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Examine Guy de Maupassant’s narrative skills

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Introduction

Pre 20th Century prose/ other cultures Examine Guy de Maupassant's narrative skills The narrative skills of a writer are to create an interesting plot that makes you want to carry on reading to find out what is going to happen next, to create interesting and believable characters because if you don't believe the character is capable of what he or she is doing, you lose interest. You also need to create a good sense of mood, atmosphere and culture so people can understand the characters way of life and the environment they live in. Last of all, the story needs to make you think, for instance How did he do that? Or What is he going to do now? This makes you want to read on and get all your questions you had at the beginning answered so it doesn't leave you wondering. These skills are all important to keep the reader interested and to keep the story running in a smooth flow where one thing follows on from the last. It stops the reader giving up on a book, although some stories do start off bad if you keep on reading they usually gain that gripping edge again. The most important narrative skills in my opinion are the believable characters and an interesting plot although this opinion usually differs between people. If I don't like the characters or they don't sound realistic I usually stop reading because they stay with you for the rest of the story and begin to get really annoying after a while. Also if the plot is boring there is no point in reading it because when you finally finish it you end up classing it as a waste of time. Guy de Maupassant uses all four of the narrative skills very well in his story, Vendetta. He firstly begins with the technique of creating a sense of mood, atmosphere and culture. ...read more.

Middle

By now this is getting really interesting and you just can't stop reading because you still want to find out how the story is going to finish. This unlike other stories keeps you guessing all the way through because we still don't know for sure how she is going to get revenge, although we have a pretty good idea and we don't know if she will go through with it. This is very well done story so far because Maupassant has used nearly all of the narrative skills that make a good story. He has created a sense of mood, culture and atmosphere as well as a good plot and he keeps you thinking all the way through. Finally we find out for definite what the Widow's plan is when she buys a black pudding, ties it around the dummy's neck and lets Semillante ferociously attack it, ripping off the black pudding and most of the dummy's throat "With one ferocious leap, Semillante flew at the dummy's throat and, with her paws on its shoulders' began to tear it." Maupassant uses a lot of very deadly and nasty words in this paragraph. He does this to give the effect that the dog has become very violent after its training. "She fell back with a portion of her pray between her jaws, sprang at it again, slashing at the string with her fangs, tore away, some scraps of food, dropped for a moment, and hurled herself in renewed fury." He uses a lot of language technique in these few paragraphs, for instance, he uses onomatopoeia on the words, sprang and slashing, to make them sound more ferocious. He also uses hard S sounds on "slashing at the string with her fangs", this makes the words sound very hard and evil. He finally uses alliteration on the words 'hurled herself'. The amount of detail and language Maupassant puts into the paragraphs about training the dog and its attack on the dummy really enthrals you in the ...read more.

Conclusion

After reading the section on Semillantes training, I began to think about animal rights because the dog is treated very cruelly. The dog is given no food and doesn't really have a choice of whether he wants to do this or not. " The next day the old woman left her a bowl of water, but no food." She is left until she cannot go on any longer and is in a lot of pain "Maddened with hunger Semillante barked hoarsely." In my opinion the widow should have found another way to take out the Vendetta, although then the storyline may not have been as interesting. Mainly through this story I think a lot about revenge like what I would do left in this position and whether I would take matters into my own hands like the widow did. The day and age we live in would probably force me to leave it for the police to sort out. However, considering the way the widow does it all herself shows the kind of life and environment she lives in and also that the story was set such a long time ago. Overall I think the story was good because of the way Maupassant uses all four of the narrative skills equally and doesn't just focus on one aspect of the story. He uses detailed accounts for everything that happens but doesn't go on for to long. I also think the way he uses a lot of poetic and language technique in the first paragraph makes it more interesting and helps you get a good picture in you head of the widows surroundings. The plot of the story is very interesting the way you learn about another culture and also how the Widow feels she needs to take out the Vendetta for the honour of the family. This gives you a good feeling of what life used to be like in the Widows day and age. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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