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The Development Of Irony In Guy De Maupassant's "The Necklace"

538 words - 2 pages

Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace" is situational ironywritten in 1884. The story was written in a time when there were verydistinct social classes primarily determined by one's birth. It is abouta woman who can not come to terms with her position in the middleclass. Although she knows she can not escape her class, sherefuses to accept it gracefully. It is through Matilde that Maupassantdevelops the story's irony. This is reflected through Matilde'sdaydreaming, which only serves to torment her, the loss of thenecklace borrowed for show, which only worsens their economicposition, and finally, their unnecessary sacrifice.The irony begins with Matilde's frequent daydreaming. She is abeautiful and charming woman who feels "herself destined for alldelicacies and luxuries" (4). Fate, however, placed her among themiddle class where life was very simple. For her, the only means toa more affluent class was through her imagination. She dreams of"large silent anterooms, expensive silks and of achievement and famethat would make her the envy of all other women" (4). What she failsto realize is that these daydreams only make her more dissatisfiedwith her real life. As a result, she becomes more focused on whatshe does not have rather than what she does have.Contributing to the irony is the borrowed necklace. Matilde'shusband brings a coveted dinner invitation home, and her firstreaction is concern for appearances. She tells her husband that theycan not possibly go because she has "nothing to wear" (5). Herhusband agrees to buy her a new dress. This, however, is notenough for Matilde; she needs jewelry. She explains that, withoutjewelry, she will appear "shabby...

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