Boule de Suif Themes

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Maupassant is a French author from the naturalist school of thought. Naturalism in literature describes a type of work that tries to apply analytic principles of objectivity and separation to the literary study of the human being. In opposition to realism, which focuses on technique, the naturalist author takes a philosophic position. The objects of study, human beings, are creatures that can be studied through their relationships to their surroundings. Maupassant's characters are no exception. Boule de Suif is understood not through her inner thoughts and feelings, but through her actual words and actions. She is revealed through Maupassant's ability to report details that create an insightful depiction of the prostitute. Her inner thoughts are unneeded because all of her being is available through her relationship to others and her environment. Through this type of objective study, naturalist authors believe that the underlying forces that reign over human...

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This section contains 684 words
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Boule de Suif from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.