Guy de Maupassant Original Short Stories, vol. 4, Book Review

As it is always with all Guy de Maupassant stories, they have an enigmatic yet profound effect to the reader; this volume 4 does neither disappoint nor break this rule. The stories engage the reader keeping one glued to the end of one’s wit, until the very last story. One cannot escape the author’s ability to create fantastic plots with round, often so real characters that touches ones souls to an extent of one sympathising with them.download (1)

This volume represents Maupassant genius as a master story teller. It has a total of twelve stories including The Moribund, The Gamekeeper, The Story of A Farm Girl, The Wreck, The Odule Sabot’s Confession, The Wrong House, The Diamond Necklace, The Marquis De Fumerol, The Trip Of Le Horla, Farewell!, The Wolf,  and The Inn.

Overall Outlook of Guy de Maupassant Original Short Stories, vol. 4, Book review

There are many things that I loved in this in this volume, like the previous volume 3. The stories touch on the lives of common people and explore diverse themes from love, death, aging, suffering, and other tragedies during the author’s time in France.

The Inn

The Inn of Schwarenbach is a place where travellers get to relax for six months in a year, and the other half it remains closed with an old man Gaspard Hari and Ulrich Kunsi, together with a big mountain dog Sam, manning it until the winter is over.download (2)

When Gaspard Hari and the young man are left together, they spend their days together in a certain fashion sharing duties, and playing cards or dice. Once in a while the old man goes out hunting, and comes back with fresh meat to which both men enjoy. One day however, the old man goes out for hunting, but does not come back.

Ulrich waits for the old man until midnight, where worried and feeling lonely, goes out in search of him in the icy mountains and valleys. With Sam, the young man walks throughout the night, until cold and tired, sets camp by digging a hole in the snow and covering himself, together with the dog, with a piece of cloth. A sudden cry of pain startles him awake in the morning. He tries to look about himself hoping to see Gaspard, but he does not. He walks back to the Inn.

The days that follow the young constantly hear cries of a man in pain, but afraid of opening the door of the Inn, he results to drinking all the rum, and barely sleeps. One evening he hears a sound on the door, which prompts Sam to bark. This happens for a few nights, until one time he opens the door, and without noticing it, Sam, the dog, gets out. The young man barricades the door with all the furniture, and does not even open for the dog.download

When winter ends, and the rest of the family that owns Inn of Schwarenbach come back, they find bones of Sam on the door. They knock on the door in vain, until exasperated, they break it down. They meet the young man now wearing long grey hair and a beard: He is insane. He is taken to a mental hospital in Loeche, where the doctor declares him mad. Nobody knows what happened to the old man Gaspard.images

Themes in Guy de Maupassant Original Short Stories, vol. 4, Book Review

Just like Anton Chekhov and Fyodor Dostoevsky, Guy de Maupassant explores the themes of love, death, insanity, religion, time, and old age among other ideas in this volume. For instance in the story of Farewell, the author shows how time plays a huge part in both love and old age. The main character, Pierre Carnier, narrates to his friend Henri Simon, how twelve years had drastically changed the woman he had admired for so long into a fat unattractive lady with children. The story is sad as it shows how the human body, over time, losses its beauty, physical power, and becomes ugly and frail.

To what end must we, as human beings, go to find a meaning to life? Must our passions set us into our ruin? Must we set our lives asunder because of our passions? These are questions that Maupassant has brought up in the story of The Wolf, where the main characters, two brothers; M. le Marquis and M. le Cadet, chase after a wolf until one of them losses his life by hitting his head onto a tree branch, while riding his horse.images (1)

In the story of The Story of a Farm Girl, we see how Rose rises from being a farm girl until she eventually becomes the farmer’s wife. Through love betrayal, she becomes extremely hardworking, therefore turning the farm into profitable a profitable venture despite being separated from her child, until the farmer fancies her as a lifelong companion. The author shows us that in spite of our misfortunes in life, we can, in the end, live a good life that we thought otherwise impossible beforehand.

 

 

 

 

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