The story begins with the narrator chancing upon Don Jose and making his acquaintance, deducing who he is but caring little for tales of him and by being hospitable he shows no fear. The two become friends and the narrator saves Don Jose from being captured. He meets him again later as a prisoner and learns from his own lips the relationship between him and Carmen. Carmen is shown as self-willed, a true gypsy, a thief and spy for a band of thieves, of which Don Jose becomes a member. He is torn between his upbringing and his love for Carmen but Carmen uses his love for her, despite reciprocating it, to destroy his morals and personality so that in the end Don Jose kills her.
Carmen is a novella by Prosper Mérimée, written and first published in 1845. It has been adapted into a number of dramatic works, including the famous opera by Georges Bizet. In the unforgettable story of Carmen, a flirtatious, charismatic, and amoral gypsy who bewitches and emotionally enslaves Don Jos, a desperate man, into a tragic obsession, has captivated generations with its passion and sensual intensity.
German in one case and Spanish in the other have so modified the Romany groundwork that it would not be possible for a gipsy from the Black Forest to converse with one of his Andalusian brothers, although a few sentences on each side would suffice to convince them that each was speaking a dialect of the same language.
There is no doubt that the French-born Merimee was one of the earlier masters of the short story. —Cape Times