Guy De Maupassant Original Short Stories, Vol. 3 Book Review

Vol. 3 of Guy de Maupassant original short stories is unique and gripping, that it has the ability to make one read the whole book in one sitting. The stories rage from all sorts of themes including love, murder, parricide, suicide, marriage, infidelity, and lunacy, among other subjects.

One thing that I can attest is that Guy de Maupassant was a master story crafter. In fact he was a genius. As I read the stories, I was struck at how real and descriptive there are, portraying the true naturalist, modern, and realists’ nature of the author. The stories have the ability to move ones souls, to streak a tear, to fondle a big hearty laugh, to entrench a million thoughts on the things that are wrong with our society, and to paint magnificent coastal plots in one’s mind.

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A Brief Look at the Stories, in Vol. 3 of Guy De Maupassant Original Short Stories

There are 13 stories in the book which include: Miss Harriet, Little Louise Roque, The Donkey, Moiron, The Dispenser of Holy Water, A Parricide, Bertha, The Patron, The Door, A Sale, The Impolite Sex, A Wedding Gift, and The Relic.

 Miss Harriet

While on an excursion to visit the ruins of Tancarville, Monsieur Chenal, an old painter narrates a sad love affair between him and Miss Harriet. When he was 25 years old, Monsieur Chenal, while on his tours in the coastal countryside of France, stayed in a rental farmhouse, which belonged to Mother Lecacheur. He soon discovered that beside his room was a mature English lady, who had taken her rooms for quite some time now.51sI+mm00sL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_

The next day, while painting in a valley that extended all the way to Etretat, Monsieur Chenal noticed the English lady observing him, but when she noted that he had seen her, she quickly disappeared. Over the span of the three days, the artist got to known everything about her including her name, Miss Harriet; she had stayed in the farm house for six months, and that nobody in the village liked her, as she was observed as an atheist.

Over the next couple of weeks, Monsieur Chenal and Miss Harriet become acquitted, and the tall English woman accompanies the artist to his painting escapades. The woman falls in love with the young lad, as well as his work, but she does not dare say it. Then one day, when she finds Monsieur Chenal kissing Celeste, one of the girls in the farm house, she throws herself into the well. The following day, Chenal discovers her body. She is taken out, and her burial follows.

Little Louise Roqueimages

As Mederic Rompel, the postman, who was a former soldier, sets to take letters to different people in the village of Carvelin, he sees a naked dead girl lying in the woods of Monsieur Renardet, the mayor of Carvelin. In panic, he leaves the girl and goes straight to the mayor, who sends him to get the doctor, his secretary, and the watchman. The postman does as expressed, and then proceeds to deliver his letters telling everyone about the strange case of the dead girl in the forest.

Monsieur Renardet, the mayor, in the company of the two gentlemen, walk to the scene of the crime. The doctor officially declares the girl dead, and considers as a possibility, the girl being defiled before she was killed. The girl is Little Louise Roque. The mayor orders the watchman to find the girls clothes, but the latter does not find them. Presently everyone in the village comes, as well as the magistrate and the gendarmes to witness the crime.images (2)

At length the mother of the child comes, and she weeps mercilessly, crying even for a memento to remember her daughter with, for the girl is naked and her clothes missing. The dead body is carried off, and investigations are commenced, but the murderer is not found. Six months pass, and still no one is charged. Monsieur Renardet however keeps seeing the little girl’s phantom, as he was the one who killed the child. She was bathing in a pond one hot afternoon, when the mayor happened to go to bathe in the same place, and as he had been windowed for six months, seeing the girl naked got him excited, and as he approached her, she started screaming, and as a way to silence her, he accidentally killed her. The poor man commits suicide, in order to escape the wrath of Little Louise Roque ghost.

Murder, Death, and Suicide in Vol. 3 of Guy De Maupassant Original Short Storiesimages (3)

There are two major stories that touch on the subject of suicide including Miss Harriet, and Little Louise Roque; two that discuss murder, namely: A Parricide, and Moiron, and one that highlights death: A Wedding Gift. Guy De Maupassant seems to explore what leads one to commit major felonies like murder. He looks at the criminal’s mind, what leads him to commit his deed, and that which sets him apart from the rest of humankind, so as to actually carry out his premeditated action.

When one commits murder, just like everyone, he has an unduly cause, as well as a major conviction as to why he ought to commit the crime. In the case of Moiron, he murders young children with the conviction that he is revenging to God, who took away his children when they were so small, without any specific reason. He is annoyed with God, and as he reasons that since life comes from God, then he will do justice in taking it away, as a way to punish God for his loss of family. He is of course disillusioned, with the idea that by committing murder, he will get even with God. In the same fashion in A Parricide, Georges Louis, A.K.A “the Bourgeois” kills his parents to avenge the fact that they gave him away as a baby to be raised by a nurse, in addition to abandoning him to suffer in abject poverty, simply because he was a result of an affair between two different married couples behind the backs of their spouses.

Guy De Maupassant ingenuity shows how one comes to commit suicide. In the story of Miss Harriet, she commits suicide out of jealousy. She loves Monsieur Chenal, but she does not have the courage to open up to him. One might assume that since she is old, and the artist, Monsieur Chenal, is a young handsome man, she finds it in appropriate to confess her feelings for the young man, and tormented by jealousy, she takes her own life. Her conscience cannot bear to see the young artist with another woman apart from her. Maupassant has captured lover’s jealousy quite well in this rather sad story.

In the story of Little Louise Roque, Monsieur Renardet, the mayor takes his own life after the guilt of his deed of murdering Little Louise Roque hovering over him every single day of his life. The phantoms of Little Louise Roque haunt him, until he ends his life. Guy De Maupassant remarkable gift as a story teller offers an exemplary read in this Vol. 3 Original Short Stories.

 

 

 

4 Responses to “Guy De Maupassant Original Short Stories, Vol. 3 Book Review”

  1. Amit mahajan says:

    The little Louise Roque is a masterpiece.
    A gripping plot and depicting the dilemmas of a mind caught in guilt and desire to declare one self free of that guilt is remarkable..
    Beautiful!!

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