Boitelle (Maupassant)

From Wikisum
Disclaimer: This summary was generated by AI, so it may contain errors.
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A young soldier fell in love with a black woman, but his parents disapproved of their marriage due to her skin color, leading him to a life of disappointment and menial work.

Antoine Boitelle was a man known for doing dirty jobs in his country. He had fourteen children and always said that he did these jobs to provide for them. He once shared a story about how his life could have been different if his parents hadn't opposed his choice of a wife.

When Antoine was a soldier, he met a young Negress who worked at a café. They fell in love and decided to get married, but only if Antoine's parents approved.

Antoine Boitelle — narrator; young soldier; simple-minded, infatuated with exotic animals and people.
The Negress — Antoine's love interest; black, strong, thrifty, clean, well-conducted, and sensible.

When he told his parents about her, he hid the fact that she was black. They agreed to meet her and decide if they would approve of the marriage.

Antoine brought his sweetheart to his parents' house, and they were shocked by her appearance. Despite her good qualities and the fact that she had some money saved, they couldn't get past her skin color.

She is too black! No, really, it is beyond a joke. It makes my blood curdle.

Mother Boitelle — Antoine's mother; stubborn, cautious, and conservative.
Father Boitelle — Antoine's father; cautious, non-committal, and farmer.

They said she was too black and they could never get used to it.

Antoine tried to convince his parents, but they remained firm in their decision. He had to send his sweetheart away, promising to keep trying to change his parents' minds. However, they never gave their consent, and Antoine eventually married someone else.

He had fourteen children with his wife, but he always felt that his life would have been different if he had married the woman he truly loved. He believed that his lack of passion for any trade was a result of not being able to marry his true love, and that's why he ended up doing dirty jobs for a living.