A Humble Drama (Maupassant)

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A Humble Drama
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: An elderly woman encountered during a journey shared her heartache of losing her son to his English wife and her family, leaving her to wander alone, reminiscing about their past.

An old woman, around seventy years old, was spotted by a traveler in Auvergne, France. She was dressed in a strange and clumsy manner, and seemed to be wandering alone in the mountains.

The Elderly Woman — mother who lost her son to his English wife's family; lonely, heartbroken, and nostalgic.

The traveler encountered her several times during his journey, and each time, she appeared to be in deep distress.

The Narrator — traveler who encounters the elderly woman; curious, empathetic.

One day, the traveler found her weeping in the ruins of an old castle. She confided in him about her life and the source of her grief. She had a son whom she loved dearly, but as he grew older, they became more and more distant. He went away to school, then to college, and eventually married an English woman who did not like her.

I was robbed of his childhood, his trust, the love he would never have withdrawn from me, all my joy in feeling him grow and become a little man.

Her son moved to England to live with his wife's family, and she was left all alone. The old woman had not seen her son in four years, and she spent her days traveling aimlessly, feeling like a lost dog. She told the traveler that she would likely never see her son again, and that it hurt her to even talk about it.

I am like a lost dog. Goodbye, monsieur. Do not stay near me, it hurts me to have told you all this.

As the traveler left her, he saw her standing on a wall, gazing at the mountains and the valley below, her dress and shawl fluttering in the wind like a flag.