Analysis Of Guy De Maupassant’s The Necklace Through The Feminist Lens
Are men and women equal? Are we experiencing feminism nowadays? Is it important? Once a famous statesmen in Finland, Harri Holkeri, said that men and women have different roles yet their rights are absolutely equal. As a part of the Generation Z, I have seen so much advocacies that fight for gender equality, such that the campaigns of LGBTQ+ and Gabriela. Many people thought that feminist theory only tackles about women’s power and promotes the superiority among females. In real life, it focuses on the viewing different perspectives in society and finding a way to illuminate the unending inequality and mistreatment towards the two sexes – thus, it demands for equality and fair judgement. The theory’s aspect is to stop these social problems and issues towards women, on the other hand, irresponsible misidentification and being so overrated and dominant of male’s perspective in the history. According to Jennifer Carlson and Raka Ray (2018), feminist theory discusses both of the inequality of gender relations, at the same time, about the different structures of a man and a woman. As time passes by, every person’s perspective becomes fair and equitable for the both sexes, which is something that we need to be proud of. Basically, people thought that a woman is much weaker and has lesser rights and lower positions than a man in the previous years of our deepest history, they thought that a woman is just a person that can control the affairs in the house. However, people nowadays become fair to the two sexes, the mindset on the earlier years were gone and changed that women are much better than people think who they are and they can do everything that men can done. It just proves that they are much more than just a housewife.
The story of “The Necklace” highlights men’s power with all of the things and they have the control on every woman’s decision. Using feminist theory, it discusses the relationship between a male who has the power on everything and a female who only has the right to manage the events of the home. The author narrates Mathilde Loisel, the protagonist, as one of the pretty and charming girls in the town. Mathilde is married to a clerk and unhappy with what she has in her life. She confidently believes that she is a blessed woman with a beautiful physical appearance that is why she thought that she deserves nothing but all of the luxuries in the world. On the other hand, according to the story, she is unaccomplished and not wealthy at all. In “The Necklace”, she was described as being insubstantial and materialistic, just like what is in the story, “She had no clothes, no jewels, nothing. And these were the only things she loved; she felt that she was made for them”, meaning, she is too desperate for wealth. The lady in the story is under the patriarchal society where women have lesser rights that men. She portrays the role of being a woman in the public for the past hundred years: a housewife.
The patriarchal society where Mathilde grew affects her attitude and personalities. Because she is a lady who is in the world where society focuses in man’s power, she has almost no control in her life. As seen in the story, Mrs. Loisel thought that wealthiness is based upon on how many luxurious things you have, such that jewelries with different sizes of stones and shining diamonds and has a lot of elegant clothes that is appropriately wearable at any affairs. Just like on how she declined the invitation that her husband gave her, she does not like to wear the dress that she just wore the last time they went to the theatre and how she rejected her husband’s offer about her by wearing flowers into the party and described herself looking poor in the middle of rich women. Mathilde wants to look good and she is something that is basing her physical appearance by how many luxury accessories she has in her body. Her husband, Monsieur Loisel, is completely the opposite of Mathilde. He is very thankful with every single thing he has and contented on how he was blessed with small joys that he encounters in his life. Nevertheless, he has the one who is controlling his wife. Mathilde, in the story, is incapable of using her right in making decisions. Monsieur decides every happening in their marriage. Each and every decision depends on the husband – Monsieur was the one who gives idea to his wife to borrow necklace to Madame Forestier just for her to look good at the prestigious event, he also told Mathilde to lie about losing the diamond necklace and tell Madame Forestier that she only broke the clasp of the necklace instead, and his decision to borrow moneys just to replace the lost necklace and pay back the damage that his wife done. The husband was the one who is making decisions and has dominant role in marriage, Mathilde, at the same time, cannot do anything because she is under the man. What she only wants is to be wealthy and to be in the man’s shoe. I, having a feminist lens, think that it is how the society viewed the two sexes before. It is unequal and unfair. Power is something that is in the husband’s hands and Mathilde is obviously under Monsieur. She has no right to make any decisions in their marriage and in her life at all.
Using the point of view of a Feminist, the central theme of the story is all about underrating women’s power. The story features Monsieur’s control in everything and hard works just to replace the lost necklace. However, by looking at my perspective, I think even a woman can do that. Even a woman can do everything that a man can do. Mathilde can do what Monsieur does, on the other hand, the lady is restricted because she is that typical dutiful housewife who only have the power to control nothing but their house. It just happens to be like that owning the fact that the story that was read is facing patriarchal society.
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