• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Vendetta Short Story Analysis

Extracts from this document...


A Vendetta English Literature Coursework The short story 'A Vendetta' was written by Guy de Maupassant in the 1800s. It's the story of an old mother relentlessly avenging her son's death and the moral implications that her actions impose. It raises some important points for consideration regarding the notion of vengeance or revenge. Maupassant prepares us for the violence of the act of revenge and allows us to understand the actions of the mother in a number of ways. Firstly, he deliberately creates a harsh and violent atmosphere in the opening paragraphs. He uses the phrase 'deadly straits' to describe the landscapes, which gives the reader a picture of bleak and depressing scenery. Other phrases such as 'precipitous', 'barren coast' and 'desolate view' all work together to create the overall atmosphere of a particularly dreary day. The people of Bonifacio have to live and survive each day in these conditions. It indicates to the reader that the story will be dark and full of drama. Maupassant uses the simile 'like torn shreds of linen' to describe the foam on the sea. The word 'torn' is quite dramatic and indicates to the reader that the ocean surrounding Bonifacio is violent and encases the residents. ...read more.


The author uses sound to build a suitable atmosphere of sadness and despair. For example, he says that the dog gave a 'long, drawn-out wail, heart-rending and terrible'. In literary tradition, howling is very conventional in horror novels as it signifies evil and danger. In the context of this story, it prepares the reader for an unnerving read. Another possible reason for the author to emphasise the howling could be that the dog is shown to vocalise his feeling of loss whereas the mother remains silent and focuses all her internal pain on the vendetta. Maupassant portrays the mother in a such a way that the reader automatically sides with her, regardless of the fact that, as humans, we are taught that two wrongs don't make a right. This is a very clever thing to do as it engages the reader to experience an emotional response mirroring the widow's. This makes us feel sorry for her loss and understand her deliberation and final decision to carry out the vendetta, even though it goes against all moral and religious guidelines. The reason the author shows her as going to church is to impress on the reader that she isn't as cold and ruthless as she seems from the text. ...read more.


She only has one chance and if her plan goes awry she could be killed or imprisoned and then she would have broken the promise she made her son. Maupassant only hints at the widow's feelings because he didn't want the reader to get the impression that she took pleasure from the sight of Ravolati's horrific death. That could potentially have removed any compassion felt by the reader for her. The last line 'that night, she slept well' describes her emotional state as relieved that the whole ordeal is over and comforted by the fact that she has fulfilled the final promise she made to her son. In conclusion, I feel that Maupassant succeeded in challenging the reader to empathise with the widow Saverini, despite their own moral and social reservations. He did this by understating the emotional side of the events that took place and by allowing the reader to imagine their own emotions if they were in the same circumstances. This forces them to experience the same moral and social dilemmas that the widow went through. Personally, I understand the widow's motives because it's possible that I would do the same thing in the same situation, even though I've been brought up to believe that taking a life is wrong. ?? ?? ?? ?? Charlotte Donovan Centre Number: 68303 Candidate Number:4334 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Other Authors section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Other Authors essays

  1. Bernard MacLavertys A Time to Dance is a short story which engenders a feeling ...

    This again illustrates the selfish side of her nature. The title "A Time to Dance" is only truly appreciated and significant to us nearing the end of the story, when Nelson's R.E. teacher is reading an extract from the Book of Ecclesiastes: "There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.

  2. Celia behind Me is a Canadian short story, which was written by Isabel Huggan ...

    Elizabeth's mother warns her about the way she treats Celia, telling her that she herself will get to feel that way in the future. One day Elizabeth falls behind on the way home from school, Celia is still following them around, and when Celia calls for Elizabeth to wait, the girls turn on Elizabeth.

  1. How Does The Writer Create Tension And Suspence In The Monkeys Paw

    Hold your tongue, Good Prudence! Smatter with your gossips. Go!" Taking the mic and basically saying your thick and stupid, you don't know anything so shut up Lady Capulet again protectively steps in and says "you are too hot" realising his tempers getting far too fierce but that's the last time she stands up to him.

  2. The Badness Within Him - Short Story Analysis

    He consistently believes that his prayers will not be answered because of his ?badness? and that his father?s death is his fault because of his ?badness?. Through close examination of the character's plausibility, one can clearly see the depth of Col?s rationalization of his father?s death and why he blames himself for it when it clearly is not his fault.

  1. The aftermath of war and its impact are shown through Graham Greens story The ...

    The concept of Mr. Thomas?s home being tear down from the inside out, is also representative of what the war did to the Wormsley Common Gang?s childhood and youth. Their innocence which was disrupted and taken away by the war, causing them much pain, was replaced with resentment and rebellion.

  2. Levine's A Game of Headless Goat analysis

    Auditory imagery is common throughout the paragraph. ?Growing more colorful?- it is an euphemistic impression of tension and, an ironic and humorous instance when she knows he swears but makes it sound, somewhat lively. It also shows how involved they are into the game.

  1. Insanity in "The Mosquito Coast" by Paul Theroux

    chance at living in a more suitable environment, Jerry goes over the edge and into insanity; albeit briefly.

  2. Flight written by Doris Lessing and Chemistry by Granham Swift. The writing style and ...

    She was staring at him. She did not smile. She was wideeyed, and pale in the cold shadow, and he saw the tears run shivering off her face. IGCSE English Literature Assignment The two stories I have chosen are, Flight written by Doris Lessing and Chemistry by Granham Swift.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work