The Third Republic is the system of government adopted in 1870 and the ruling government under which Maupassant wrote Le Gueux and La Parure . Its motto, « Liberté, égalité, fraternité », is one that is often recognized today. The major divisions of The Third Republic include the republicans and the monarchists. The republicans, the majority of them in the middle class, supported moderate social and political changes to establish the Third Republic apart from the Church. The monarchists were closely associated with the French Catholic Church, particularly their clergy and bishops, and many of the monarchists’ hierarchy were from noble families. Still, the typical French citizen was a French farmer. With that, Maupassant situates La Parure in a relatively higher social class and Le Gueux in a lower social class compared to the average French person, assisting his readers to understand life and society from a different viewpoint.
Kuhn 13 METHODOLOGY My first step was reading La Parure and Le Gueux , the primary texts, using close text analysis to study the literary devices Maupassant uses as well as to determine pessimistic attributes. Through close text analysis, I dissected the text, analyzing small portions and using them to build upon my analysis of the story. I searched for patterns in lexicon, syntax, structure, repetition, rhetorical devices, and intrinsic and extrinsic meanings, among others. I also determined which of these literary structures was pessimistic by analyzing ones that demonstrated patterns of hopelessness, helplessness, or general negativity. Although I analyzed the primary sources for this project in their original French language, I included some translated English words or phrasing in my writing to clearly demonstrate the original meaning of the text. I used novelistic analysis to understand and study the purpose and meaning behind frequent images, scenes, and repetitions in each of Maupassant’s stories and how they relate to the narrative. I used novelistic analysis to determine and analyze where and how Maupassant develops class criticism by looking for and analyzing any distinctions or descriptions Maupassant makes of social classes in the big picture of the narrative. This evidence was used to establish that the two texts separately supply class criticism. I then looked for any links between pessimism and class criticism to confirm or refute my hypothesis. I used intertextuality to relate, find patterns, and discover contrasting and similar elements in both of Maupassant’s short stories. The ability to analyze both stories together help s me to establish Maupassant’s pessimism in both stories. I also looked for correlational links between Maupassant’s pessimism and his class critiques. To do so, I
Kuhn 14 looked for displays of pessimism and class criticism throughout both stories to study their relationship.
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- Fall '18
- The Necklace, Laure de Maupassant