Solitude (Maupassant)

From Wikisum
Disclaimer: This summary was generated by AI, so it may contain errors.
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man shared his thoughts on the unbearable loneliness of human existence with a friend during a nighttime walk, expressing his belief that no one can truly understand or connect with another person.

One evening, after a lively dinner party, two friends decided to take a walk along the Avenue des Champ-Élysése. As they strolled under the trees, one of the friends began to share his thoughts on the profound loneliness that he believed plagued all human beings.

The Narrator — narrator; listener to his friend's thoughts on solitude; unsure of his friend's sanity.
The Friend — introspective man; deeply troubled by the loneliness of human existence; possibly mad or inspired.

He argued that despite their best efforts, people could never truly escape their isolation, as they were always solitary in their thoughts and emotions. The man went on to describe how this realization had caused him great suffering, as he felt trapped in a dark, subterranean world where he could never truly connect with others.

All our strivings, all our acts have one end only, escape from this loneliness.

He lamented that even when he opened his heart to a friend, he could never be sure if they truly understood or cared for him. This sense of isolation was only heightened in romantic relationships, where the illusion of unity was quickly shattered by the reality of their separate souls.

No man understands any other, whatever he thinks, whatever he says, whatever he tries to do.

Despite his despair, the man admitted that there were moments when he could find solace in the simple presence of a loved one, even if their souls could never truly meet. However, he had ultimately chosen to close himself off from others, resigning himself to a life of solitude and observing the world as a detached spectator.

As the friends reached the Place de la Concorde, the man gestured towards the towering obelisk and declared that they were all as isolated as the ancient monument.

Look, we are all as that stone!

With that, he abruptly left his companion, leaving him to ponder whether his friend was drunk, mad, or perhaps speaking a profound truth about the human condition.