The Necklace

Topics: Guy de Maupassant, Short story, The Necklace Pages: 4 (1180 words) Published: April 26, 2012
Question
‘The Necklace” is a popular story. Discuss the features that make the necklace a popular story.

“The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant is a well-known short story around the world. It was first published in the Paris newspaper Le Gaulois on February 17, 1884. "The Necklace” features a young, beautiful woman in a social situation that she finds distasteful. Mathilde Loisel attempts to escape her social situation in life, but her scheming actions ultimately doom her. Some of the features that make this short story popular are an ironical beginning and ending, the third person narration style, climax and relevant themes.

In this short story the author uses an ironical beginning and ending to contribute to success. Irony occurs when we predict about the happenings in a story, then the story takes a turn and the complete opposite of the prediction occurs. Guy de Maupassant uses ironical situations in his story to retain his reader's interest. For example, in the first paragraph he uses irony,

“With no dowry, no prospects, no possibility of becoming known, appreciated, loved, of finding a wealthy and distinguished husband. And so she settled for a petty clerk in the Ministry of Education.”

This quote is situational irony because when the author uses the words prosperous and famous, the reader would expect the husband to be much more then just a minor clerk. The largest use of irony was in the last sentence of the story. “Madame Foreister, deeply moved, took hold Madame Loisel’s hands. ‘Oh, my poor Mathilde! My necklace was paste. It was worth at most five hundred francs!’…” The author surprises the reader very much by having the twist at the end of the story. The reader would expect Madame Foreister to be angry with Mathilde, for not telling her the truth earlier, but she is surprised to hear that Mathilde and her husband had spent ten years repaying their debts for buying the real, thirty-six thousand francs necklace to replace only a fake....

References: 1. http://www.dreamessays.com/customessays/Critical%20Essays/5354.htm
2. Lecture Handouts
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