Time Slots

Tuesdays (April 11 - May 9), 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

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About this Class

In this course, you will study two of Maupassant's most famous short stories: Boule de Suif and Bel-Ami.
First published in 1880, Boule de Suif is arguably Maupassant's most famous short story and is the title story for his collection on the Franco-Prussian War, titled Boule de Suif et Autres Contes de la Guerre.
Boule de Suif (“Ball of Fat”) is the nickname given to a well-known prostitute who finds herself traveling in a coach with conventionally respectable people through Prussian-occupied France during wartime. The “nice” people contemptuously ignore her, except when she offers them food during the long journey. The travelers are detained by a Prussian officer who will not allow the coach to proceed until Boule de Suif gives herself to him, which she refuses on principle to do. Ironies abound in the story, contrasting Boule de Suif’s authentic principles and generosity with her bourgeois fellow passengers’ shallow platitudes and coldheartedness.
source: https://www.britannica.com/topic/Boule-de-Suif

Bel-Ami is the second novel by the French author, published in 1885. The story chronicles journalist Georges Duroy's corrupt rise to power from a poor former cavalry NCO in France's African colonies, to one of the most successful men in Paris, most of which he achieves by manipulating a series of powerful, intelligent, and wealthy women.

Communicative objectives:
Study two major works by Maupassant, Boule de Suif and Bel-Ami (on average 100 pages per week)
Analyze 19th century character portraits under a psychosocial lens
Analyze the author's writing style (Naturalism and Realism)

About Michaela Jordan

Michaela was raised bilingual (French and English) in Southern Burgundy, by a family who has dedicated their lives to the wine and spirit industry. She has studied Languages and Education at University Lyon II and has been intermittently teaching French to students, in England and the United States, since 2013. Michaela has taught courses on French Language, Culture, Literature, and Translation, from introductory to advanced. This year, she has been working towards getting a second master's degree in Comparative Literature at Dartmouth College. When Michaela is not teaching at the French Library, she is teaching at a local French school. In her spare time, she loves to bake, climb, and travel.