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Guy de Maupassant: Stories of Regret - Essay Example

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Guy de Maupassant: Stories of Regret. Name: Institution: Abstract. Guy de Maupassant’s short stories, “All Over,” “Regret,” and “A Stroll,” focus on the common sense of regret shared by the protagonists, Leras, Saval and Lormerin. The three protagonists regret the absence of love in their lives, have their moments of epiphany and react to the truth in different ways…
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Guy de Maupassant: Stories of Regret
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Download file to see previous pages The theme of regret is the common thread which runs through his three stories, “All Over,” “Regret,” and “A Stroll.” The three protagonists, Lormerin, Saval, and Leras, are all elderly men who stand on the threshold of old age. The narratives deal with the protagonists’ regrets as they look back upon the lives they have lived. Lormerin, Saval, and Leras regret the absence of love in their lives, experience a moment of epiphany, and react in their own ways to this truth. The absence of love is the central trait which constitutes the protagonists’ general feelings of regret. All the three protagonists remain bachelors: Leras because “his means did not allow him the luxury of a wife” (Maupassant, ); Saval because of his professed indifference, in spite of possessing considerable means; Lomerin because of his enjoyment of life “when one is a bachelor!” ( ). Of the three, it is Leras who does not experience romantic love in any form. His life is devoid of emotion. He neither loves nor is loved in return. Any kind of “sweet or tragic loves, --- remained unknown to him” ( ). Saval too does not know a woman’s love: “No woman had reposed on his bosom, in a complete abandon of love” ( ). However, unlike Leras, Saval loves a woman. Saval’s love of Madame Sandres is the dominant emotion of his life, although he remains unaware if his love is returned by her. On the other hand, Lomerin not only loves Lise de Vance, but is also loved by her in return. “Yes, he had loved her, and he believed that he too, had been truly loved” ( ). At the present stage of their lives, Leras, Saval and Lomerin regret the absence of love and family and ponder on the reason. This introspection on the part of the three protagonists leads each to their own moment of epiphany. At the opening of “The Stroll,” Leras is quite content with his life of monotonous routine as a bookkeeper. He “desired nothing more” ( ). On the fateful day of the story, he sets out on his stroll “with joy in his heart, at peace with the world” ( ). He savors his dinner and walks on in the best of spirits. It is only when he sees the carriages go by, each filled with intimate lovers, that he realizes his ignorance of love, and the emptiness of his life: “suddenly, as though a veil had been torn from his eyes, he perceived the infinite misery, the monotony of his existence” ( ). This is Leras’ moment of awakening. Unlike Leras, Saval begins the day weeping, and ponders over his life, “so barren, so empty” ( ). He thinks back on his love for Madame Sandres and suddenly wonders, “If he had spoken, what would she have answered?” ( ). On an impulse, he put this question to his love of the past and Madame Sandres answers, “"I would have yielded, my friend."” ( ). Saval is devastated by this moment of truth and realizes that “he had let this opportunity of happiness pass without taking advantage of it!” ( ). Like Leras, Lomerin is content with his life, taking a great deal of pride in his appearance as “a fine looking man” ( ). He recalls his romance with Lise de Vance in haze of sentiment, although “he had forgotten, in fact, at the end of two or three months” ( ) his love for her. When the young Renee’s resemblance to her mother in Lise’s youth brings back his old ardor, Lomerin’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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