Analysis Conflict of two short stories; The Mask and The Diary of a Madman by Guy de Maupassant


  • Yayang Tedi Sobandi
  • Elfiondri Elfiondri
  • Femmy Dahlan


The analysis of a literary work as the object of the research is to observe detail of the component of internal and external in literary works such as short story. The internal component called the intrinsic element focuses on the text itself which is contains character, setting, plot, and conflict. In the other side, the external component which is called extrinsic element is focus on the surrounding environment such as social, and culture. In this research, to understand the literary works the data is required from the intrinsic element of the literary works itself. Hence, the purpose of the research is to analyze the character, setting, plot and conflict of two Short stories The Mask and The Diary of a Madman by Guy de Maupassant. According to Wellek and Warren (1977:159), the intrinsic approach is based on the approach of the text itself. It assumes that the research focuses on the intrinsic element of the text. Wellek and warren statement about the intrinsic approach it can be conclude that, the emphasize of this study is on the element of literary works; character, plot setting and conflict. Mario Klarer, (1998:15) stated the most important elements in literary works are character, setting, and plot. Those elements are taken as the important object of the research analysis based on Wellek and Warren theory about the intrinsic approach. In addition, Nurgiantoro (2000:225) propose that the setting condition of the story affect the characterization development of the character. On the other hand, certain characterization and behavior shown by a character portray where he come from. As a result, he will reflect the setting. Based on the explanation above, it shows the relation between the character and setting that support each other in the literary works. The object of this research is short stories The Mask and The Diary of a Madman by Guy de Maupassant. In order to get a deep understanding of literature such as the short story, the research must begin with data observation of the object of the research. Hence, the method of this research is descriptive qualitative method with structuralism to observe the data. The descriptive qualitative is collecting the data in the form of a word instead of a number. On the other side, structuralism is identifying the element by a look at the relation between the elements based on the data that has been acquired. The study applied close reading technique with procedure reading the short stories repeatedly, reading the literary critics on Maupassant short stories, finding out the conflict, selecting and picking up the data which related to the problem. According to the analysis data and studies, the result is character conflict in two short stories are related to the plot and setting in describe the stories. In The Mask, character, and conflict was described in the dialog between the characters supported by the setting. In the story, describing the old dancer as a person who cannot control his inner desire to conquer young girls. Because he has to keep his young appearance to be accepted by the environment, the old dancer conflicts with other characters which are Madeleine. It appears that his selfishness also hurting Madeleine who always had to listen to his affair story while in fact, that Madeleine is his wife. In The Diary of a Madman, the character also introduces by the dialog of character. The Madman needs to hide his conflict with his inner urge to pretend in the society that has different though with his beliefs. He believes that killing is the law of nature and it was our true self as a human being, but society believes that killing a living being is a crime. It also appears that the reason he has to hide his psychotic behavior was the place where he works. He is a higher magistrate in France which is well respected as the enemy of any criminal. The short stories describe the character in other character dialog and supported by describing the setting of place and time. The short stories also explain the setting and the conflict relation to building the story. In the mask, the party that frequently attends by the old dancer was the setting of place that becomes the trigger of the conflict between him and his wife Madeleine. The conflict appears because the old dancer still affected by his eccentric past life in his old age. On the other side, the diary of the madman describes the place where the main conflict happens. Begin with his first killing in his office, the second killing in the forest of Verne and the last killing by the river.
Keyword: Structuralism, Conflict, Maupassant, Short story

Author Biography

Yayang Tedi Sobandi

Jurusan Sastra Asia Timur