A Vendetta by Guy de Moupossant

A Vendetta by Guy de Moupossant and the long trail written by Andree Checlid are two stories about revenge. They both discuss women who live in male dominated societies. Although the themes of the stories are basically the same they differ in many ways. ‘ A Vendetta’ describes an elderly woman who wanted revenge of her sons murderer where as the ‘Long Trail’ talks about a women who has nine children and her rebellion against her way of life.

A Vendetta is set in a small house on the

‘ ramparts of Bonifacio, Built on a spur of the mountain and in places overhanging the sea’

It is a small Italian town with fishing boats and white hillsides. The story is a bout a small elderly women

‘who is near her end’

She is old ,week and fragile. She lives her life for her son and totally depends on him. After the murder of her son she swears to herself, her son, and God that she would get her revenge. Her dog Semillante who stays with her after her sons death barked and howled at the foot of her masters bed.

‘All day long she sat at her window gazing at the opposite coast and thinking of her revenge, but what was she to do with no one to help her’

One night when semillante began to whine the widow had the inspiration to get her revenge on her sons killers. She then went to church and begged God to aid and support her. She then went home and started the process of getting her revenge. As her dog whined for food she gave it nothing but water for a couple of days. She then brought old clothes and dressed up a straw figure to look like a human. She baited the neck of the figure with steaming pudding, then she trained her dog to attack the throat of a human. After the training she got her revenge of her dead son.

A Long trail is set a busy, poor, religious and male dominated town. Amina is a women who lives in this town and has nine children. She’s tierd and worn . She feels as if her children wore her down. Her husband works hard to keep his family but doesn’t help Amina when he returns to the home.

One day Amina is very busy trying to control all of her children and keep them quite so they do not disturb their father who has just returned from work. Amina broke down into tears due to the pressure that overcome her. There was a knock at the door

‘who knocked’

said the voice of Zekr her husband. She open the door, and to her great surprise stood Hadj Osman. Hadj Osman was a holy man who people believed to create miracles. For many years he had been wandering the country begging for bread and freely giving his blessings. Villagers recognised him with a long black robe that he wore.

‘You honour our house, Holy Man. Enter!’

Amina’s prays had been answered. She had witnessed one of Hadj Osman’s miracles. A teenage girl that she knew always had fits and when Hadj Osman spoke a couple of words to her she became clam. Amina opened the door widely. Light inundated the room.

‘Enter, holy man. Our home is your home.’

The man excused himself, preferring to remain outside.

‘ Bring me some bread and water. I have made a long journey; my strength has left me.’

Amina gave the holy man the best flat cakes that she had in her house. She also gave him a jug of water. He took the flat cakes and the water. Amina smiled at him and then remembered that her husband didn’t like her outside for a long time. She took leave of the two men bowing to them.

‘May Allah heap blessings upon you may he bless you with seven more children.’

The holy man said. Amina flew to her knees and begged to the holy man

‘ take back your benediction!’

The holy man did not under stand why she wanted him to take back his benediction.

‘ Please I have 9 children already’

‘ I withdraw nothing’

Said the holy man. As Amina was begging to the holy man her husband came out and she started to get attention from the people passing by. Her husband stuck up for Amina and soon the whole village started to join in. The holy man would still not take back his benediction. The village then chased him out of there town and trampled him.

Both stories have similarities and differences;-


Both the widow and Amina are powerless over there lives, they are both ruled by there families and there religions. They both live in a Male dominated society were men rule the towns and what women do. There Religions are both important in each story. They are both set in a harsh environment, and they both use words or methods to get others to perform there revenge for them.


The widow in A Vendetta loves her son and wants to catch his killer were as Amina feels ground down and overcome by her children. The widows Revenge is personal but Aminas is against her way of life. The widow knows she will succeed in her revenge were as Aminas rebellion could cause a threat to her future.

The story structure of A vendetta shows the plan of the revenge and the ending is very easy to predict because it is the aim of the widow. The Long trail though does not give you an idea of what’s going to happen until Hadj Osman appears in the story and even then it is hard to predict.

Both stories describe what happened in harsh surroundings and they both show what would happen if someone stood up for their self in that sort of environment.