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A Piece Of String
Transcript of A Piece Of String
Nearly all of Guy de Maupassant's short stories are set in rural Normandy, on the northeastern coast of France. The village of Goderville, MaitreHauchecorne's home in "A Piece of String," is an actual place, located in Upper Normandy, between La Havre and Rouen, and not far from the River Seine. It is an ancient village, established in the 9th century. (The population in 2006 was about 2,800). The town market is located in the main square, and there is a tavern, Jourdain's, and a mayor's office. The story itself is set in the 1880s.
Solution to the Problem
Solution: He tries relentlessly, but unsuccessfully, to persuade them that he was merely picking up a piece of string. The villagers refuse to believe him not as much because they are convinced of his guilt, but rather because they enjoy venting their spite on this humble, defenseless man. Hauchecome is determined, and travels to the outskirts of town to retrace his steps in search of the wallet. To his pleasure he discovers the news of the wallet being returned. He returns back to town to celebrate and divulge his innocence only to find that still no one believes him. Later on Hauchecome dies as a guilty man still beseeching his innocence to anyone who will listen.
“The Piece of String” concerns several months in the life of MaitreHauchecorne, an old peasant and the protaginst of the short story.
Another character was an enemy of his, the antognist M. Malandain, a harness maker. There are several unnamed local peasants, a town crier, and a woman, M. Houlbreque, who lost a pocketbook containing five hundred francs.
MaitreHauchercorne is accused of stealing the purse. There is also an appearance by the chief of gendarmes, who takes Hauchecorne to see the mayor where he is accused of stealing the purse.
It was market-day, and from all the county round Goderville the peasants and their wives were coming toward the town.
Maitre Hauchecorne of Breute, had just arrived at Goderville and was making his way toward the square when he perceived on the ground a little piece of string. He stooped down and took a bit of the string and was ready to roll it up when he saw Maitre Malandain, his enemy, he was sort of shame being seen picking up the string so he hid it beneath his blouse.
Maitre Hauchecorne was accused by Maitre malandain. He was called by the Mayor and defend himself that he did not get the pocketbook instead it is juts a piece of string that he picked up but the Mayor did not believe him. The news had spread. He grew more and more angry, feverish, in despair at not being believed, and kept on telling his story.
A Piece Of String
by GUY DE MAUPASSANT
At Jourdain's the great room was filled with eater. Suddenly the drum began to beat in the courtyard, everyone ran to the door. And the crier announced that there has been lost on the Beuzeville road, a pocketbook containing 500 francs.
Marius Paumelle returned the pocketbook and its content to Maitre Holbreque. The people thought of
Hauchecorne was just trying to trick them through
Maitre Hauchecorne told on the roads on the people who passed about his tale, but no one believed him, until he died in grief.
The first conflict is the lack of trust: namely between Hauchecorne and Malandain, then Hauchecorne and the mayor. But, eventually, the reader sees that it is a lack of trust amongst/between all the peasants themselves. Guy de Maupassant had a similar view about the peasantry: that they were untrustworthy. Being from a higher class, he may have prejudged these people, not thinking their craftiness and treachery is the result of a struggling economic class. As Hauchecorne makes his way through the marketplace, the narrator says:
The other conflict is Hauchecorne's own pride. It seems that Maupassant makes it a point to note that the Norman peasants were economical to the point of being stingy. So, for Hauchecorne to be so intent on proclaiming his innocence, he's playing a futile game. The other peasants view him as a thief, but the point Maupassant tries to make is that the peasants do so, knowing they'd probably have stolen the wallet if they had the chance. I guess the overall conflict is the corrupt socio-economic system that led to a culture of backstabbing peasants.
Not to be ashamed of who you are and what your values are. Hauchecome hides the fact that he picked up the piece of string because he is embarrassed to admit that he saves little things like this.
Another one is not to judge someone too harshly. Hauchecome is judged to be s thief, and a liar by the village because he is wrongly accused of stealing a purse containing 500 francs.
Hauchecome is so sticken by the wrongful accusations that it make him sick. He dies uttering "it was only a piece of string"
The theme of "
A Piece of String
" has to do with the meanness, cruelty, and injustice of humanity. Maupassant often wrote stories about human selfishness,
wickedness, envy, spite, greed, and other bad qualities. Here are a few pertinent quotations: "
Everyone is perfidious, a liar and a phony. Everyone wears a false face
UNLOCKING UNFAMILIAR WORDS
Char- A-Banc a long vehicle with many seats
Peasant - A poor farmer workers who has low social Status
Aristocracy - The highest Social Class in some countries
Gendarme - A police officer in a French Country
Accost - To approach and speak to (someone) often in anger.