Moss, Joyce and George Wilson. “Overview: ‘The Necklace’.” Literature and Its Times: Profiles of 300 Notable Literary Works and the Historical Events that Influenced Them. Vol. 2: Civil Wars to Frontier Societies (1800-1880s). Joyce Moss’ “Overview: ‘The Necklace’” is a brief article and it tells the story of the Parisian life in the 1800s. The article describes the life of the society and the limitation on women’s lives during the time “The Necklace” by de Maupassant was written. Moss’ article analyzes de Maupassant’s views of women and their place in society at that time. Most importantly, Moss emphasized on how Parisian society treated and bordered women from men - not giving women rights nor acknowledging them. According to Moss, in the 1800s “men recognize only one right in women: the right to please.” This statement shows Moss’s views on how men viewed women as property, lower-situated than themselves and unequal members of the Parisian society at that time. The key concept of the article is the connection between women and their social status; this is being accomplished by bringing the importance of jewelry in women’s life; jewelry as a symbol and sign of social and financial status. Women in that era sought jewelry as a way to classify their status to the public. The reader is told that women followed a certain trend, which in other terms meant finding a husband who was wealthy. Moss writes: “jewels were a widespread symbol...by a diamond necklace.” By this, Moss explains that bourgeois status was upheld if a woman owned a diamond necklace. Even though women were devalued in this era, a social status amongst society and other families of wealth could be reached once the woman found a man to provide for her and buy her expensive clothing and jewelry which could be afforded only by the wealthy; thus – securing a certain social status for her.
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