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Summary of The Log

An old man named Paul was the main character of the story entitled The Log by Guy de
Maupassant.
Paul was a wise man. He had this unique philosophy for which he kept vigorously for
years and that philosophy was the reason why he remained unmarried. His belief was
so deep and sincere, anyone may think its a bit clich.
The story began with Paul and his friend, an old lady with white hair, sitting comfortably
infront of a set of burning logs placed inside the fireplace of the small drawing room.
They pretty much enjoyed the company of each other even though there is nothing
special between them but only a friendly relationship.
When suddenly a burning log has fell out from the fireplace and sparked embers around
the room. The old ldy screamed with astonishment while Paul tried to extinguish the fire.
After the incident subsided, Paul pointed to the log and said:
That is the reason why I never married
How so? questioned the old lady
Oh, its a long story, a rather sad and unpleasant story he replied
Paul then started to remember his past and tried to bring back the memories of his
bestfriend whose name was Julien. They were so intimate and inseperable back then
that his old friends were often surprised with what happened to their relationship. Paul
never thought that their friendship would just come to an end.
It all started one evening. Paul said When he came home he told me that he was
going to get married and it gave me a shock as if he had robbed me or betrayed me
Paul continued to explain that when a man decides to get married, the attention would
go mainly to his wife and not with his friend anymore.
He compared how different were the man-man and man-woman relationships work in
the society.
You see, however great the love may be that unites them a man and a woman are
always strangers in mind and intellect they are never two equals. He said.
Paul also believed on the philosophy of the old that it is much better to have a good
reliable friend to grow old with than marrying and having children that would leave you
one day.
Well, my friend Julien married. He said.
At first, Paul didnt accept the reality that Julien got married but eventually he did so it
resulted to his frequent dinner visits to Juliens house.
One evening, Julien asked Paul if he can accompany his wife Bertha after dinner
because he would be leaving early for a business concern but he will be back at exactly
eleven o clock.
Paul agreed so he went over for dinner and as planned Julien left early leaving Paul and
Bertha alone.
An embarrassing and awkward silence arose from the both of them.
Minutes later, Bertha asked Paul if he could put a log on the fire for it was going out.
Paul did what Bertha said.
It is too hot now, let us go and sit on the sofa over there Bertha requested. They went
over the sofa and sat on it.
Paul noticed how Bertha became odd acting. Bertha asked Paul looking full in his face
What would you do if a woman were to tell you she was in love with you?
I cannot forsee such a case answered Paul having the hint of what was going on.
Bertha didnt stop on flirting Paul. She said to him If I were to tell you that I love you,
what would you do?
Bertha then kissed Pauls lips! Paul was shocked by the event. He didnt want to betray
or deceive his good old friend Julien.
Suddenly, a loud noise made both of them jump up. The log had fallen in to the room,
rolled around, until going under an armchair and setting it on fire. Paul quickly tried to
pull out the fire.
The log saved Paul and Bertha from getting caught in the act because Julien came
home earlier than expected.
Paul and Juliens relationship didnt end happily. Bertha said bad things about Paul that
made Julien ignore Paul.
I never married, which ought not to surprise you, I think Paul said.

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