Exploring Destruction in The Necklace and The Bright Lights of Sarajevo
Can destruction truly damage a person who continuously makes mistakes? Can destruction truly damage a peaceful realm? The theme of destruction is shared between the two texts. In one of them, destruction takes place physically, through chaos and devastation to the worn-out battlefield of Sarajevo. Whereas in the other, destruction takes place internally and emotionally; through the greed, jealousy and the unappreciative behavior of Madame Loisel. Destruction is a dark force. However, if a light is shined on it, destruction will most certainly fade away. The stories from The Bright Lights of Sarajevo and The Necklace come from two different worlds, but they both include positive morals.
Destruction took over and had obliterated everything in Sarajevo, helping the Serbians collect the lives of innocent Sarajevans through snipers and bomb shells; as easily as picking up pennies on the ground. An evident quote (line 31) from The Bright Lights of Sarajevo to show the mass destruction is “blood-dunked crusts of shredded bread.” From the quote, we draw a negative connotation regarding a massacre. “Blood-dunked” implies on the mass killing of people, with excess amounts of blood draining the rationed bread. “Crusts of shredded bread” can imply on the lack of food and the suffering that the people receive. In addition, “lay on the pavement with the broken dead” from line 32 implies how the killing was uncontrolled, and people were deformed from their original shape while they vulnerably lie on the battlefield. From both quotes, we can infer that the war between Sarajevo and Serbia has been going on painfully for a long period of time. “Death-dark wells splashed on the pavement by Serb mortar shells” can imply on how deep the well was. “Death-dark” also adds to semantic field of words related to fate in this poem. Other words in the semantic field include ‘massacre’, ‘struggle’, ‘broken’The fact that it got destroyed connotes on the large number of shells used in the war. The city of Sarajevo has been lay to waste by Serb mortars.
On the other hand, destruction takes place emotionally in The Necklace. The destruction of Mathilde Loisel’s emotion kicks off as she realized that her necklace had gone missing. “Sitting disconsolately on a chair by the empty grate, her mind a blank” (line 146) states how depressed she was. She couldn’t move as she could not believe her eyes. From the quote, we can infer that she was appalled whilst seeing her future as her “mind went blank”. While Mathilde waited for her husband to do all the work for her, her mind was still tearing up staying in the same “distracted condition” (line 150) making her go deep into sadness. The actual atomic bomb of the destruction though was when Mathilde and her husband realized how much they would have to pay for the necklace knowing how much time and hardship it would take to get the money back so they would not be in debt. “The grim poverty which stood ready to pounce, and the prospect of all the physical privation and mental torture ahead” (line 178) was marking where the Loisels would be going into poverty.” However, just like The Bright Lights of Sarajevo, the destruction would end someday. Unfortunately for Mathilde it was ten years whereas in Sarajevo, it was five. “Wearing down her pink nails” implies on how much she didn’t want to do chores and domestic work. For Mathilde, the destruction has affected her drastically. ” Battling, hard, uncouth housewife” (line 204) implies on how much she had changed into a person she would never wanted to be, disgusted, old and rude.
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