Words of Love (Maupassant)

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Words of Love
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A man ended his relationship with a woman because her words and expressions during their intimate moments ruined the romantic atmosphere and his perception of her.

A man named René received a letter from his lover, Sophie, expressing her love and affection for him. She wondered why he had stopped writing to her and visiting her, and asked if he had ceased to love her.

Sophie — a charming and adorable woman; expressive and affectionate.

You do not write to me, I never see you, you never come. Have you ceased to love me? But why? What have I done?

In response, René wrote a letter to Sophie, explaining that the reason for his distance was not due to a lack of love, but rather because of the way she expressed her love.

René — narrator; refined, sensitive to words and expressions; easily disillusioned.

René explained that for men who are refined and superior, love is a complicated instrument that can be easily disrupted by the smallest things. He believed that perfect harmony in age, height, hair color, and style of beauty was necessary for love to flourish. He recalled the first time Sophie visited him at his house, and how they spent the night together without speaking, only communicating through their eyes and touch.

However, René found that as their relationship progressed, Sophie's expressions of love became more and more inappropriate and out of place. He felt that her words and actions often ruined the intimate moments they shared. He gave examples of times when she would call him silly names or say "I love you" at inappropriate times, which made him feel uncomfortable and embarrassed.

You are certainly one of the most charming and adorable women I have ever seen.

René compared love to fine dining, explaining that just as people with refined tastes can be disgusted by a poorly prepared dish, they can also be turned off by poorly chosen words or actions in love. He urged Sophie to understand the importance of choosing the right words and actions in their relationship, and to avoid using phrases that would make him feel uncomfortable.

In the end, René expressed his love for Sophie and agreed to embrace her passionately, as long as she remained silent.