Two Little Soldiers by Guy de Maupassant, Questions-Answers, Class 11, English

Here is the questions-answers of Two Little Soldiers by Guy de Maupassant, Class 11, English


Answer the following questions:

  1. Why do the two soldiers spend their free time on Sundays away from the barracks out in the countryside?

The two soldiers Luc Le Gandec and Jean Kerderen spend their free time on Sundays away from the barracks out in the countryside because the countryside reminds them of their homes and they feel very happy there.

2. Why does the girl become the topic of conversation for these soldiers?

The girl becomes the topic of conversation of these soldiers because both of them have fallen in love with her.

3. Why does deception enter into their friendship?

As both Luc and Jean love the same girl, Luc without informing his friends leaves the barracks secretly to meet the girl. In this way, deception from Luc’s side enters into the friendship between Luc and Jean.

4. Do you think Luc is a betrayer of friendship?

In my opinion, Luc is a betrayer as he has broken the faith of his friend Jean. He leaves the barracks twice without telling anything to his friend so that he can meet the countryside girl whom Jean loves equally. Jean is heartbroken because of Luc’s move. Therefore, Luc can be called a betrayer.

5. What is the cause of suicide of Jean? Do you think it was only the release of his love?

Jean commits suicide because he is mentally disturbed seeing the love affair of his friend Luc with the girl whom he loves much and he is also depressed realizing the deceitful move of his friend Luc. I don’t think suicide was the only one way to release his love. He could have talked to the girl or he could have moved on in his life instead of committing suicide.


  1. What is the central theme of this story?

The central theme of this story is the incompatibility between friendship and love. In simple words, the two best friends can’t love the same person. If such situation arises, friendship weakens because of the entry of love. Luc and Jean are the best friends but the entry of the girl into their life weakens their friendship. While dealing with the theme of love, the writer also suggests the dynamism of love by focusing on two aspects of love: Platonic love between Jean and the girl and the physical love between Luc and the girl.

Likewise, deception is another theme of the story. Deception is the act that hides the truth, or promotes a belief, concept, or idea that is not true. It is often done for personal gain or advantage. In the story, Luc deceives his friend Jean for personal gain or advantage. Without telling anything to his friend Jean, he leaves the barracks on Tuesday and Friday secretly, meets the girl privately and makes love. Even after to the barracks, he does not tell him anything. It is also because of this deceitful move of Luc, Jean commits suicide at the end of the story.

2. “What are you doing here? Are you watching the grass grow?”

a. Who is the speaker?

The dairy maid is the speaker.

b. What does the word ‘here’ indicate?

The word ‘here’ indicates the countryside.

c. Who does ‘you’ refer to?

‘You’ refers to the two soldiers Jean and Luc.

Long Question: Two Little Soldiers by Guy de Maupassant

  1. Two Little Soldiers can be viewed as a series of dramatic scenes. Describe the story as a tragedy.

Two Little Soldiers can be viewed as a series of dramatic scenes as this story is set in six different scenes:

  1. The journey of the two soldiers in the countryside on Sundays:

The story begins with the description of the two soldiers Jean and Luc who leave the barracks and go to the countryside as it reminds them of their home. They feel very happy there.

2. The entry of a dairy maid.

In the next scene, enters a girl coming through the fields from the village of Bezons. She passes in front of the two soldiers. The soldiers are glad seeing her but they don’t talk to her.

3. Friendship between the girl and the soldiers.

As the girl passes in front of the soldiers on Sunday, friendship begins among them. They not only talk to each other but also eat and drink together. She always offers them milk and they also buy a gift candy for her.

4. Deceitful move of Luc.

As both the soldiers are in love with the same girl, the girl becomes the topic of their conversation. Luc without informing his friend Jean, leaves the barracks secretly, meets the girl and makes love. Jean has no idea what is going on. Jean neither asks anything to Luc nor Luc informs anything to Jean.

5. Upset Jean

When Luc and Jean go to meet the girl next Sunday, Jean is mentally depressed when Luc and the girl hug and kiss each other in front of his eyes. Now he understands the reason behind Luc’s absence from the barracks. He feels so heartbroken that he wants to weep, to run away, to hide somewhere, never to see anyone again.

6. Jean’s suicide

As the two soldiers are returning to the barracks, they stop on the bridge and look the flowing river. Jean’s mind is already occupied with suicidal desire so he jumps into the river and dies.

This story also can be interpreted as a tragedy as it ends with the death of Jean. In that sense, like a tragedy, it has a sad ending. Similarly, the plot of the tragedy moves from happiness to sorrow. In the beginning of the story, Jean is very happy. He has his best friend Luc with whom he always visits the countryside on Sundays. But as the plot develops, begins his sorrow. His friend Luc loves the girl whom he also loves secretly. They also hug and kiss each other in front of his eyes which makes him mentally disturbed. As a result, Jean commits suicide. According to Aristotle, the tragedy of the character is the result of his ‘hamartia’. ‘Hamartia’ is a tragic flaw or the weaknesses of the character. In the story, Jean’s silent, shy, introvert, and inexpressive nature is his hamartia. Though both Luc and Jean love the girl, it is Luc who always takes initiation. It is he who initiates the conversation with the girl and also gives her the gift. Luc also meets her secretly. Jean, on the other hand, remains silent, does not take initiation, and just loves the girl silently. As a result, the girl is impressed not with Jean but with Luc and loves him. Jean can’t tolerate the girl loving his friend Luc and finally commits suicide under depression.

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