SSA: The Piece of String
By: Guy de Maupassant
I. Analysis of Elements
The story’s two major characters are both considered as a stereotype character. Their roles were easily known as the author clearly discussed their parts and physiognomies in the story.
The story’s protagonist is Maître Hauchecome. He was wrongly accused for stealing a pocketbook with five hundred francs and some business papers. Every time people saw him, they harassed him. He can also be a dynamic character. From being a simple and innocent man, he was suddenly ruined by injustice.
Another character is Maître Malandain. He was certainly identified as the antagonist of the story when the author stated that he was the enemy of Maître Hauchecome and when he even said the mayor that Maître Hauchecome was the one who stole the pocketbook. Lastly, he was the reason for the ruined life of Maître Hauchecome.
Minor Characters were also seen in the story. They are the mayor, Maître Authirne, tavern keeper and a horse dealer, Maître Fortune, owner of the pocketbook, and Marius Paumelle, the one who found the leather pocketbook. These characters are all considered a flat character for they did not change all over the story.
The conflicts used by the author in the story were man vs. man and man vs. society. Man vs. man occurred when Maître Hauchecome was accused for getting the black leather pocketbook containing five hundred francs and some business papers by his enemy – Maître Malandain. Another conflict shown was man vs. society. Being unaware, people around him still alleged him even though the husbandman at Ymanville already returned the pocketbook.
C. Point of View
The story is uttered in Third Person Point of View since the narrator of the story is not a character in the story. Furthermore, the narrator is an outsider who sees the mind of the characters. He inquired:
“Is Maître Hauchecome of Breaute here?”
Maître Hauchecome, seated at the other end of the table, replied: "Here I am."
And the officer resumed:
"Maître Hauchecome, will you have the goodness to accompany me to the mayor's office? The mayor would like to talk to you."
II. Discussion of the Theme
1. You can never be innocent once you’re accused
As rumors are easily spread nowadays, people will just judge the way they think about you without knowing the truth. No matter how you deeply explain, you will always be thought of as guilty. And whether you are already free from the indictment, it is impossible that people will rapidly forget what you had undergone. By the time Maître Hauchecome was erroneously accused of stealing just because of picking up the string, everyone thought that he was a rascal. After the accusation, people overlooked him, and even when the pocketbook was already returned. 2. How society can be cruel
In life, once you’re suspected, people around you will always manage to have bad thoughts about you. They easily believe in what others say and they will not care about how you will feel. In the case of Maître Hauchecome, he was wrongly alleged by his enemy of getting the pocketbook. People disbelieved him as he said that he was not the thief. And when the pocketbook was returned by a man, the society still thought that he had an accomplice who returned it.
burgh- a borough or chartered town
swerved- diverged; veered
throng- a large, densely packed crowd of people or animals
savage- fierce, violent, and uncontrolled
rheumatism- any disease marked by inflammation and pain in the joints, muscles, or fibrous tissue exasperated- infuriated; maddened
protruded- jutted; projected
jovialness- endowed with or characterized by a hearty, joyous humor or a spirit of good-fellowship threshold- a strip of wood, metal, or stone forming the bottom of a doorway and crossed in entering a house or room. perplexed- confused; puzzled
IV. Figures of Speech
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