la dehumanisation dans les contes de maupassant, expliquez?

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lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Puis-je répondre en anglais ou desserriez-vous la réponse en français ? J’espère que ce soit anglais – plus facile pour moi.

You have identified the short story Boule de Suif in the tag - is this the only short story in question, or are there others?

There is an excellent analysis of this short story by de Maupassant here on enotes - see the link below and look at the "themes" section. The idea of dehumanization in this short story relates to how the passengers on the coach treat the prostitute, Boule de Suif. By their treatment of her, they reduce her to less than a human being, and at the end, she weeps because of this dehumanization. She has shared her food with them at the beginning of the arduous journey. When they are stopped by the Prussians, she continually refuses to sleep with the head honcho because he is a German and the French are at war with the Germans. The other passengers dehumanize her reminding her that she is a prostitute and after all, it is her job to sleep with men, non? She finally agrees to sleep with the man for the greater good, so that the Germans will release the people as they have promised. When they are released, however, instead of showing gratitude, the other passengers treat Boule de Suif with renewed contempt. They even stoop so low as to not share their food with her. By their behavior, they prove that it is they who are dehumanized, not the prostitute. They dehumanize themselves by their behavior.