A Surprise (Maupassant)

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A Surprise
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: Two brothers living in Paris with their girlfriends were unexpectedly visited by their strict uncle, leading to a humorous and scandalous discovery that changed their lives.

Two brothers were raised by their strict uncle, a priest, after their parents died. They spent their childhood in a small village, learning about religion and fearing God.

The Narrator — narrator; young man working in a government office; naive, adventurous.
Jacques — narrator's brother; also working in a government office; cautious, secretive.

When they were old enough, they moved to Paris to work in a government office. At first, they continued to live a pious life, but eventually, they were seduced by two shopgirls who lived nearby. The brothers each moved in with one of the girls, and they were happy for a while.

For six months we were happy.

One night, the uncle unexpectedly arrived in Paris and wanted to stay with the brothers. Panicking, one of the brothers tried to hide his girlfriend, Louise, in their bedroom.

Uncle Loisel — narrator and Jacques' uncle; a strict, religious priest; tall, big-boned, square-built.
Louise — narrator's girlfriend; 22 years old; good-natured, round, and lively.

The uncle, however, insisted on seeing the bedroom and discovered Louise hiding under the sheets.

My uncle, speechless, started back, his mouth open, as though he had seen the devil himself.

The uncle was shocked and angry, and the brother fled the apartment.

Two days later, the brother returned to find that Louise had left. The uncle disinherited him in favor of his other brother, who claimed that he had refused to live with his sibling due to his immoral behavior. The brother decided never to marry, as he believed women were too dangerous.