Suicides (Maupassant)

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Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man, overwhelmed by the monotony of life and haunted by memories found in old letters, decided to end his life with a revolver after writing a final letter.

A man, aged fifty-seven, was found dead in his apartment, having shot himself with a revolver. He had a comfortable income and seemed to have everything necessary for happiness, yet no one could understand why he chose to end his life. A letter found on his desk revealed the reasons behind his decision.

The man, the narrator, had grown disillusioned with life, feeling that everything was repetitive and monotonous.

The Narrator — middle-aged man; lonely, disillusioned, and overwhelmed by the monotony of life.

He had tried traveling but found it lonely and terrifying. He was also tired of the same daily routine, the same furniture, and the same experiences. One evening, after a particularly bad bout of digestion, he decided to put his papers in order and came across old letters from friends and family.

It is midnight. When I have finished this letter I shall kill myself. Why? I shall attempt to give the reasons, not for those who may read these lines, but for myself.

These letters brought back memories of his youth, his mother, and past loves. The memories were so vivid and painful that he was plunged into a deep melancholy. He realized that all that was left for him was a lonely and miserable old age, with no one to share it with.

For good digestion is everything in life. It gives inspiration to the artist, amorous desires to young people, clear ideas to thinkers, the joy of life to everybody.

In his despair, he loaded his revolver and ended his life. The story serves as a reminder that sometimes it is not a great sorrow that drives people to suicide, but rather the accumulation of small disappointments and the realization that life has lost its meaning.