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THE NECKLACE

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Introduction

"The Necklace" By Guy De Maupassant Analyse the 20th century story "The Necklace" By Guy De Maupassant in terms of the characterisation of Monsieur Loisel and Madam Loisel, and the importance of deception in the story. This story is based in the 19th century where at that time being in a class would define who you are in terms of wealth. People would judge you by the clothes you wore and how you looked, if you looked elegant and in an upper class people would treat you with all respect. Back in the 19th century the society for women was very different to now. Women had neither rights nor independence. They were not allowed to inherit money from their family only the men were allowed. They were not treated equally to men, which led to frustrations and envy. This story talks about a middle class couple in France who are invited to a Grand Ball with some of the richest people in land. The woman wants to make good impressions so she contacts an old friend and borrows one of the nicest diamond necklace she has ever seen. Unfortunately, the necklace is lost and the husband goes to great lengths to find an exact match. In effect the couple live in poverty for several years only to find the expensive looking original necklace was made from paste! In this story there are two main characters Madam Loisel and Monsieur Loisel. Madam Loisel is presented in such a way that makes her sound selfish. ...read more.

Middle

Finally, after all hope is lost of finding the diamond necklace, the couple decide to replace it with another one exactly the same, they bought a new one for thirty-six thousand francs. They had to work and save for ten years, and the husband gave up his inheritance to pay for the necklace his wife lost. And after all he did, Madam Loisel offers not one word of thanks or praise to her husband. This emphasizes just how evident her characteristic flaws really are. Also at the beginning of the story it shows that she is a big dreamer. When she says "She had no dowry, no expectation, no means of meeting some rich, important man who would understand, love, and marry her." This is shows us that she dreamt of marrying a wealthy man who understands and loves her. Also she dreams more when she says "great drawing rooms dressed with old silk, filled with fine furniture which showed off trinkets beyond price," This shows that she dreams of having furniture like that at home instead of what she has now. As for Monsieur Loisel's character, He does not fully understand his wife, he does his best to please her. When he comes home bearing the invitation to the party, he expects Madam Losiel to be excited and is shocked when she is devastated. He cannot understand why she will not wear flowers to the party instead of jewels. ...read more.

Conclusion

The truth was then revealed at the end of the story when madam Losiel met Madame Forestier and confessed to her about the necklace she had lost ten years ago. She suffered ten years in poverty due to the lost necklace, she would not have suffered if she had told the truth before. Madam Losiel was also deceived by others at the ball, when everyone treated her as the centre of attention and thronged themselves at her. She had fooled everyone at the ball with her appearance, she did everything in her power to make her self appear different from how she normally appears. She seemed to be competing to look the best in the ball and blend in with the richer classes. She was also obsessed with wealth and upper class. She lives in an illusory world where her actual life does not match the ideal life she has in her head. She believes that her beauty and charm make her worthy of greater things. Her wealth and class are simply illusions, and other people are easily deceived by that. Madam Losiel also deceived Madam Forestier by the necklace. Both women are ultimately deceived by appearances. For example Madame Forestier does not tell Madam Losiel that the diamonds are fake, and Madam Losiel does not tell Madame Forestier that she has replaced the necklace. The fact that the necklace changes which both women do not notice, it changes from worthless to precious. This suggests that true value is ultimately dependent on perception and that appearances can easily deceive. ...read more.

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