The story happened some time in December at a rural community or village where most of the people are peasants. The villages are the Varville, Saint-Hilaire, and Billettes.
II. Characters and Characterization:
1. Bell (Nicholas Toussaint) – a handicapped vagabond who suffered cruelness from the merciless people around him. 2. Baroness d’Avary – an old lady who helped Bell by giving him a place to sleep and food. 3. M. Chiquet – a ruthless, brutal and unsympathetic person who owns a farm. 4. Policemen – a vicious law enforcement officer.
5. Peasants – an ill-mannered/uneducated people who lives in a rural area.
a) Exposition –
Nicholas Toussaint also known as “Bell” is a vagabond who wanders in a village where peasants live. At the age of fifteen, Bell’s legs had been cut off by a carriage and since then, he had begged. He is a stranger to education and lives all by himself. Some villagers treat him as a friend but most of them talk to him only for the sake of a laughable story. Once, the kindhearted Baroness d’Avary let him sleep in a hut next to her castle and she’s always giving him a piece of bread and a glass of cider for him to eat. But now, she was dead, so Bell was back again to his old business of wandering around the village.
b) Complication –
The villagers knew Bell too well and they were tired of him. He has been a vagabond for forty years and he can’t go anywhere else because the village is the only place that he knew. Until a day came when the peasants ask him to look for another village where he can beg. He did not answer anything because of a vague fear and then the peasants started to be mad at him. When he saw a police patrolling, he suddenly developed an agility to escape and run away to a place where no one knows. He slept anywhere, no refuge, no roof, no shelter and no sufficient food for how many days. After that incident, every time the peasants see him coming, they will be annoyed, irritated, angry, and mean. No one wants to give him food anymore, no one wants to help him. He had nothing to eat and he was very hungry. He feels so stressed, rejected, confused and heavy.
c) Climax –
Bell was so exhausted and famished when he decided to rest in a ditch along M. Chiquet’s yard. While resting, he saw a flock of black hens passed him. Because of so much hunger, he didn’t think twice to put down one of the hens thinking that it was a good food to eat. When he came to the little dead hen, he received a terrible push in the back which sent him rolling ten steps forward. M. Chiquet, infuriated, saw how he killed the hen and he began to strike him with his fist and knee. The people of the farm help their master beat Bell and then they picked him up and carried him to the woodhouse while they went to get a policeman. M. Chiquet had claimed that he had been attacked by robbers and had defended himself with great difficulty. Bell, half-dead, was carried by the two policemen into the chief town in the district.
d) Resolution –
Bell was never been in the district. He did not exactly understand what’s happening and all that he can feel was fear and apprehension. He was too confused that he can’t even say a word. They shut him up in the town prison and did not give him anything to eat until the next day. The next morning, they went to question him, but they were shocked for what they‘ve found, Bell was lying on the ground, lifeless.
IV. Lesson Learned:
Humans are humans, whether they are complete or not, physically or mentally, they still have a sense of feeling. They can still feel happiness, sorrow, fear and pain. The two most important things that we can give them are understanding and support. We should not do any cruelness to them only because they are physically challenged, we should make them feel that they are still worthy and complete. V. Theme:
Malevolence and dread.
This is a very heartrending story. It reflects the current situations some of us are experiencing nowadays. It shows displeasure but at the same time inspiration. Displeasure to those who don’t know how to understand and inspiration because of the strength Bell showed that made him live for more than 40 years even with an incomplete body part.