He? (Maupassant)

From Wikisum
Disclaimer: This summary was generated by AI, so it may contain errors.
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man was haunted by an invisible presence in his home, causing him to fear being alone at night and eventually deciding to marry to have someone by his side.

A man decided to get married despite his belief that marriage was a foolish institution. He barely knew the woman he was going to marry, but he felt that she was a suitable choice. The real reason he wanted to get married was to have someone by his side at night, as he had become increasingly afraid of being alone.

The Narrator — narrator; afraid of being alone at night; haunted by an invisible presence.

This fear began one damp autumn evening when he returned home and saw a figure sitting in his armchair. He approached the figure, thinking it was a friend, but when he touched the chair, it was empty. The man was terrified and couldn't sleep that night, haunted by the vision of the figure in the chair.

I am afraid of the walls, of the furniture, of the familiar objects, which are animated, as far as I am concerned, by a kind of animal life.

He tried to rationalize the experience as a hallucination, but the fear persisted. He became afraid of every shadow and noise in his home, constantly feeling the presence of the figure even though he never saw it again. He knew that the figure didn't exist, but he couldn't shake the feeling that it was always there, lurking in the dark corners of his home.

I am not afraid of any danger; if a man were to come into the room I should kill him without trembling.

The man believed that if he had someone else living with him, the figure would no longer haunt him. So, he decided to get married in the hopes that having a wife would banish the figure from his thoughts and allow him to live without fear.