• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent does Guy de Maupassant show sympathy for Madame Loisel in 'The Necklace'?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent does Guy de Maupassant show sympathy for Madame Loisel in the short story ?The Necklace?? By Crystal Wong 11S Guy de Maupassant was a 19th century French realist, who is often criticized for being misogynistic in his literature. However, in the short story ?The Necklace?, he does not appear to be a misogynist but rather, he uses his character?s flaws to show how it was this that inevitably led to her downfall. We can see examples of this throug h the use of dramatic irony in order to emphasize and highlihgt her flawes not show any sympathy for Madame Loisel; he uses her character and her life to demonstrate the dramatic irony of the situation that she has put herself through. Although he suggests that the hardships that she faced during her life of poverty was, indeed, extremely difficult (as demonstrated by the toll it took on her looks), the characterization of Madame Loisel as a tragic heroine is, as seen through Maupassant?s use of language, only in her own mind. Thus, the portrayal of Madame Loisel is not something that Maupassant is trying to make readers agree with; instead, he tries to show that Madame Loisel?s hardships and ?tragic? life are caused by herself. Our first impression of Madame Loisel is that she is someone who should be sympathized. Maupassant describes her as ??one of those pretty, delightful girl who, apparently by some error of Fate get themselves born the daughters of very ...read more.

Middle

This is also further developed when Maupassant states that Monseuir Loisel ?mortgaged the rest of his life?mental torture ahead.? Maupassant introduces Madame Forestier, a childhood friend of Madame Loisel, to further exemplify how greedy and prideful she is. Madame Forestier is portrayed as a ?a friend who was rich, a friend from her convent days?for she was always so unhappy afterwards.? The reader sees that although Mathilde and Madame Forestier are friends, Madame Loisel feels inferior because Madame Forestier has more money. Madame Loisel is clearly envious of her friend, and because she feels that she has nothing to be proud of, Mathilde does not want to talk to her friend. This, however, changes when Madame Loisel recieves the invitation as shown in the quote: ?She gave a delighted cry: ?You?re right! I never thought of that!?? The invitation gives her an oppurtunity to show it off and because of this, she feels that she is of equal standing to Madame Forestier. We learn more about Madame Forestier when she ?went over to a mirror-fronted wardrobe??Choose whatever you like.?? Here we see several things. Firstly, Madame Forestier?s generosity extends to (Raghavan, 2010)the point where she trusts Madame Loisel with her possessions. Secondly, Madame Forestier feels and treats Madame Loisel as an equal, as she thinks that Mathilde is her childhood friend and she is willling to help Madame Loisel out in times of need. ...read more.

Conclusion

As the story progresses, we see that her character has not changed. She tells herself: ?What might not have happened?make or break us!? She does not place the blame on herself and pushes it away by saying that it was a twist of Fate that had brought her to her current situation. This paragraph symbolizes her delusions. There is little sympathy created for Madame Loisel. She yearns for a life which she cannot have and shows no appreciation or contentment with what she does have. She is foolish, childish and ignorant. Everything that makes her happy is shallow, materialistic, therefore, the reader actually feels that she gets what she deserves, because she has devoted her life to the pursuit of a false image, like the necklace that she wore that was fake. Her flaw of judging by appearances rather than depth brings about her downfall as she is blinded by what she believes to be diamonds but does not study them or percieve them to be fake. She is content for the evening with a necklace of glass: the treasure she has dreamed of is never real, but has a high price. Had Madame Loisel not been so petty and too proud to admit her mistake of losing the necklace, her misery could have been avoided. Since her "sacrifice" has been futile and completely unnecessary, she, therefore, deserves little sympathy. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Comparison of emma and charls in madame bovary

    4 star(s)

    " 'let me alone!' she said 'you'll rumple me.'(pg.63)" More over, she with these experiences she would convince herself more and more that the life she read in novels did in fact exist and so she continued to try and try to reach her dream thinking that these people would eventually help her reach it.

  2. Social Class in Madame Bovary

    lessons: "She shrugged her shoulders and didn't open her piano again" (Pt III: Ch 3) This suggests she is clearly obsessed with expensive things, as even cheap piano lessons with a well-know teacher isn't good enough, simply because they do not cost.

  1. Money and Happiness:Neither in de Maupassants The Necklace, nor in Ibsens A Dolls House, ...

    bring Nora true happiness, happiness of liberation from the lies and deceit, and happiness away from pretense and masquerade of a long-dead marriage. Even her husband's new job with it promising a wealthy and careless life, is no substitute for freedom.

  2. Explore the ways in which de Maupassant presents Mathilde Loisel as a character who ...

    have dreamed for'; we see an irony here as Mathilde is "one of those pretty and charming' girls yet she is 'unhappy' and unsatisfied with her life. This shows us that Mathilde concerns herself with material things and living conditions rather than appreciating or knowing to treasure her own natural beauty.

  1. The reader and clearly the writers sympathy lie with the woman at the Oakum ...

    the Oakum Room, when she instructs the female workers to: "Put down your work." This short, blunt order vividly depicts her ability to instantly command the attention of the women without a single argument. It shows how much she has become used to the blind obedience of her employees, subsequently expecting total conformity to every command she throws at them.

  2. How does Madame Bovary use the motif of food as a class signifier?

    the rims of platters, magnificent fruits reposed on layers of moss in openwork baskets?(44) connoting extreme wealth, to the extent Emma isn?t used to. Here Flaubert has not mentioned quantities, instead he focuses on the quality of the foods using adjectives such as ?magnificent? to raise its prestige.

  1. To what extent was President Richard Nixon responsible in the Watergate scandal in 1972-1974?

    Let me say if i intended the cover up, believe me, I would have done it.?[8] Motive is an important aspect when looking into an investigation, if the motive were asked then Nixon would say that his motive was to prevent a political scandal, so that innocent people?s lives weren?t endangered.

  2. In what ways do the theme of Illusion and reality affect the life of ...

    she was so influenced by this novel that she started living her life same as the characters in the novel did and that is the reason that she ends her life in the same way as the characters do in ?Paul and Virginia?.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work