by the first one, and pretended not to notice him at all.

She ignored the boy, leading the man to also pretend his son didn't exist out of fear of his new wife. The boy, naturally lively and affectionate, became withdrawn and silent, making himself invisible in the house.

The Boy — seven-year-old son of the official from his first marriage; lively and affectionate by nature; became isolated and independent due to his stepmother's hatred.

And the boy, in his utter solitude in all the world, began leading a completely independent life, completely isolated from the whole house.

The boy was moved from his father's bedroom to sleep on a couch in the drawing room. However, his restless sleep led to the woman instructing the maid to make his bed on the floor to prevent damage to the velvet couch. The boy led a solitary life, spending his days drawing, reading, and looking out the windows. He slept on the floor between the couch and a potted palm, making and clearing his bed each day. All his belongings were stored in his late mother's trunk in the corridor.