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Discuss the character of Maitre Hauchecorne with reference to the story "The Piece of...

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hudi06 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 22, 2011 at 8:23 PM via web

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Discuss the character of Maitre Hauchecorne with reference to the story "The Piece of String"?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 22, 2011 at 11:15 PM (Answer #1)

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Maitre Hauchecorne is an old peasant and a bit of a scoundrel with a reputation for thriftiness and untrustworthiness. He has few true friends or family (no family is mentioned in the story). Hauchecorne's low self-esteem comes from both his hereditary status and his cheapness; and he is ashamed when an adversary, Malandain, sees him bending in the dirt to pick up what would be for most people a worthless piece of string. Although Hauchecorne has no connection with the missing purse, which is eventually found, the fact that he was seen picking up something from the street makes him a suspect. Hauchecorne is searched and cleared, and the purse is eventually found, but he has already spread the story of his innocence about town. Because of his past reputation, no one believes him--before or after the purse is recovered.

Hauchecorne also appears to be an outsider to the village, and he lives--probably alone--somewhere beyond the town proper. After his repeated tales of the string are spread throughout the village, he becomes even more of an outcast and, eventually, the butt of jokes. It is all too much for Hauchecorne, who, at one point, prided himself on his business practicality. In the end, he cannot walk about the town without feeling the stares and scornful laughter that he imagines coming from everyone he sees.

The string becomes the symbol of his downfall--a worthless, trivial thing that eventually becomes the defining moment of his later life. He dies miserable and alone, all because of "a little bit of string."  

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hafsa19 | Student , Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted November 21, 2011 at 4:38 AM (Answer #2)

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The piece of string written by Guy de Maupassant is a story on economical and social situation of his age.Whcih was effected by the Franco Prussian war .

The protagonist in the story is a very econimical person and consider all things valuable.This trait later became the cause of his death.

One day Maitre Hauchcorne picked up a piece of string in the mud.But after getting noticed by his enemy he pretended to be looking for something else and quickly hid it.Later he got accused of picking up a lost pocket book which was then returned by someone else.

Although the pocket book got returned people didn't stop accusing him.And he kept clearifying his position till his death.

Maitre hachcorne was an outsider and didn't have many friends. His economic position was very weak. One can observe that he did not have a good reputation that's why people mocked him when he tried to prove his innocence.His behavious with others was not very friendly and jolly,also he was not in good terms with a respected upper-class person.Thus there was no one for him to stand with him when he was in a problem.Only some people listened to him but surely didn't believed.The man had a weekness of interacting with people and this problem became his major flaw.He didn't know how to deal with difficult situations and how to make people beleive you or atleast how to make yourself strong enough to not get criticized or mocked by everyone.He was an innocent or ignorant villager.

 

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lolsabrinaxoxo | Student , Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted September 10, 2012 at 10:44 PM (Answer #3)

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what is the theme in the short story called: The Piece of String?

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