Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Georges Duroy, a former soldier, has only three francs in his pocket when he meets his brother officer, Charles Forestier, in Paris one evening. Forestier, an editor of the daily newspaper La Vie française, unhesitatingly loans Duroy money to buy suitable clothes and invites him to dinner the following evening to meet the owner of the paper. The Forestiers’ party is a success for Duroy. M. Walter hires him as a reporter to write a series of articles on his experiences in Algeria.
It is not easy for Duroy to adapt himself to his new job. His first article is due the day following the dinner party. Unable to write it in the proper form, he is forced to hurry to the Forestier home early in the morning to seek stylistic advice. Forestier, just leaving, refers Duroy to Mme Forestier for help. Together they turn out a successful piece. With her help, Duroy slowly builds a reputation as a clever reporter, but his salary remains small.
Two months after the Forestiers’ dinner party, Duroy calls on Mme de Marelle, who was among the guests that evening. Duroy’s acquaintance with Mme de Marelle quickly develops into an intimate friendship. Because M. de Marelle is often away from home, his wife has ample time to see her lover, at his lodgings at first and then at an apartment that she rents. Duroy objects mildly to having Mme de Marelle bear this expense, but it is not long before he finds himself regularly accepting small sums of money...
(The entire section is 1291 words.)
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