Blue and White (Maupassant)

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Blue and White
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: Two friends rowed out to sea, discussing a newspaper article about a devastating avalanche, while admiring the beauty of the snowy mountains and the Mediterranean coast.

A man and his friend Pol went for a boat ride on the Mediterranean Sea. As they rowed away from the shore, they admired the beautiful white villas and the green mountain that rose above the town.

The Narrator — narrator; enjoys rowing and spending time with his friend Pol.
Pol — friend of the narrator; reads a newspaper article about a tragic avalanche.

The man instructed the sailor to row further out to sea, and Pol began to read a newspaper article about a terrible avalanche in the valley of Aosta. The article described the destruction of several villages and the tragic deaths of many people.

The news from Pie’mont is terrible. The avalanches have destroyed eighteen villages.

As they continued to row, they noticed the enormous white mountain behind the green one, which seemed to grow larger with every stroke of the oar. The man pointed out the snow to Pol, and they contemplated the mountain and the terrible destruction it had caused.

It must be a terrible death, to be buried alive under that crushing mass!

Pol then shared a story about a man named Jules Radier, who had used snow to wash his feet after a ball in order to impress a woman. Eventually, the sailor grew tired and stopped rowing. The man instructed him to turn back, and as they neared the coast, the white mountain disappeared behind the green one. The town and the villas reappeared, and the boat glided back to shore, leaving the man and Pol with a new appreciation for the beauty and power of nature.