In the short story of Mother Savage by Guy de Maupassant, we learn of what life was like for a widowed mother whose only son goes off to war, the setting taking place in Virelogne, France during the Franco-Prussian war. Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893) lived during this time and participated in the war himself. Through Historical, Biographical, and New Historical critical analysis of the author, and the time period, we will see that the effects of the war and how it greatly influenced this piece of literature. .
Formally known as Guy de (Henri René Albert) Maupassant, he was a French novelist and short-story writer. He is deemed one of the modern masters of the art of the short story and has influenced practitioners of that genre from his time to the present. (Guy de Maupassant Encarta Encyclopedia 2001. CD-ROM. Microsoft Electronic Publishing, 2001).
Maupassant did not grow up a natural writer; In fact he did not consider a literacy career until he was almost thirty years old. Before this, he studied law in Paris, but the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871, which destroyed his family's fortune and forced Maupassant to find work as a government office clerk, interrupted his studies. To divert himself from the office work he found tedious, he swam, boated, pursued feminine company at fashionable places, and began to write.
His parents separated when he was 11 years old. Maupassant grew up in his native Normandy. In 1869 Maupassant started to study law in Paris, but soon, at age 20, he volunteered to serve in the army during Franco-Prussian War. (http://www.online-literature.com/maupassant/ Literature Network).
This comes into play when in the text it says: "When the war broke out, Mother Savage's son, who was then thirty three years old, volunteered, leaving his mother all alone. However, no one felt sorry for the old woman because everybody knew she had money."" The author himself also volunteered to fight with the French army.