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The Necklace By Guy De Maupassant

1354 words - 5 pages

Honesty can prevent years of misery, guilt and regret which Guy de Maupassant depicts throughout “The Necklace.” Guy de Maupassant, a French writer, born in 1850, was considered one of France’s greatest short-story writers. His writings were mostly influenced by the divorce of his parents when he was thirteen years old and by great writers such as Shakespeare, Schopenhauer, and Flauber. His parent’s divorce caused his stories to depict unhappiness of matrimony, deceit, miscommunication, and a profound misunderstanding (Maupassant, Guy de, 1850-1893). In the short-story “The Necklace,” Madame Mathilde Loisel, an unhappy person living in Paris, France, is given an invitation to a party at the Ministerial Mansion, but she will not attend without a fancy dress to wear and fancy jewelry. Her husband tells her to borrow jewelry from her friend, Madame Forestier, but this ends up being her downfall. She borrows the necklace, and eventually loses it after the party. She ends up paying for it with 10 years of hard labor, only later to find out that it was a fake. In “The Necklace,” Maupassant proves the theme that things do not always turn out as one expects through the use of point of view, characterization, and irony.

Guy de Maupassant uses point of view in third person limited, where the reader only knows the thoughts of Madame Mathilde Loisel. “For her, it was all over. For him, there was the thought that he would have to be at the Ministry at ten o’clock” (Maupassant 230). Madame Loisel is never content with her lifestyle, being a part of the middle-class, unlike her husband who accepts the lifestyle and did not dwell on it. “She pretends through role-playing to be a member of the upper class, and her longings promote dissatisfaction with her middle-class life....In contrast, Monsieur Loisel is accepting of his social place” (Brackett). Many times people would expect that both spouses would have the same outlook on life but the Loisels did not. Mathilde is so miserable with the lifestyle that she lives, that one would expect it to change for the better, but in the end her lifestyle becomes worse and more wretched. Unlike most people’s response to go to a big party, “She answered, ‘It’s embarrassing not to have a jewel ...—nothing to wear on my dress. I’ll look like a pauper. I’d almost rather not go to the party.’ He answered, ‘... wear some flowers?’” (Maupassant 228). One would expect that Madame Loisel would be happy to be invited to a party, but she only focuses on being embarrassed about the way she looks. Most would think that the “Event and the dress are prerequisites for Madame Loisel's happiness, (but) she is ‘... miserable’ and seriously contemplates not going… because she lacks jewelry and ... (the) appearance of elegance and wealth” (Pierce). This is very different than the excited response her husband would expect, but he accepts it and suggests that she buy a couple of beautiful flowers and wear them instead of...

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