Maupassant Ludens: A re-examination of Pierre et Jean

The purpose of this article is to examine the hidden complexities of a novel that has long been thought to possess none, namely, Maupassant's Pierre et Jean. A close study of the novel reveals that it is structured, not by the binary opposition suggested in the title, but rather by the triadic relationships existing among the main characters. Moreover, each of the protagonists combines characteristics of two other characters and hence can be regarded as existing in triplicate. The complexity suggested by this triadic configuration is further reinforced by Maupassant's subtle and consistent use of onomastic word play. (MKD-E)

Donaldson-Evans, Mary
Volume 1981 Spring-Summer; 9(3-4): 204-19.