The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

Topics: Guy de Maupassant, Short story, The Necklace Pages: 3 (938 words) Published: December 1, 2013
Prescribed Question: How does the text conform, or deviate from, the conventions of a short story and for what purpose?
Guy de Maupassant has a dark humor and likes to see Mathilde and her husband struggle. In The Necklace a women named Mathilde is lended a diamond necklace for a ball by a women named Madame Forestier. When she and her husband get home from the ball, they realize the diamond necklace is missing. Instead of telling Madame Forestier she lost her necklace, Mathilde and her husband decide to buy her a new one. When they finally tell Madame Forestier they lost her necklace, she told them it was fake. The Necklace conforms to the conventions of a short story by its structure, its storyline, its characterization, and its mood. This essay claims that Guy de Maupassant demonstrates the shortcomings of an average couple hitting a rough patch using humor to show they are not worthy of sympathy.

The storyline adds to the conformity of the conventions of a short story because there is a protagonist which is Mathilde, an antagonist which is Madame Forestier, a climax and an ending. Endings that are funny and unexpected are often characteristics of a short story. Guy de Maupassant tries to show humor in the story by showing Mathilde and her husband running around like chickens with their heads cut off i.e. “ He went to the police station, to the newspapers, to offer a reward, to the cab companies, everywhere that a ray of hope impelled him.” (4). There is humor in this because they do all this work to find and replace the necklace to find out it was fake and all that time and stress was for nothing. Even though Mathilde and her husband take a very pragmatic approach to the situation they still come up short and Guy de Maupassant tries to use this to make readers laugh even though it might be in poor taste to laugh. There is humor in this but it is a sort of dark humor i.e. “She remained in her evening clothes, lacking the strenght to...
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