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How a Low-Level Cognition Dragged Down a Woman’s Life: Lessons from Maupassant’s Classic Novel “One Life”

Maupassant once said: “I entered the literary world like a shooting star.”

Tolstoy commented that Maupassant has “genius, sincerity, and insight into the essence of things”, and believes that he is the best writer after Hugo.

Indeed, Maupassant’s portrayal of human nature must show every detail and penetrate into the bones. His novels, after a hundred years, can still deeply move us.

“One Life” is such a novel, sad and profound, delicate and moving. This novel is his feature-length debut, and it received rave reviews once it was published.

This book is about a tragedy, a beautiful and rich girl, but because of her stupid mind, she makes a mess of her life.

This book also reveals a shocking reality:

How low-level cognition dragged down a woman’s life.

Next, let us walk into this story.


A low-level concept of mate selection will inevitably lead to a low-level life.
Yona was born in an aristocratic family, and her parents raised her as a celebrity since she was a child. Under the pampering of her parents, Yona lived a carefree life.
At the age of 17, Yona met her true son, a young man named Julien, who was handsome, personable and well-spoken.
Yona is full of curiosity about this young man.
In fact, Yu Liankong has a noble title, but his family is poor, so he urgently needs a favorable marriage to repay his debts.
In the end, he set his sights on his only daughter Yona.
For this reason, every time he appeared in front of Jona, he carefully groomed, dressed elegantly, and talked loudly, trying his best to pretend to be a world-savvy person.
The good girl Yona was indeed attracted by his elaborate disguise, and she couldn’t help falling in love with him after meeting him a few times.
The two got married after only three months of acquaintance.
After the marriage, Julien changed.
He stopped grooming himself, and his whole body became greasy and hideous.
When he was still on the honeymoon, he coaxed away Yona’s private money under the pretext of helping to keep it.
Even, he changed from his previous elegance and affection, and treated Yona all the time.
Jona was shocked, but helpless.
But in fact, Yona did not lose to her innocence, but to her low-level concept of mate selection.
someone said:
Knowing a person starts with appearance, falls into talent, conforms to character, and is loyal to character.
When choosing a partner, only look at the other person’s appearance and the emotional value that the other person can provide. As everyone knows, these things are all low-cost, and they can even be faked.
The real scarce resources are the character of the other party, the knowledge of the other party, the ability of the other party to solve problems, and the emotional stability of the other party.
But Yona didn’t screen her, and what’s even more frightening was that she chose a flash marriage, entering the marriage hastily before recognizing the other party’s true face.
In the end, a series of tragedies were planted for this marriage. Julien’s deception is abhorrent, but Yona’s naivety and credulity are the initiators of her unhappy marriage.
Therefore, if the level of cognition is low and the insight is insufficient, it will inevitably be blinded by the appearance of things, which will lead to mistakes in decision-making.
And mistakes in decision-making on major matters will inevitably lead to a sad life.

Kindness without edge and bottom line is actually worthless.
When Julien first exposed his minions, Yona did not stop his excessive behavior in time, but chose to tolerate it.
Even after the honeymoon was over, she handed over the management of the manor to Julien, hoping that Julien would be moved by her kindness and change his past.
As for the clinker, after Julien obtained the management rights of the manor, his attitude towards Jona became worse and worse, and he would lose his temper if he didn’t agree with him.
Because of a little incident, he beat the servants violently; he also swears at Jona’s parents, forcing the old couple to move out of the manor.
Now, in the manor, he became the master, and Yona had no support at all, so she could only choose to swallow her anger.
Julien is even more reckless, and has an affair with Jona’s personal maid, and even has a child.
Yuena was like a thunderbolt, she sat there for a while, and chose to commit suicide.
But when she was rescued, she found out that she was pregnant.
Pregnant, without money, and without her parents, Yona was completely controlled by Julien.
A rich lady, but she lived herself as a resentful woman who endured humiliation, which made people feel infinitely sad.
For a woman, choosing the wrong marriage partner is already bad enough.
What’s worse, Yona doesn’t have any means of playing games with the other party, nor is she able to stop the other party’s bad behavior. He even hopes to compromise for a short period of peace.
When she handed over all the initiative to the other party, it meant that she had lost completely.
And this is still caused by her low-level cognition.
“The Godfather” says:
People who can see through the essence of things in half a second and people who can’t see the essence of things in a lifetime are destined to have completely different fates.
In her opinion, to get along with others, you only need to be kind and give blindly, and the other party will naturally treat you with the same attitude.
But I don’t understand that the logic of the wicked is that the better you treat me, the more I will take advantage of you and bully you.
Sometimes, kindness without sharpness is actually weakness, and compromise without bottom line is even more stupid.
Intimacy requires careful management, but it also requires a game of trade-offs. Know how to set the bottom line, weigh the pros and cons, and stop losses in time when necessary, in order to grasp the initiative.

The rigidity of thinking mode will lead to tragedies repeating again and again.
Under Jona’s silence, Julien’s behavior became more and more absurd, but he also suffered backlash because of it.
Because she hooked up with the countess and was killed by the countess’s husband, Yona finally got rid of the shadow of marriage and regarded her only son Paul as the only reliance in this life.
But she still treats her son the same way she treats her husband, tolerant in every possible way, and indulgent without a bottom line.
Even if her son got into trouble, she didn’t stop and educate her, and only used the excuse of “he’s still young, he’ll be fine when he grows up”.
Under her pampering, Paul grew up lawless and did whatever he wanted. Making trouble in school, skipping classes to fight, bullying classmates, is simply a school bully.
As an adult, Paul became even more mischievous. He not only searched for flowers, but also became obsessed with gambling, and owed huge gambling debts.
Grandpa Simon wanted to use this to educate him, but Yona looked at her son and chose to be tolerant again. She bought a boat for Paul and let him go to sea to relax.
Unexpectedly, Paul still did not change his bad habits, he sent letters home every now and then, asking Jona to send him money.
From a few thousand francs at the beginning to more than two hundred thousand later, Paul’s appetite became bigger and bigger, and he asked for more and more money.
Yona indulged her son in every possible way, and even mortgaged all her property, just to raise money for her son.
Because the father failed to stop him, his grandson pissed him off to death.
After being emptied of all her property by her son, Yona’s situation plummeted, and she even had nowhere to live, so she had to move to a small house in the suburbs.
Yona spoiled the child like a good-for-nothing, and in the end not only dragged herself down, but also hurt her parents.
She lamented the injustice of fate and her son’s ruthlessness towards her.
But he never expected that it was because of her kindness and compromise that her husband cheated recklessly and committed cold violence against her; it was also because of her bottomless love that her son used her to make money recklessly and emptied her family.
She stumbled in her marriage, but she didn’t know how to reflect, didn’t know how to change, and still insisted on her own way of thinking, so her son became her husband’s B side, hurting her without hesitation.
Every time we hit a wall in reality, it may be a reminder from fate to us that there is a problem with our cognition, and we must change and improve ourselves.
However, if a person’s cognition is solidified and he doesn’t know how to change and correct mistakes, the reality will only hurt her again and again, and the tragedy will only repeat itself again and again.

Only by getting out of the weak mind and improving cognition in time can we usher in a turning point.
Just when Yona fell into desperation, Rosalie, the former personal maid, returned to her.
Jona used to have a deep relationship with Rosalie, and the two spent their teenage years together.
Back then, when Rosalie was young, she was deceived by Julien’s rhetoric, and there was a scandal between the two.
Later, Yona didn’t make things difficult for Rosalie, but gave her a generous dowry, accompanied her with a small manor, and married her to a hardworking and capable farmer.
Rosalie is shrewd and capable, managed the manor in an orderly manner, educated her son well, and after accumulating a large amount of property, she lived a prosperous life.
But she has always felt guilty for the mistress of the year.
When Rosalie heard that Yona was not doing well, she returned to her side and helped her with her family affairs.
When the two met again, they had mixed feelings. Yona confides her experience, crying about her son’s indifference to her.
Rosalie advised her very calmly: “Mrs. Yona, you are too weak, you can’t listen to him everything, you just need to cut off your financial relationship with him.”
Under Rosalie’s persuasion, Yona began to wake up.
She wrote a letter to her son, telling him that he had grown up and was responsible for his own life, and would not give him money in the future.
Later, Yona missed her son too much, so she decided to go to London alone to find her son.
Although she failed to find her son, but after going out and seeing all kinds of things in the world, Yona’s mentality has undergone a huge change.
She no longer paints the ground as a prison, no longer stubborn. Unexpectedly, soon after, the son took the initiative to return home.
It turned out that without the financial support of his old mother, he had a hard time living outside, so he had to come back in despair.
He also gave birth to a little daughter with a prostitute. Yona wept with joy when she saw the lively and lovely little granddaughter.
Jona’s life is miserable, her husband betrayed her and her son used her as a cash machine.
She herself didn’t know how to balance the intimate relationship, parent-child relationship, so she could only be led by the nose step by step, and ended up poor and alone.
But in the end, under the persuasion of the maid, she changed her cognition and stopped compromising with the bottom line, and her life ushered in a turning point.
When the mentality changes, the world will become wider.
Sometimes, what traps a person is not the fetters of reality, but the cage of the heart.
Get out of the weak mind, learn to reject others, and learn to be responsible for yourself, so that you can usher in a new life.

A person’s cognitive height determines her height of seeing problems and her ability to solve problems.
People with a high level of cognition have the ability to think deeply, naturally have more judgment, and can solve various practical problems with ease.
People with low cognitive levels cannot see the essence of things clearly and always make wrong judgments. I also like to rest on my laurels and blame others.
Therefore, don’t always make decisions rashly when encountering problems, think more about the cause and effect, and observe the essence of things more.
When you hit a wall in the face of reality, don’t always blame others, but think about whether there is a problem with your thinking mode.
And this is exactly what Maupassant told us with “Life”:
Learning to improve one’s cognitive level, knowing how to see through the essence of human nature, and continuously improving one’s ability to solve problems is the key to achieving a breakthrough in life.
The luck and misfortune of life have their own causes and effects. And we ourselves are the ferrymen of our own destiny.

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