Two Friends, Until Death Do Us Part Guy de Maupassant wrote the short story entitled “Two Friends”. The story starts out employing the reader to think about war and disaster, and then to completely lose themselves back in time, to a simple beautiful life of friendship and beauty. The ending of the story brings the reader back into reality, back to a tragic time when war was a reality, and death was the outcome. Maupassant was easily able by his words, to engage the reader from a time of disaster to a time of kindness, serenity, and friendship.
Maupassant starts this story out by describing how “Besieged Paris was in the throes of famine”. By describing how sparse food was he sets the stage for the outing between two friends. The author continues to describe in detail two men, who in a more pleasant time, enjoyed each other’s company on a weekly fishing jaunt. Hence, a way of obtaining food in a time of famine. The two men in the story, Monsieur Morissot and Monsieur Sauvage, were taken back in time, remembering the days of peace and of the days when they were able to freely fish at their leisure together, while enjoying wine.
The author continues to describe the setting in detail and by doing this he makes the reader feel like he is in the setting. Morissot and Sauvage decide after having too much wine, they will forget about the tragedy going on and once again go fishing. The reader then begins to feel the danger of the jaunt as Maupassant starts to describe the men walking to their fishing spot. Morissot and Sauvage begin to face realization of the danger to obtain this one pleasure they adore. A strip of bare ground remained to be crossed before they could gain the river bank. They ran across this, and, as soon as they were at the water’s edge, concealed themselves among the dry reeds”. They had made it to their favorite fishing spot. Once relieved they were there, they once again were able to forget their surroundings and begin to fish. Moreover, their desire to go back in time, caused them to drop their guard and fish.
Once again Maupassant engages the reader to a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere only to again capture reality of war and tragedy. The two men were found and captured by the enemy. German soldiers had found them and taken them as prisoners. The Prussian Officer stated: You must know that, in my eyes, you are two spies sent to reconnoitre me and my movements. Naturally I capture you and I shoot you. You pretend to be fishing, the better to disguise your real errand. You have fallen into my hands, and must take the consequences.
Such is war. The Prussian Officer gave them the offer to provide a password to save their lives, and each man did not betray their home or the other person. While preparing to lose their lives, Monsieur Morissot and Monsieur Sauvage stood their ground and retained their respect. They told each other goodbye, and shook hands. They were killed by the enemy and through into the river from which they obtained so much pleasure through the years. “The officer, calm throughout, remarked, with grim humor: “It’s the fishes’ turn now! The story closes with the Prussian Officer ordering his men to take the fish Morissot and Sauvage had caught and “Have these fish fried for me at once, while they are still alive; they’ll make a tasty dish. ”
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