Analysis of Guy de Maupassant's Two Friends

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We all have a place that we like to go to relax. For some, it is a quiet place and a good book to read. Others may enjoy spending quality time with friends and family. Guy de Maupassant enjoyed being near water. Maupassant “was a passionate lover of the sea and of rivers” (“Guy de Maupassant”). In his short story “Two Friends”, distant friends run into each other and decide to relive a peaceful activity they once shared: fishing. Maupassant’s love of the water influenced the content of this story. If the reader looks carefully, they can see several parts of the story that may have been influenced by the author’s life and views. Maupassant’s short story “Two Friends” is an allegory about his view of the ideal Frenchman because Maupassant portrayed the main characters as patriotic, brave, and opposed to war. The Franco-Prussian War (also called the Franco-German War) was a military conflict between France and Germany that occurred from 1870 to 1871. The idea of a unified German nation was very popular at the time. The other major nations of Europe feared that a unified Germany would be a threat on the global stage. Germany had recently been victorious under Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in 1864 against Denmark and 1866 against Austria. These victories helped “establish Prussia as the dominant power among the German states” (“Franco-Prussian War”). Bismarck negotiated an alliance with the southern German states and prepared the Prussian army for war against France because Bismarck saw “French opposition as a major obstacle to German unification” (“Franco-Prussian War”). There was then a revolution in Spain in 1868 and a vacancy for the position of monarch. Bismarck, hoping to gain influence in Spain, suggested that a Prussian prince ... ... middle of paper ... ...upassant’s story “Two Friends” contains many parallels to his own life. If the reader looks at the story through a biographical lens, they will see Maupassant inserting his views on bravery, patriotism, and war into the story. Regardless of his views, Maupassant’s brand of storytelling is very evident in the short story. Even though some may not agree with his views, Maupassant is “by general agreement the greatest French short-story writer” (“Guy de Maupassant”). Works Cited “Ems telegram.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2014. “Franco-Prussian War.” HowStuffWorks. Discovery Communications, n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2014. “Guy de Maupassant.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2014. Maupassant, Guy de. “Two Friends.” The Literature Network. Jalic Inc., n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2014.

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