‘The Luncheon’, a charming short story of W.S. Maugham premises upon a restaurant visit by the narrator twenty years ago, in the reception of a lady assumed to be an admirer of his arts. The narrator again hits upon the lady in a theatre later on and recalls the past story in his mind, while a formal conversation takes place between them.
Assignment : Write (in English) about a Bangla or English short story that you have read
Topic & Learning outcome: Unit -13 (Food Adulteration) A learner will be able to
• write a short summary of the story
• write his personal opinion about a short story
• write creative statement about a story
• use vocabulary suitable to comment on a story
The narrator recalls that he has been a bachelor residing in Paris, when the persuasive letter from the lady comes, proposing a lunchtime meet-up in the elite “Foyot’s” restaurant on her journey across the city. For the sake of their previous acquaintance through letters, the narrator could not deny the luring proposal. Although, he gets astonished later on to discover her as a woman of forty, imposing to be younger.
Write (in English) about a Bangla or English short story that you have read
Just before their date, he has eighty francs for his all monthly expenses, and a modest lunch also should not cost more than fifteen. Moreover, the lady’s repetitive words “I never eat anything for lunch” give him enough hope at their arrival at the restaurant.
But uttering these same words again and again the lady chooses costly salmon as the main dish and other pricey items like caviar, champagne, asparagus, etc. as side dishes. Ironically, she kept rebuking him for the cheapest mutton chop he has chosen, as an unhealthy choice.
This embarrassment from the lady leaves him totally penurious and suffering financially, as he possesses nothing to afford the rest of the month.
At last, the author observes that the harassment she has done on that day, though has made him suffer inescapably for the time, but has been revenged by the immortal gods on behalf of him.
As the lady has now become morbidly obese weighing twenty-one stones, it gives the narrator a complaisant satisfaction to observe her sufferings these days.
Likes and dislikes
I like the way the speaker narrates the story. He uses metaphors in the story. As a first-person narrator, the speaker easily depicts the inner feeling of the character.
The speaker also shows touches of humor narrating the story. For example at the end of the story, he mentions
“Today she weighs twenty-one stone”