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Study of several stories written by Guy De Maupassant.

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Introduction

English Coursework Second Assignment I have studied several stories written by Guy De Maupassant. In my essay I shall examine, in detail, two stories initially, and then later I shall expand, to other stories. The first story I have chosen is 'At Sea'. In this story there are two loyal brothers, who work as fisherman. In this harsh life, you must choose the most beneficial outcome; otherwise you are foolish, detrimental and may starve. In this story, one of the Javel brothers gets his arm caught in the nets. The other refusing to release the nets, forces the brother to have his arm amputated and also become gangrenous. 'Cutting the cable meant losing the net, and the net was worth money, a great deal of money', This is the 'having is keeping' attitude, in which these brothers live by, which is understandable in their hazardous, living conditions. 'At Sea' represents a different manner of poverty from the worldwide view. Not simply that the brothers need nourishment, but that everything is valuable. The 'Having is keeping' attitude is a strong theme throughout. After the older brother Javel ignores the pain his brother is going through. He chooses to allow his brother to have his arm torn off, and yet the younger brother refuses to let his arm rot. He uses it as a trophy, to parade it, showing to people how brave he is. Claiming he let his arm get torn off, for the sake of the nets, and some fish. 'No, I wont! ...read more.

Middle

'The enemy have fled, Sir; several of them seem to have been wounded.' De Maupassant shows true character, by defying his own countrymen and revealing cowardice, laughing at ideals of glory. He could have been severely punished for his actions, but still he spoke of what he thought to be the truth. This publication is very dissimilar to other stories written about war. He writes with a lot less concern for the war itself, and structures the story with scenarios that at the time had obscene implications. Most war stories are based on the bravery, on behalf of men from your country. However De Maupassant shows little or no patriotism, offering an alternative view of the importance of survival. Another story called 'Two Friends' written by De Maupassant greatly contrasts with 'The Capture of Walter Schnaffs'. In this tragic story, two best friends, M. Sauvage and M. Morissot are captured by the malicious Prussians, and are interrogated near Mont-Val�rien. However, they refuse to release any information about any passwords, or plans to attack the Prussians. He chooses to have them both shot, and thrown into the river. Then Prussian officer says 'now it's the fishes' turn', he shows no remorse for his actions, completely differential from how the Prussian, Walter Schnaffs was portrayed. 'He would have to start all over again the hated life of anxiety, terror, fatigue and discomfort' and this shows that Walter Schnaffs was not a man of war. On sight of the net of fish he mentions 'have these little fish fried at once, while they are still alive; they'll be delicious.' ...read more.

Conclusion

'You... you... were unfaithful to me,' and she went off in a peal of laughter'. Hector had not suspected that Laurine was ever unfaithful to him; he thought she was a polite and pleasant person. She continues to laugh and mock Hector and within the last passage it mentions 'her laughter gradually subsided but kept bursting out again from time to time like the embers of a dying bonfire' and so with the laughter went whatever pleasure or security that was in the relationship, leaving the rest of their lives to be complicated and uncomfortable. From the stories that I have read by De Maupassant there is either hidden moral to the story, or some simple propaganda. I think 'The Devil' was made to tell us how we should not care about insignificant money, but actually important matters. I think 'A Vendetta' was made to show us the different lifestyles in the world, and how poverty can affect people. I think 'The Capture of Walter Schnaffs' was made to mock the French Generals in particular, and how they exaggerate what they have done. I think 'Two friends' was made as propaganda against the Prussians, especially since it was written so close to the war. I think 'His confession' was made for woman empowerment and to show how sophisticated the modern woman is actually like. Lastly I think that 'Idyll' was made to show the relationship between peasants and how everything they do is for them. Overall, De Maupassant has an anti-war stance and an 'every man for himself' attitude scattered through the stories. ?? ?? ?? ?? By Peter Yeung M51A ...read more.

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