Two Friends

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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Two Friends Have you ever wondered how reality is so much more different than TV or fiction. It depicts life as we know it in the real world, cruel and unjust. And this is exactly the kind of writing from most of the eighteenth century, where life is portrayed from the lower class' point of view in order to attain a social reform. In the short story Two Friends, Guy de Maupassant describes the harshness and reality of the Franco Prussian War, and its effect on two Parisians who love fishing. This story is a true example of Realism writing because of the extended detail and the unjust reality of war, that Guy de Maupassant is depicting in order to make his point about true reality.

The story starts out in Paris, surrounded and cut off from its supplies, the citizens are trying their best to stay alive.

Food and supplies are scarce and M. Morissot, a watchmaker, is trying to make the best of the situation. He is a man of lower class, hungry and helpless it describes: " "¦his hands in his trousers pockets and his stomach empty." (pg.914) This is a great example of realism writing because the author confronts a harsh reality of life in Paris during the blockade, especially through the eyes of a lower class citizen.

The author also tries to portray life as accurately as possible. Before the start of the story, the reader is introduced into the current situation with a short paragraph of historical context, and lots of detail about the Franco-Prussian War. This is an example of documentation of historical background, which is a part of realism writing. One can also infer from the extended use of detail that this story is an example of realism writing. The two gentlemen's fishing trip is portrayed with meticulous detail, especially when the cannons start to fire. The author states; ""¦and time after time the mountain belched forth death-dealing breath, breathed out milky-white vapor which rose slowly in the calm sky and formed a cloud above the summit." (pg.917) The detail is almost endless in this sentence. Because of the specific description, the reader can get a better picture about reality and its true harshness, especially during cannon fire and war.

Two Friends is a great example of realism writing because of its wide description historically as well as socially, and the use of lower class characters that portray the reality and unjust nature of war. When we see war or similar things on TV, their true reality is usually hidden or not depicted, especially in movies where heroes make their moves. Lately though, Hollywood has made some changes in movies such as Saving Pvt. Ryan or Tigerland, in order to reach audiences about these hidden realities. Hopefully the future will bring more of that, not in real life, but only on movie screens.