Pierre Et Jean
- Librairie generale francaise
- Publication Date:
- 01 July 1974
- Language Teaching & Learning Material & Coursework
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A story about jealousy between two brothers. The younger is left a fortune by a friend of the family who is his natural father. The elder is tortured by envy and more than a bit self righteous about their mother's betrayal of her husband , his father.excellent read
Not quite top tier Maupassant, but still very good. Though a brief 130 pages the middle section of the novel lags slightly as the author slightly drags out whether or not Pierre will say what he feels to be true (a slight disappointment from the usually brief Norman). However Maupassant more than makes up for that dip in the middle with an extremely touching ending. Not as good as <i>Bel-Ami</i> or <i>A Life</i> but still a highly recommended novella.
This novel opens with a family outing. The outing is uneventful, but we learn a lot about the characters. The father is a silly old man, harmless but not to be taken seriously. The mother is serene and kind. Her two adult sons adore her. The sons, Pierre and Jean, also love each other, but are a bit competitive.When the family returns home, they learn that a wealthy family friend, Marechal, has died and has left his entire estate to the younger son, Jean. At first, Pierre is jealous in a way that might be expected in these circumstances, but his feelings soon develop into something much more sinister--he begins to suspect that Jean may have been Marechal's son, the result of an illicit affair between their mother and Marechal. "It was no longer jealousy that made him seek an answer, nor the rather unworthy but natural envy he knew was hidden inside him and that he had been fighting for three days, but a terror of an appalling thing. Terror of believing that his brother Jean was the son of this man."There follows a psychological game of cat and mouse between Pierre and his mother, of which his father and Jean remain blissfully ignorant for the most part. There is very little action, and most of the narration takes place in Pierre's mind. This is a masterful work. De Maupassant is able to convey so much in so view words, and on such a small stage. Highly recommended.
A little gem of a short novel from this author much more renowned for his short stories. It simply concerns the jealousy between two brothers that arises when a friend of their parents dies and leaves all his money to one of the brothers, but is very simply and well told.
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