Boule de Suif Essay

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Martinelli is a Seattle-based freelance writer and editor. In this essay, Martinelli examines how the main character's dialogue and actions create a confused ethic of both ontologism and utilitarianism, the two major schools of philosophical thought of the nineteenth century.

In "Boule de Suif," Guy de Maupassant tells the tale of Boule de Suif, a short, plump, inviting French prostitute, who is fleeing the advancing Germans during the Franco—Prussian War. Although seemingly immoral by profession, Boule de Suif actually adheres to a code of ethics. By the very nature of her profession, Boule de Suif feels as though she is spreading happiness through her service: Her clientele leaves with a greater level of satisfaction, thus adding to the greater good. In addition, Boule de Suif has several imperatives that she makes her best attempt to stand behind. Boule de Suif believes that these axioms should never...

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This section contains 1,871 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Boule de Suif Study Guide
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