Character Change in “The Jewelry”

There have been many times in literature where writers will change the attitudes or beliefs of the main character of their story. Writers can do this a number of ways. They use things like tragic events or a change in setting to be the reason why a character changes. In Guy de Maupassant’s “The Jewelry,” the main character’s attitudes change multiple times throughout the story.

The story begins with the narrator describing how the main character, M. Lantin, fell in love and married the girl of his dreams.

He adores her so much that it is written that, “six years he married her, he loved her even more than he did the first day” (69). In fact, Lantin almost finds his wife to be flawless. The only faults that he finds in her are her love for the theatre and her passion for false jewelry. Lantin never understands his wife’s fondness towards fake jewelry.

They cannot afford real jewelry and it seems as though Lantin wants to save her the embarrassment of parading around with fake jewelry.

He tells her that she is better off wearing no jewelry so that she can show off her natural beauty and elegance. However, she does not listen to him and continues to wear her fake jewelry. At this point in the story, M. Lantin seems to be a stress-free man who is enjoying life with the girl of his dreams. He is not a rich man by any means, but, the love he shares with his wife fulfills his every need. Then, tragedy strikes. Lantin’s wife catches pneumonia one night after the Opera and dies eight days later.

After the death of his wife, Lantin’s character changes from a careless man to a soul in despair. The narrator describes his anguish by saying, “His despair was so frightful that in one single month his hair turned white. He wept from morning till night, feeling his heart torn by inexpressible suffering-ever haunted by the memory of her, by the smile, by the voice, by all the charm of the dead woman” (70-71). hair has turned white in a single month. Lantin suffers day and night and is haunted by the mere memory of his wife. He keeps his wife’s bedroom exactly the same and as time goes by, his memory of her remains strong. Lantin ends up getting into debt and losing all his money.

The first thing that comes to his mind is to sell his wife’s jewelry. The jewelry; which he does not think will bring him much money, has become an object of loathing and distant memories of his late wife. After rummaging through most of her items, Latin finds his wife’s pearl necklace that he thinks might be only worth a few francs. He goes into a jewelry store to sell it. There, he finds out that it is real, and that it is worth a substantial amount of money.

He goes into another jewelry store to receive a second opinion. To Lantin’s astonishment, not only is the necklace real, but the second store that he entered was the exact store where his wife bought the necklace for a substantial amount of money. It is here where Lantin’s character changes from being a sad and sorrowful man to a puzzled fellow searching for answers. This is evidenced in the text when Lantin is pondering to himself how his wife came across the money to buy such an expensive piece of jewelry. Maupassant describes Lantin’s puzzled mind by writing “He tried to reason, to understand. His wife could never have bought so valuable an object as that.

Certainly not. But then, it must have been a present! A present from whom? What for?” (72-73) Lantin is so bewildered by these events that he barely makes it home for the night. The next morning, he goes out and realizes he has no money to get anything to eat. Lantin then remembered the substantial amount of money that the jeweler had offered him for the pearl necklace.

He then returns to the jewelry store to tell the jeweler the necklace. While at the jewelry store, Lantin remembers that his wife had lots of other jewelry that might be worth a lot of money as well. He collects her other jewelry and sells it all to the jeweler. Lantin receives 196,000 francs for all of his late wife’s jewelry.

At this point, Lantin’s mood changes again. He completely forgets his sorrows and no longer questions where his wife got the money for such expensive jewelry. The only emotions that Lantin is experiencing are ecstasy and sheer excitement. The text describes how Lantin’s desire was to “yell out to the passers-by ‘I am rich, too-I am! I have 200,000 francs!’ (74).” Lantin quits his job and dines at the finest restaurant. The story ends with Maupassant describing Lantin’s final mood change. Lantin marries a woman six months later with a terrible temper.

The story ends by saying that Lantin’s new wife, “made his life very miserable. (75)” Guy de Maupassant changed Lantin’s mood multiple times in a short amount of time. From the happiness of his first marriage; to the sorrow after her tragic death; to the bewilderment that he experienced when he discovered that his late wife’s jewelry was real and how much it was worth; to the delight in the riches he acquired from selling it all, and finally to the final misery he lives through because of his new wife.

It was brilliant stories by Maupassant because it showed his character go through so many emotions in such a short amount of time. Maupassant’s readers are bound to relate to at least of these emotions that Lantin experiences. This helps make the story more appealing and relatable. It is the reason why most writers use character change in their stories.

Work Cited
Maupassant, Guy de. “The Jewelry.” In The Norton Introduction to Literature. 10th ed. Alison Booth and Kelly J. Mays. W.W. Norton and Company, Inc. 2011. 69, 70-71, 72-73, 74, 75.

“Gift Of The Magi” And “The Necklace”

The two short stories, “The gift of the Magi” written by O. Henry and “The necklace written by Guy de Maupassant are both composed of two young, beautiful women Mathilde and Della. Even though they are in different composed stories that have similar characteristics that convey throughout the story such as, they are both emotionally and financially depressed, have loving husbands, and both want to achieve something in an extreme manner. Throughout much the stories there similarities interact with each other, however there differences shine as strong as there will to survive through the depths of life.

For example, Mathilde expresses her repetitive unappreciative remarks on life little pleasures. “She grieved over the shabbiness of her apartment, the dinginess of the walls, the worn-out appearance of the chairs, the ugliness of the draperies” is an example of recessive comments in which she complains that she should be treated like gold (de Maupassant 202). Her comments create the fact that her caliber of royalty should not be mistreated.

Though she lives in a filthy cottage, which she calls home. Her emotions on life have gone in a realty world where she should be treated like a king. Her envies of better quality life style have turned into a disease, where she must have the finest jewels, tapestries in the world. Her cravings of excessive attention have made her gone into a state of addiction. Mme. Loisel was greedy, dishonest, and did not love her husband. She was a huge complainer who was always looking for attention, and often used people.

In addition, Mathilde Loisel is a character that has much pride in her. It is her motivation to act throughout the story, and it is the key to her downfall. Mathilde downfall comes into place when she does not tell Mrs. Forrestier that she lost her necklace. Mathilde does not gush out confessions and prostrating herself while pleading for forgiveness, she takes the responsibility for her mistakes by replacing Mrs. Forrestier’s necklace. De Maupassant shows her qualities in the introduction, the incident, and the poverty she endures. At the beginning of the story Mathilde pride is so strong that she does not want to face reality. Reality meaning the husband she has and the small household she resumes in. So in order to reject reality she turns to her dreams in which she has the life of ease and riches. Pride comes to place when she is complaining to her husband about the way hey live and how she deserves more than this. When they discover that they have been invited to a big party, she feels she must live up to her pride.

Knowing without a doubt that they have no money, she wants to have a beautiful dress and along with the dress she gets a radiant necklace from Mrs. Forrestier. The incident in which Mathilde loses the necklace plays an active role in Mathlide’s pride. Mathilde refuses to endure embarrassment by telling Mrs. Forrestier that she lost her necklace, so she goes and replaces the necklace. Her pride will not let her stoop so low into apologizing, pleading for forgiveness for nothing, instead her pride tells her that she is capable of replacing the necklace, and so she does. Her pride dreadfully leads her into destitution lifestyle, something she is not most proud of. The reality of her life becomes more realistic than ever. She is plunged into poverty, and drudgery that will take away her prized youth and beauty, never to return, but yet she still has her pride.

At the end after all the debts are all paid, she sees Mrs. Forrestier, who by the way does not recognize her, tells her about the incident and what she had to do to pay the money, and discovers that the necklace was nothing more than a fake. Mathilde is a character that has a pride so strong that she doesn’t notice until her pride hits her with retribution, by leading her to poverty. She sees her responsibility for losing the necklace, and she had enough sense of self-sacrifice to pay for restoring it. She sacrifices “with pride” not only her position, but also her youth and beauty. Pride plays a crucial role in Mathilde life, role that stands strong and proud, but yet its so crucial that it drives Mathlide’s fate. Furthermore, Mathilde had begun to change. Physically, “she had become the strong, hard, rude, woman of poor households. ” (209).

But also there was a change on the inside, too. Sometimes she still sat and thought about her moment of glory and then thought about what her life would have been like if she would have never lost the necklace. She realized that her selfishness and desire to be “on top” had caused her to experience the major down fall that she did. She also realized that she was at rock bottom now, her and her husband both, and she had put them there. A Mathilde dream of unattainable wealth and comfort yet, fails to see that her dream life ends up harming her real life. Maupassant does and excellent job of showing the transformation of Mathilde’s character from a person who is selfish and ungrateful to a person who realizes that her mistakes and pays for it the rest of her life. Even though the story is fiction, Maupassant has made it believable and lifelike. Someone reading this story could benefit greatly from it. We all must deal with selfishness at some point in our lives. Why not learn from other people’s mistakes, fiction or not.

On the other hand, Della is a thoughtful person, sacrificed their most prized possessions for one another. They did this in order to buy each other nice Christmas presents. Della’s most prized possession was her beautiful hair that she cut off and sold for the money. For example, she uses her time and patience to give a thoughtful present to her loving husband. She is very much appreciative of her husband and is willing to accept him as her confidence and with this time of financial depression she uses him as a guide through the dark times and does not complain at all (203-204). Also, Della does the imaginable by cutting her long, beautiful hair to please her husband so that he can have a Christmas to remember (203).

She is a person who will not let a little downfall get in her way for her husband and her to a have a wonderful and joyous celebration. She a not a selfish person, instead she is magnanimous, and considerate to the fullest extent. Even though her beauty is lost, she gained love and compassionate feeling from her husband, and it what counts more than gifts. Finally, Della is chivalrous and an honorable being. Instead uses all her might and strength to create the best Christmas ever. Lately, she is much deprived of many of her daily things, however her cutting her hair makes her to care for her husband more than she cares for herself. She would rather have her husband have a Merry Christmas, likewise for the husband.

In conclusion, the short stories, “The Gift of the Magi” and “The Necklace”, deal with two women’s struggles to make someone else happy and how fulfilling your own wants can hurt you. The difference between these stories is how when push came to shove, the way the characters chose to spend their money. These two interesting and ironic stories revolve around one main character. They both try to make their lives or someone else’s life better by using money.

Historical and Cultural Stance in The Necklace

Guy de Maupassant’s short story The Necklace is famous in its own way of revealing and illustrating the historical context and situation of women in the 19th century. The author reveals the behavior and restraints of women as they struggle to identify themselves in a male dominated society. This theme can also be observed in the story of The Yellow Wallpaper written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman wherein she uncovers the mental and emotional effects of male dominance and social pressure to women.

Gilman’s work is comparable to de Maupassant’s piece as it both discusses the pressures that the society brings to women. In The Necklace, social status becomes the primary instigator of misery in the character of Madame Loisel while in The Yellow Wallpaper; it is the entire domination and ascendancy of men that causes the mental instability of the narrator. Women restrictions, male dominance, and social class are only several of the thematic elements in The Necklace which makes it a socially awakening piece.

These elements are further supported with a comparative analysis of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper. Historical and Cultural Stance in The Necklace in Relation to The Yellow Wallpaper There are undeniable comparisons in the story of Guy de Maupassant’s The Necklace and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper when it comes to the theme of feminism and social structure of the 19th century. Since both stories were published in the late 1800s, it focused more on the social structure of the 19th century when women were unfortunately treated as lesser creatures than men.

In the story of The Necklace, Madame Loisel, a beautiful and ambitious young woman is invited in the ministry’s ball with her husband. However, Madame Loisel becomes hesitant because she knows that many significant and rich people in the society will be present. She and her husband are not in any way, rich. In the introductory part of the story, the author describes her as “one of those pretty and charming girls born, as though fate had blundered over her, into a family of artisans” (de Maupassant).

De Maupassant already provides historical and cultural background in the first paragraph of the story as he literally describes the role of women in the 19th century France. He discusses how Madame Loisel feels miserable with her poor situation society “for women have no caste or class, their beauty, grace, and charm serving them for birth or family” (de Maupassant). This description of women in the story reveals their limited role in the society, thus, presenting the concept of women’s restrictions in the society.

De Maupassant further solidifies this reality by adding how “their natural delicacy, their instinctive elegance, their nimbleness of wit, are their only mark of rank” (de Maupassant). This concept of restriction of women is quite comparable with the description of Charlotte Perkins Gilman in her story, The Yellow Wallpaper. It is a story about the wickedness of confinement. In the story, the narrator’s husband locked her inside the room with the yellow wallpaper because he believed that she would be cured of her post-partum depression due to recently giving birth.

He thought he could cure her by means of rest cure treatment. In result, the wife resorts and depends on the images that the yellow wallpaper provides her. She begins to see images crawling and creeping inside it and starts hallucinating, thus, worsening the mental state of the wife. The story is an entire symbolism of women being manipulated fully by men. The husband’s way of taking charge of his wife’s mental health signifies the concept of male domination in the story.

“If a physician of high standing, and one’s own husband, assures friends and relatives that there is really nothing the matter with one but temporary nervous depression—a slight hysterical tendency—what is one to do? ” (Gilman). The narrator’s question reveals the powerlessness of a woman in her society if a “physician of higher standing” whom she refers as a man has already made a conclusion and solution against her will. In a thorough analysis, the husband symbolizes the patriarchal ascendancy that restricts women’s lives.

They are expected to always follow and obey their husbands and fathers as they are believed to know the best for everyone. The husband’s act of confining her represents male dominance in the society. The woman behind the wallpaper is the narrator herself. Being confined alone in the room only provides herself as the only company that she has. The wallpaper becomes the mirror of the narrator’s situation as she sees her situation and the situation of other women struggling free from the “cage” which has already formed in the patterns of the wallpaper.

In this regard, similar to De Maupassant, Gilman wishes to symbolize the confinement to the current situation of women of the 19th century who are locked up in their role as merely wives and mothers. They are exclusive to domestic purposes only without any right to identify themselves as individual people. The story wishes to open people’s mind in the dangers of restricting women not only literally but also in the sociological and mental aspect.

It aims to convey that this confinement can risk a person’s mental and physical health as portrayed by the psychosis brought about in the narrator’s mind as she struggles inside the room with the yellow wallpaper. In the case of The Necklace’s Madame Loisel, unlike the narrator in The Yellow Wallpaper, she is mentally stable however; it can be considered that she becomes disillusioned by her own ambitiousness. She becomes too obsessed with the idea of fitting in the social circle that she goes as far as buying an expensive dress and borrowing a diamond necklace to attract the high-class people in the ministry’s ball.

She danced madly, ecstatically, drunk with pleasure, with no thought for anything, in the triumph of her beauty, in the pride of her success, in a cloud of happiness made up of this universal homage and admiration, of the desires she had aroused, of the completeness of a victory so dear to her feminine heart. (de Maupassant). Simply put, the narrator and Madame Loisel are two different types of women of the 19th century. They are very different in terms of personality and mental state but their similarity lies within the fact that they are the results of a male dominated and pressure-filled society.

The narrator is constrained to obedience because of her authoritative husband while Madame Loisel is pressured by the high demands of social status. It is clear even today that social status is essential to some ambitious women especially with the French women. Social gatherings are very frequent events where women usually dress up to gain attention and increase their popularity. In Madame Loisel’s situation, she becomes miserable because of her dissatisfaction in life. “She suffered from the poorness of her house, from its mean walls, worn chairs, and ugly curtains.

All these things, of which other women of her class would not even have been aware, tormented and insulted her” (de Maupassant). Gilman, on the other hand, uses imagery and psychoanalysis to express her political idealism about the inequality of marriage where women are always regarded as less capable than men are; therefore, it restricts them of self-expression. The aim to go higher and establish a particular identity is the general conflict of women which is both present in the story of The Necklace and The Yellow Wallpaper.

Conclusion The historical and cultural context of Guy de Maupassant’s The Necklace is further supported by Charlotte Perkins Gilman work. The comparisons are towards the main female characters of the two stories and their struggle to find their identity in their society. The Yellow Wallpaper of Gilman is the perfect complement to brace the historical and cultural context of The Necklace. The fact that both stories are published in the late 1800s is an essential element that solidifies the ideas presented in the texts about women.

Despite the differences between the major characters in the stories, several considerations about other aspects such as their mindsets are comparable in some way. They are both disillusioned by a male dominated society that such a culture and tradition regarding women are to be maintained. Works Cited De Maupassant, Guy. “The Necklace. ” Classic Short Stories. 19 April 2009. <http://www. classicshorts. com/stories/necklace. html> Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. The Yellow Wallpaper. 19 April 2009. <http://www. library. csi. cuny. edu/dept/history/lavender/wallpaper. html>

The Diamond Necklace

In The Diamond Necklace by Guy de Maupassant, Matilda one of the main characters is very frustrated with how her life is. She was born a very elegant woman but in here day and age women are not recognized on a social scale. Unfortunately she was born into a family of clerks, no way to become recognized for her true beauty. When old enough she married a petty clerk from the Board of Education. Throughout the story Matilda’s outlook on life and her way of life in general changes.

First, Matilda was “One of those pretty, charming, young ladies” (PG. 1) who was very disappointed because there was no way she could climb higher in the ladder of society. She was capable of much more including all the riches, jewelry, castles, and delicacies of an upper class wife. Unfortunately being born into her lower class family Matilda was stuck in her apartment with “the shabby walls, worn chairs, and faded fabrics” (PG.

11). As she had married a petty clerk her life wasn’t looking to get much better, she would visit one of her former schoolmates who had all the luxuries she desired.

Upon returning she would “weep for whole days afterward, from misery, regret, disappointment, and despair” (PG. 12). Matilda was not very happy with the life she was living. One evening her husband came home with an envelope, Matilda opened it to find it was an invitation to an affair at the Ministers residence. At first Matilda was enraged, as she didn’t have the proper gowns to wear making there no reason for her to be excited. As her husband had not thought of this he asked, “how much would a suitable dress cost? ” (PG. 12). Matilda came to the conclusion that to get something nice enough it would cost four hundred francs.

At first her husband was shocked as this was a lot of money and he had just saved up this amount to go hunting with his friends the following summer. After slight hesitation he insisted she take the money to get a gown. As she was delighted the ball was quickly approaching, as the next issue came up she realized that she had no elegant jewelry to go with her new dress. Distraught and annoyed her husband could sense some was up, they argued a little bit and by the end her husband had the great idea that she “go and find her friend Mme.

Forestier and ask her to lend some of her jewels” (PG. 12). Matilda very excited by her husband’s idea rushed to her friends house the next day, she found a necklace that was so beautiful that it made her “hands tremble” (PG. 13). Matilda then proceeded to go to the ball having the time of her life, “She danced enthusiastically, passionately, intoxicated with pleasure” (PG. 14) afterwards she was rushed home due to the embarrassment of being seen with her everyday wrap around her gown rather then lavishing in furs.

Upon getting undressed and taking one last look in the mirror of herself she realized the necklace was gone. Matilda being to shocked remained at home while her husband went and looked for the necklace, he returned in the early morning hours without the necklace. When Matilda realized she was not going to find the necklace she went around to multiple jewelers trying to find a replica necklace, finally she found one that would cost her thirty-six thousand francs. They did everything they could to get the money and as soon as they could they replaced Mme. Forestier’s necklace.

Upon returning Ms. Forestier was very unpleased saying, “You should have returned it to me sooner. I might have needed it. ” (PG. 15). Matilda now lead a new life, working any job she could to pay off the massive debt she now had, they sold everything she owned and lived with the bare minimum. Now that they were broke she even “clothed like a working-class woman” (PG. 15), changing her whole outlook on life. This life lasted Matilda and her husband a whole ten years, at the end of this decade they were both very weathered as Matilda looked much more weathered then before. Mme. Loisel looked old now. She had become a hard, strong woman, the crude woman of the poor household. ”(PG. 15) One day she was walking in the Champs-Elysees as she came across Mme. Forestier, very excited to see her she approached her.

At first Ms. Forestier didn’t recognize her but as Matilda informed her who she was she figured it out. They began to talk and Matilda decided to explain to her the story about the necklace and all the hardship she had been through. Ms. Forestier in shock then told Matilda that he certain necklace was only worth five hundred francs. Throughout the changes of events in Matilda’s life, Matilda also changes. From the snobby wife who thought she deserved better, to the riches she thought she deserved right back to the other side of the spectrum. Matilda grew to have a different outlook on life and respect what she had a little more then she did before. The events in her life taught her lesson’s, which in turn made her, a different person then she was. Matilda changed throughout the story making her a dynamic character.

Comparing and Contrasting “The Necklace” and “The Gift of the Magi”

The main character in The Necklace’s, and the main character in The Gift of the Magi’s, personalities differ from one another vastly. In The Necklace, the main character Mathilde Loisel is an ungrateful middle class woman who seeks riches and admiration. Alternatively, the main character in The Gift of the Magi, Della Young, is compassionate and works very hard to buy her husband a present, and ultimately, selling the one thing that was more precious to her than anything else, her hair.

Mathilde is selfish, and when her friend, Madame Foreister is sympathetic enough to let her borrow her jewelry, Mathilde asks rudely, “Haven’t you anything else?” (Maupassant, ¶39). In contrast, Della is very appreciative when she receives a hairpin, and is very unselfish when giving away her hair to buy a present for her husband. Mathilde and Della are also both remotely poor. In the beginning of The Necklace, Mathilde and her husband were pretty well off, not too rich, and very simple.

But at the end of the story, they are dirt poor, having spent 10 years paying debts. On the other hand, Della started out fairly poor, only being able to gather $1.87 for a Christmas present, but enjoyed life all the same. These two women are also unlike one another because of how they treat their husbands. When thinking about what to get her husband Jim, Della thought, “Something fine and rare and sterling–something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.” (Henry, ¶6) This quote shows how much Della loves her husband, and how she thinks it is the best thing in the world to be his, and to be married to him. Meanwhile, instead of feeling like her husband “won” her heart, Mathilde feels like she settled for him. She shows these feelings for her husband when O. Henry writes “…and she let herself be married off to a little clerk in the Ministry of Education.” (Maupassant, ¶1).

Madame Loisel also does not show gratitude towards her husband when he acquired the tickets to the party, and when he spent all that money buying her a dress when he really could have bought something for himself. On the other hand, Mrs. Young is very flattered when her husband buys her a present, even one that she has no use for. Both The Necklace’s, and The Gift of the Magi’s, endings are ironic. In The Necklace, Mathilde and her husband spend most of their young life paying off a huge debt because of a diamond necklace that she had lost. 10 years later, she ran into the friend from whom she borrowed the necklace from, and found out that the necklace they thought was thirty-six thousand francs was only five hundred.

The Gift of the Magi ended in a more comical irony than The Necklace’s cynical irony. Della had cut her long, lushes hair to buy Jim a chain for his pocket watch, and Jim sold his prized pocket watch to buy Della a lavish pin for her hair. The Young couple didn’t mind that they both bought something the other one no longer needed, they were just happy to have each other. People are confronted with choices every day, and in The Necklace by Guy De Maupassant and The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry, the main characters make subconscious choices to act selfish, or to act grateful.

Madame Loisel from “The Necklace”

Madame Loisel is unhappy since she repents of her social standing. Madam Loisel has actually constantly dreamed of an elegant life with servants and such, and is unhappy because she is not rich. She ends up being a lot more upset when she is invited to a ball. It upsets her since she thinks she has nothing to use which is appropriate for the occasion. Then she is upset due to the fact that she does not have appropraite precious jewelry.

However the base of both of those complaints is that she is dissatisfied in her social standing. She was a quite and lovely girl, who thought that she should have been born into a life of high-end. However rather, she was born with parents who were “staff members.” Because of this, she was disappointed with everything about her life. She did not like the way her home looked, she did not like the food they had. She was not even pleased with her maid since she wasn’t high class enough either.

She believes that if all her things were high class, she ‘d more than happy.

It is perfectly natural for people to want what they can’t have, whether it is an expensive item of some kind of forbidden fruit. Such is the case with Madame Loisel in Guy de Maupassant’s shortMme. Loisel was envious of her friend and anyone else who had more than what she had. She felt that she deserved these things.

My first example of Mathilde Loisel’s selfishness is “She had no clothes, no jewels, nothing. And these were the only things she loved; she felt that she was made for them.” (p.133). These sentences show how materialistic Mathilde is and how selfish she is for caring only about gaining these things for herself. She didn’t show any care for her husband who despite their humble living, seemed to be a caring and loving husband who kept a positive attitude about things. She held her love for materialistic objects so high that it consumed her and occupied her mind. My second example of Mathilde’s selfishness is “Nothing. Only I haven’t a dress and so I can’t go to this party.

The Necklace: Summary/Central Idea/Character Analysis

In the short story “The Necklace” the author Guy de Maupassant portrays a character named Mathilde Loisel who married a clerk and had delusions of being rich. One day her husband brings her an invitation to go to a formal party but refuses to go because she has no dress or jewelry. So her husband buys her a dress and she borrows a diamond necklace from her friend. At the party she amazes everyone like she dreamed it and in the end lost her friends diamond necklace.

She searches for it but comes up with nothing so her and her husband must buy a new one that put them in debt only to find out the necklace she replaced was an imitation. The central idea is that a sense of false pride, greed and envy can lead to a person’s destruction.

The main character Mathilde Loisel is the perfect example of the central idea stated. She has a fair life, a roof over her head, loving husband, and food.

But because of her false pride she wants more than what she has. : “Aha! Scotch broth! What could be better?” she imagined delicate meals, gleaming silver, tapestries peopling the walls with folk of a past age” This sentence shows the yearning of a better life, but also gives hints to how she thinks. She converts the Scotch broth into a depiction of delicate meals, showing that her view of materialistic things can change everything.

In this sentence, “No . . . there’s nothing so humiliating as looking poor in the middle of a lot of rich women.” she really shows the false pride she has for herself, she wouldn’t dare go to a party with roses, she would prefer something more suitable to her way of thinking. Once she gets her jewelry she does an action that more than likely leads to her losing said jewelry. “She was conscious of this and was anxious to hurry away, so that she should not be noticed by the other women putting on their costly furs.” This prideful action resulted in the loss of her friends jewelry and her living her life worse than what she had.

The supporting character Mr. Loisel serves the function of really enhancing the way Mathilde is by being the opposite of her. Mathilde is miserable and wishes for a better life, while Mr. loisel is content and happy with his. He doesn’t act on selfish greedy thoughts, but acts only to please Mathilde,
and even gives up opportunity of getting a gun to by Mathilde a dress for one night. Mr. Loisel is the true polar opposite of Mathilde but ultimately ends up in debt because of his pursuit of her happiness.

Title The Necklace
Written by Guy De Maupassant
Type of Writing Short story
Genre Social criticism
Country France
First Published 1884
Main Topic Loss of an “expensive” thing and repaying for it
Setting Paris, France
Main Characters Madame Mathilde Loisel, her husband, Madame Jeanne Forestier

The necklace by Guy de Maupassant

The necklace by Guy de Maupassant depicts the greediness and arrogance of people. The realities of this world that sometimes we overlook and we often deny. The insatiable need of humans, the great love of material things, possessions and fame. For these people believed that the basis of the acceptance of the society is about having such treasures and material things.

            Madame Loisel was one of those few who were victimized of these desires. She regretted having married only a clerk, one who cannot even afford her to buy best dresses and expensive and luxurious jewelries in town.

It was not until they received an invitation to a party, Madame Loisel did not have any idea about attending but her husband; who is very much contented to what they have, encouraged her to join even if she will wear the dress she always wear when they went to the theater.

But Madame Loisel, said no because for her it was not the best dress that should be worn in the party.

She insisted with her husband to buy a new one which was costly for their part since her husband is only a clerk. Because of his husband’s great love for her, they then bought a new dress for Madame Loisel. It was a beautiful dress, one that many women would also love to wear and have.

            Upon having the dress, Madame Loisel was still not contented. For her she still lacks something, and that is jewelry; to let her beauty glow more upon wearing the dress. But her husband cannot afford to buy her, so she was told to go to Mrs.Forestier. Mrs. Forestier has lots of jewelries, and Madame Loisel planned to borrow from her. When Mathilde went to her, Mrs.Forestier let her choose some of her jewelries but Mathilde have not chosen any for she did not find the one that for her is very much suitable for her, and for her dress. The finally, she saw a box and when she opened it she saw a beautiful and elegant diamond necklace. She was in awe upon seeing the necklace, so she asked Mrs.Forestier favor for her to lend it. Fortunately, Mrs.Forestier allowed her and Mathilde promised to return it after using.

            So the party happened and every one was looking towards Mathilde because of her grace, beauty and elegance. Even the Minister and Under Secretaries noticed her and were very eager to dance with her that night. She danced; she got drunk and celebrated the night the way she pleases. After the party, she went home without knowing she already lost the diamond necklace upon riding the cab. It was only until she reached their house that she knew about it. Monsieur knew about it and got mad.

They then find ways to replace it, they went to different people and then they saw in a store a real diamond necklace that was just the same with the one that was lost. So they bargain it for thirty four thousand francs. Good thing Madame Loisel had eighteen thousand francs that was given to her by her father but it was still lacking so they borrowed money from their friends and entered into agreements just to replace it.

            After having the necklace, Mathilde then returned it to Madame Loisel. For 10 years they were working to pay their debts. Monsieur and Madame Loisel got so old looking because of the pressures and hard work for them to pay their credits. Then one day, Mathilde saw Mrs. Forestier.

She was shock upon seeing Mathilde with such a gloomy and old face, Mathilde then told her that it was because she and her husband are in debt because of the necklace they borrowed from Mrs.Forestier and was lost. Upon knowing this, Mrs.Forestier laughed because the necklace that Mathilde borrowed was a fake and it only cost about five hundred francs.

            The moral of the story is to be contented of what you have. You cannot have all the material possessions of this world, but you can try your best to work to be able to survive and sustain your daily needs. Let us not be greedy and be ambitious of what we do not have. It will only put us to devastation in the end.

Symbolism in The Necklace by Guy De Maupassant

A lady’s function in today’s society is one where she can much better herself through her career and who and whether she marries is her choice. In the Victorian world of Guy De Maupassant while writing The Necklace in the year nineteen eighty-five, the world is various. One of the most effective women in the world is a woman, but while she rules the British Empire, ladies are suppressed beyond their control. In the story Mathilde Loisel, the protagonist is doomed by her sex and her status during this time when she can do absolutely nothing about the circumstance.

It is this scenario that Maupassant uses significance to create a story that will notify the world for generations of how the function of women requires to be changed.

Mathilde Loisel is symbolic of the middle class lady married to a working partner during the Victorian Era. She is never going to increase above the life that she is trapped.

It is frowned upon when a female had to work throughout this time duration. She was to wed young, since her life period was brief due to the absence of medical innovation and contraception. For that reason, it is very important to start early in life. Merely put, a middle class female is to take care of her house and household. So what happens to a lady who is not pleased to live, wed, offer birth, and die with few ownerships? She is destined accept the hand that fate has handed her, and that female is represented by Mathilde Loisel because she feels as though she were born into a class that she will never escape while she desires for riches that she will never ever have.

She suffered constantly, feeling herself born for every single special and luxury. She struggled with the poorness of her house, from its mean walls, used chairs, and unsightly drapes. All these things, of which other ladies of her class would not even have actually understood, tormented and insulted her. (Maupassant).

The marriage of Mathilde and her partner who is a clerk to the Minister of Education, is symbolic of numerous of the marriages during the late nineteenth century. Females who have no dowry or connections possess the fate to marry a guy of the very same class in which she was born.

She had no marriage portion, no expectations, no means of getting known, understood, loved, and wedded by a man of wealth and distinction; and she let herself be married off to a little clerk in the Ministry of Education. Her tastes were simple because she had never been able to afford any other, but she was as unhappy as though she had married beneath her; for women have no caste or class, their beauty, grace, and charm serving them for birth or family, their natural delicacy, their instinctive elegance, their nimbleness of wit, are their only mark of rank, and put the slum girl on a level with the highest lady in the land. (Maupassant)

Mathilde has no hope of rising above her situation in life just as the women who she is a symbol. Her society chooses her husband instead of her own decision while love and a trusting relationship has nothing to do with the choice. She embodies these women who have no voice because of lack of education, rules of society, and the lack of a right to vote.

The most obvious symbol in the story The Necklace is the actual necklace. Mathilde is invited to attende an event with her husband hosted by the Minister of Education and his wife. This prompts a trip to a wealthy school friend to borrow jewelry. Mathilde is not satisfied with just any jewelry. Instead she must have the best that her friend has to offer.

Suddenly she discovered, in a black satin case, a superb diamond necklace; her heart began to beat covetously. Her hands trembled as she lifted it. She fastened it round her neck, upon her high dress, and remained in ecstasy at sight of herself. (Maupassant)

This diamond necklace is symbolic of the glittering things in life that money can buy. These possession is what Mathilde and people from all time periods are convinced will make them happy in life. However, this necklace destroys her life. It is lost and Mathilde spends the next ten years working to pay back her friend without telling her of the loss.

Just like the false hope that people are still causing people to destroy their lives with credit card debt, high mortgages, and automobiles that cost as much as a small house. Ruined marriages, relationships, and stress are as much a result of destructive materialism as the necklace is to Mathilde. In the end, it turns out that the necklace was actually made of paste and was practically worthless. Her life turns out to be a waste because she is to focus solely to pay for an item that has no value

The symbolism in The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant is relevant today just as in eighteen eighty-five. Women still find themselves snared into lives and marriages where they are miserable and they still chase the glittering things that are worthless in the end. The lesson to be learned through this story is timeless.

Works Cited
Mauppassant, Guy de. “The Necklace.” 1885. Short Stories. September 10, 2008
http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/Neck.shtml
Symbolism in the Necklace. University of North Carolina. September 10, 2008
http://www.unc.edu/~getkara/The%20Necklace/symbolism.html

Maupassant’s Use of Setting in The Necklace

In the story The Necklace, Guy De Maupassant uses the settings to further heighten the dramatic effect of the change in the character of Mathilde Loisel. At the various stages of Mathilde’s character’s transformation, the setting complements to reflect her actions and emotions.

At the start of the story, Mathilde is depicted as having accepted her lot, knowing she has beauty but that her station in life granted her nothing more than a life married to a clerk. She still daydreams of luxurious parlors and exquisite food as she moves around her own home with its simple furniture.

The Mathilde depicted here is a girl who still has fantasies of escaping her present situation, and Maupassant’s juxtaposition of the images of the lavish setting with the vestibules with Oriental trapestries and large parlors adorned with olden silk with Mathilde’s dreary reality of worn walls and abraded chairs strike a strong contrast between her desires and her inescapable circumstance.

When Mathilde went to the party, she was changed – she became truly the girl that she was meant to be, desired and sought after, in a place she felt she belonged. Although Maupassant did not detail it, the reader can imagine extravagant ornaments, crystal chandeliers, and blatant affluence everywhere, lifting Mathilde’s spirits up as her dreams came true: that night she was Cinderella at the ball. But she knew it was a dream, because the other women had furs and she had wraps that spoke of her true station in life.

And to bring her feet back on the ground, when she got back home – to the dreary place seemingly more dreary now after all the glamour of the mansion – she discovers she lost the necklace. Their home full of wanting etched its emptiness even more with the realization that she was missing something very valuable, something that was worth more than anything she has.

And then, she comes to accept reality – she cannot afford the luxurious life, and because of her whims and fantasies she has cost them a fortune they did not have in the first place. To make up for her behavior, she threw herself to work – her pink nails scrubbed themselves hard in the kitchens where it was dirty with greasy pans and dark-bottomed pans. Here we see Mathilde’s descent – she came into terms with her social status and acted like it. She no longer fancied herself a woman out of place meant for better things, above the needy and the poor common people. They left their house and stayed at the attic; she went to the market and threw water on streets. In the kitchen, in the market, in the attic, she became one of them.

And finally, when they have repaid all their debts because of the necklace, we find Mathilde walking at the Champs Elysées for leisure after a week’s hard labor, triumphant because now she is a free woman. The Champs Elysées is hailed the most beautiful avenue in the world, and it is only fitting that Mathilde meet her old friend here. She was no longer the beauty that she was, she was no longer desirable nor recognizable, but she gained a new beauty within: she was her own woman now, strengthened by hard life, and with a firm grasp of reality and newfound pride having paid her dues.

And with that pride she went up to her old friend, the same moneyed lady from before. Mathilde stood out in the luxury of Champ Elysées’s beauty, and yet momentarily we saw her transformed again because after all these years of hard work, it was still her foolishness and pride that cost her own beauty and charm. But more than anything, it felt that she belonged there amidst all that glory, because after working herself to that state of being one of the poor as she saw them, as one all her hard work has gained her the richness that she always dreamed of in her younger days.