Mr. Babel, in his story, transposes Maupassant's insight into empathy with humanity. When I first started reading Maupassant in college (in French), I was captivated. Two stories stay with me: "Boule de Suif" and another (I am not sure of the name) where a worker saves for months to take his family on a weekend outing. The family dons their best and the worker signs to stop the bus, yet the bus does not stop. In his factual way of rendering everyday life, Maupassant can break your heart. Read him.