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Guy de Maupassant’s Two Friends: The Different Literary Elements Used

A Deeper Look at “Two Friends” by Guy de Maupassant

A famous short story, “Two Friends,” was translated by Gordon R. Silber. This story took place during the Franco-Prussian War that began in 1870. This war was a conflict between France and Germany. As Maupassant’s story begins, the city in on the verge of surrender. Two men try to ignore this violence and fish often and become true friends. This essay will carefully examine how Guy de Maupassant used six different literary elements in creating this outstanding short story known as “Two Friends.”

In this paragraph, we will look at how the author uses the setting and tone in and throughout the story. The story takes place in early 1871 in France. The author uses many descriptive words describing the setting throughout the whole story. The tone of this story is overall very gloomy and dull. He conveys this tone through many quotes throughout the text such as, “They started to walk side by side, absent-minded and sad” (1235). Maupassant emits this sad and dull tone through many quotes similar to that. The setting and tone contribute to the purpose and figurative language in the story as well.

You can see that the author uses figurative language in a few different instances throughout the text. He uses figurative language along with many other literary elements to show the purpose of the story. As you many know, figurative language is where the author uses words or expressions that mean something different than the literal interpretation. Maupassant uses his words from beginning to end to show figurative language such as when he writes, “And a feeling of unease paralyzed the two friends as they faced this deserted region (1236).” The two friends were not paralyzed, therefore this is figurative language since he is saying one thing to interpret another. Many elements are used to create the purpose, which is what the author is hoping to accomplish or communicate through the text. The purpose of this story is to teach a lesson of friendship. It shows that you can connect with people even when times are rough. It also shows that you should try to be positive and live life to the fullest because you never know when death is upon you. The purpose helps convey the theme, which is the overall general message which is very similar to the purpose.

The author’s theme he is trying to show is that friends stay loyal to each other even while looking death in the face. Another theme he conveys is that even though many people want peace all through humanity, it will never happen. Maupassant also uses symbolism when he explains throughout the story that the men went to the river to fish regularly before the war started; now that it has begun, it is dangerous and the days aren’t as bright, the sun shines less. This shows that the weather is a symbolic item because before it used to be bright and now times are sad and gloomy.

The author wrote this short story using many literary terms such as tone, setting, purpose, figurative language, theme, and symbolism. The story started brightly before the war but as the war started things started to get darker, but the two friends remained loyal to one another. In all short stories, we must take a closer look to see what the author is trying to convey throughout it.

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