What would be the feelings or the reasons behind a father who takes his son’s precious innocent life? What might have come over him to come to such intolerable, unforgivable and crude action? How is he going to live after doing this? Such thought would haunt you daily for the rest of your life. In the short story, A Father’s Confession by Guy Maupassant tries to show the kind of feelings, remorse, and agony that a father goes through after killing his own son (Maupassant 3). The story paints the picture of irony, deception and the emotions that run there-in. In the first paragraph the phrase “he was an honest man, at least!” shows a lot to be desired in a man who is thought to be a man of character and integrity by not only his children but also the entire neighborhood.
The late M.Badon- Leremince, the father, was considered a very honest man as depicted in the first and the second paragraph of the story. Everyone in the neighborhood thinks that the late is a very honest man. He is seen as a man of character and integrity in all aspects of life, may it be; his choice of words, behavior, attitude, enterprises and dress code (Maupassant 9). Mr. M.Badon- Leremince was wise, kind and a religious (God-fearing):
“An honest man he had been in all the known facts of his life, in his words, in his examples, his attitude, his behavior, his enterprises, in the cut of his beard and the shape of his hats. He never had said a word that did not set an example, never had given alms without adding a word of advice, never had extended his hand without appearing to bestow a benediction.”
Contrary to the expectation of everyone Mr. M.Badon during his mid-twenties does the most unforgivable action; murder. He falls in love with a young lady and after some time, he impregnates the lady. M.Badon is against the idea of having a child at his age since he thinks that he needs to have a lot more fun before he can settle down with a family. After the child is born, he is not sure of what he should do with the child and his girlfriend (Maupassant 17). All through he contemplates killing the child and wishes that the child would die and leave him to continue enjoying his life with his girlfriend. Oh! “…I did not wish my sweetheart to die! The poor girl, I loved her very much! But I wished, possibly, that the child might die before I saw it.” However, the child is born and life has to go on. Additionally, M.Bandon had met another young woman that he fell for. His biggest dilemma was whether to continue with his former relationship or start another one. One night he is left to babysit his son and decides to expose him to the winter cold. The son eventually dies. When it is discovered, people thought the death was an accident but he knew and considers himself a murderer. He even confesses to his children through a letter attached to his will.
The author is able to bring out the theme and the subject of the story despite using only two perspectives, his perspective and the writer of the letter, Mr. M.Badon’s perspective. There is a lot of simplicity brought out from this story. The themes of love, lust, parental responsibility, and irony are explicit in this story. For instance, M.Bandon does not want to assume the responsibility that comes with a child after he discovers his girlfriend is pregnant (Maupassant 23). In his letter, he confesses of not caring about his son’s well about, instead talks of how he would avoid going home. His actions show s that he was running away from his responsibility. He also claims that he loves his girlfriend and yet after the lady delivered he was looking for ways of leaving her for another. The irony is portrayed where people believe M.Badon is an upright man with high morals and values but yet he is a murder of his own son.
The author of this story is able to use various features and style. He is able to bring out the protagonist and the antagonist in the story. “…He was an honest man, at least!” In the same story, we can also note that he happens to be the killer in contrast to what people thought. This brings out irony as a feature of style explicitly. The author is able to introduce his story as well as develop it without causing confusion by avoiding so many themes. He has also observed the rule of threes, for example, the son, the daughter and the son in law and his family of three (Maupassant 34).
In my opinion, the author can easily improve this story. For instance, he has not created enough suspense in this story, the story looks to be very direct, which can easily be done. The fate of the unborn child looks sealed right from conception. At the end of the story, the hero does not come out very clearly. The writer uses a lot of unnecessary conclusions that seem very direct and obvious.
In conclusion, M.Badon represents the youths in our societies today. Bearing in mind that things like irresponsibility, murder, and abortion are the issues affecting our society, the author has been able to bring out these issues clearly in his story. This story also brings about the pretext that goes on in society.
Maupassant, Guy.The Guy De Maupassant Megapack. Rockville: Wildside Press, 2013. Print.