The Necklace

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Analysis of “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant
Everyone can think of someone they know that isn’t very grateful for what they have, and always wants better. Guy de Maupassant was primarily known for his novels and short stories about “characters as unhappy victims of their greed, desire, or vanity but presents even the most sordid details of their lives without sermonizing” (Colombia 1). This is the base for his short story “The Necklace” which is about a woman who is unhappy with her life and marriage, and the consequences of her greed. Guy de Maupassant uses stereotypes and great detail to tell the story of her greed, misfortune and misunderstanding.

“She was one of those pretty and charming girls who are sometimes, as if by a mistake of destiny, born in a family of clerks” (Maupassant 38). Maupassant makes clear in the very first sentence of his story “The Necklace” that his main character, Madame Liosel, most likely feels as if though the path of her life was a mistake by destiny. He points out that she was raised in a family of clerks, and then later says that she also married a clerk. She always dreamed about wearing jewels, beautiful gowns, being surrounded by silver tapestries and rich company. Maupassant tells us she has a house servant, “The sight of the little Breton peasant who did her humble housework aroused in her regrets…” (38) which shows that she isn’t entirely poor and is most likely middle class. The poor people of the time could never afford a house servant. He also describes her husband, who is entirely the opposite of Madame Liosel. He is very content with the life they live, and wants to make his wife happy. So in order to do so, he manages to get an invitation addressed to him and his wife to an exclusive, high end ball Larabee 2

and his wife only threw it onto the table and was upset. Most women would have been ecstatic, but she was more concerned about the fact that her dress wasn’t expensive enough, and that she had no jewels...
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