my articles, poems etc.

useless beauty

Guy de Maupassant is a famous French author and celebrated poet. He is known for his satirically and ironically inclined style of writing.
‘Useless beauty’ is a satire making fun of man’s ideology on the nature and purpose of a woman. The story revolves around a husband (a round character), who cannot get enough of his wife’s beauty and seems to think of himself as her master. He has had 7 children with her in about 11 years of their marriage. The woman is (from the husbands point of view) ; his slave, priced possession and also this attractive “reproducing machine”. But wait, the husband is not the only complicated guy, he has an insecure wife. Yes ,she too like many other female protagonists of Guy’s stories is suffering, this time with temporary insecurity( which she is relieved of by the end of the story, and no he isn’t a misogynist ) She is insecure about her marital status. It’s not like she is worried about her husband’s social image or the increasing amount of children in her family who pose an economical threat to the household, no, she is insecure about her flawless beauty. This woman feels that her husband is continuously making her pregnant in the hope of fattening her up and making her “loose her figure”. And she feels that her husband is doing so to rid her of all her admirers, because he feels jealous. It does seem pathetic but the way she framed it she almost made you believe her. She is not the self-obsessed character this article may be leading you to believe. The truth is she has spent the valued eleven years of her youth and beauty bearing children for her husband’s obligation. Many other people in the upper class (her admirers) also discuss her plight. Her husband, despite of the wife’s perspective, is in guy’s perception, a good spouse and a loving father.
The fact that we all feel that the life of a pretty woman is handed out to her is purely based on stereotypes. Sure it has its perks but there is also this fear and abnormal caution and underlying doubt in her mind.
The part in the article about Maupassant describing the husband as a good spouse is highly debatable. How can a husband, who admits to ‘owning’ his wife, prove to be a good spouse? How can one be good despite of violating ones basic rights? Or is he a good husband for smothering her in compliments?
The reader will be somewhat disgusted by the dishonest and weird relationship the couple share, where the wife is extremely insecure and is brutally dishonest and her spouse who is in the notion of ‘owning her’. But this may be weird for us as readers simply because we have not yet known that this couple existed. The belief of every rich girl being everything Daisy (Great Gatsby) ever stood for has been highly popularized. This absurd dogma or system of belief has been expressed in this short story. Maupassant uses this story to expose such follies common in society. The nastiest part being that a 1850s Maupassant wrote about problems which still exist in our “modernized society”, the same society where we rather watch the upcoming movie than, read about our society’s social evils. This work throws light to various themes that many people carelessly dismiss- an attractive woman’s insecurities and man’s dominating nature.

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