A Piece of String

Tim Gadwell Ms. Bryant April 12, 2010 Period 1-B Pg. 953 Essay In the story “A Piece of String” the story focuses on an old man named Maitre Houchecome. The story goes through a certain timeline of cause and effect which in the end results in his demise. Then on top of that he was said to have a bad experience with lying in the past. The events in the story had coincidentally occurred in sequential order rather than occurring at random times. The causes in the story produced more effects than one. IT all starts when Market Day occurs and as a result farmers and gardeners were all taking their possessions they were ready to sell to get money.

Maitre Houchecome was walking towards the public square when he stopped and saw a piece of string lying on the ground. The story says Houchecome was economically like a true Norman. So as he bends over to pick up the string his back is hurting due to his reumatism and then he notices his arch nemesis Maitre Maladain, the Harness-Maker. Because Houchecome and Maladain were not on good terms with each other Houchecome felt that he needed to watch what he was doing at all times so he didn’t look stupid in front of Maladain.

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This choice Houchecome made showed that he was a very pride filled person and worried what people thought about him especially Maladain. Houchecome then picks up the string but then tries to conceal it so that Maladain does not se what he grabbed. He thought that Maladain would surely judge him for picking up a useless thing like that. As the day went by people were finishing up there sales and all of them went into a restaurant to eat due to the all the sales they went through.

Then when they finish an announcer walks up and says that Someone lost their pocketbook (wallet) that morning along the road of Benzeville, containing 500 francs. Then the police had come and specifically asked for Maitre Houchecome and they escorted him the Mayor’s office where he learns that he was suspected of stealing the wallet. This is where cause and effect ties in, because Houchecome was acting weird and didn’t want Maladain to see what he was picking up Maladain suspected that he took the wallet and went and told the Mayor.

Also because Houchecome had lied in the past it made it very hard to believe that he was innocent. Also because he was suspected he turned out his pockets and grew very angry with them. Again because of his past it made the townspeople believe that he took the wallet. This made him plead his innocence but his words were empty in the ears of the townspeople. Then the wallet gets found and still no one believes him because they think that he had a partner that had the wallet and then turned it back in to prove his innocence.

The townspeople found this situation very humorous from the jump and kept teasing him and poking fun at him. This troubled Houchecome very much and he thought night and day of how to make people believe that he was innocent. He was said to have gone home ashamed indignant and was choking with anger and confusion. The situation consumed his heart and made him wear himself out for no particular reason and then he wasted away. Even in the end he was very troubled and pleaded his innocence while he was dying.

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