Vendetta - Guy de Maupassant

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Mr Ruff's presentation on Guy de Maupassant's 'Vendetta'. Use it to help you revise for the 'Craft of the Writer' paper for GCSE English.

Transcript of Vendetta - Guy de Maupassant

A bitter, destructive feud, normally between two families, clans or factions, in which each injury or slaying is avenged

Absolute necessity of vendetta Belief that her sons spirit will not rest Belief that God approves of vendetta Her fanatical determination Her unquestioning belief that Nicolas Ravolati is guilty of her sons murder

Conciseness: nothing is wasted Description is thematically integrated Ingenuity of the plan Narrator does not comment on the justice of what happens. He leaves that to the reader Use of suspense Concise, vivid creation of character

The sea and the barren coast, stripped of all but a scanty covering of grass, are for ever harassed by a restless wind, which sweeps along the narrow funnel, ravaging the banks on either side. In all directions the black points of innumerable rocks jut out from the water, with trails of white foam streaming from them, like torn shreds of linen, floating and fluttering on the surface of the waves.

One night, when Smillante began to whine, the old mother had an inspiration of savage, vindictive ferocity. She thought about it till morning. At daybreak she rose and betook herself to church. Prostrate on the stone floor, humbling herself before God, she besought Him to aid and support her, to lend to her poor, worn-out body the strength she needed to avenge her son.

Never fear, never fear, you shall be avenged, my son, my little son, my poor child. You may sleep in peace. You shall be avenged, I tell you. You have your mothers word, and you know she never breaks it.Slowly she bent down and pressed her cold lips to the dead lips of her son.

Rituals of the church Focusing on the dead body Conditioning of the dog

How to carry out the act of revenge when the widow is alone and so old and feeble? He had no brother, nor any near male relation. There was no man in the family who could take up the vendetta. Only his mother, his old mother, brooded over it.

To use the dog She starved her another two days, and then put her through the same strange performance. For three months she accustomed her to this method of attack, and to tear her meals away with her fangs. She was no longer kept on the chain. At a sign from her mistress, the dog would fly at the dummys throat.She learned to tear it to pieces even when no food was concealed about its throat. Afterwards as a reward she was always given the black pudding her mistress had cooked for her.

Opening description of Bonifacio prepares us for the bleakness and violence of the story Descriptions of the dog tearing apart the dummy prepares us for the horrible details of the murder.