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This 4 page Reader was uploaded by Teddy Fitzgerald on Saturday December 5, 2015. The Reader belongs to a course at a university taught by a professor in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 84 views.
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Date Created: 12/05/15
Edward Fitzgerald English 1 01 Ms Moore 9 7 1 5 Realism in The Necklace Guy de Maupassant was born in France in 1850 which happened to be around the same time the realist period began in literature Although Maupassant passed away at a fairly young age he was still able to produce many pieces of writing many of which are still read today Perhaps his most well known and highly analyzed work still read to this day is called The Necklace It is a short story in uenced by realism in which a young woman named Mathilde Loisel nds herself in many years of debt to replace a necklace that was not even worth close to as much as she thought As realism was introduced in the midNineteenth century authors used it as a way to tell a story where the readers could relate to the characters in the story Many of the characters in these realism in uenced stories were of the middle class or in the case of The Necklace the lower class Mathilde possesses the characteristics of being materialistic vain and proud which results in her living a miserable life due to her actions Maupassant writes The Necklace in realist style so that the readers can relate to the story and ultimately learn to avoid mistakes such as what Mathilde went through by avoiding her negative characteristics that she expresses through her actions in the story Mathilde Loisel and her husband begin their downfall when they have been invited to a ball consisting of many wealthy people Rather than being happy about the invitation Mathilde is sad and angered by the fact that she can not afford to dress nicely for the ball It quickly becomes apparent that she has a lot of pride She does not want people to see her dressed as a poor woman because her pride won t let that happen Mathilde has the choices of missing out on the ball going to the ball dressed poorly or spend her husband s savings on a dress so that she may look nice He had grown a little pale because he was laying aside just that amount to buy a gun and treat himself to a little shooting next summer on the plain of Nanterre with several friends who went to shoot larks down there of a Sunday But he said All right I will give you four hundred francs And try to have a pretty dress Maupassant 35 It is clear how sel ess Mathilde s husband is yet at the same time shows how sel sh Mathilde is about taking his money It is apparent how ungrateful she is to have a husband willing to do such a thing for her but it is obvious that her pride has blinded her from thinking correctly Many times throughout the story Mathilde proves just how vain she really is Not only was the dress bought by her husband not enough for her she realizes that she needs a piece of jewelry to top it all off By being in the lower class Mathilde looks up to the upper class as people who can be made more beautiful just because of the money they have Maupassant makes that clear throughout The Necklace to show the readers that it is not good to think of the lower class as less attractive than the middle or upper classes just because they have less money This is one of the lessons that Maupassant wants to spread to his audience though this story Mathilde borrows a necklace from her wealthy friend which she believed to be worth an extraordinary amount of money She goes to the ball with it and is looked at as the most beautiful one there She believes that it is all because of the expensive necklace Maupassant does a great job of making it obvious to the reader that Mathilde basically traded her pride with her husband for her pride in what the public sees and thinks of her Another lesson that Maupassant uses to keep his readers from doing similar acts The part of the story where things really begin to fall apart for Mathilde and her husband and after the ball when she realizes that she has misplaced the necklace They immediately get a temporary replacement for the necklace while they work back what is needed to pay for the real thing It is as if Maupassant punishes Mathilde by having her lose the necklace as a way for the reader to fear that vanity and being materialistic will cause you pain in the future He uses the realism to instill some sort of fear and teaches them a lesson so the audience will not follow in the character s footsteps As the time goes on in Mathilde and her husband s lives they become old and sad They were forced to work long hours at multiple jobs just to pay back the money owed for a necklace used for just one night to impress a group of people that did not actually mean anything to Mathilde although it did at the time Eventually Mathilde runs into Mrs Forestier the woman who s necklace was borrowed and tells her the truth about the necklace and how they had been dedicating their lives to paying her back for the necklace Mrs Forestier replies Oh my poor Mathilde Why my necklace was paste It was worth at most five hundred francs Maupassant 37 This closing line is a very strong one because it brings together Maupassant s purpose for writing the story It becomes clear that although Mathilda looked beautiful in her dress with her dazzling jewelry it was not due to the price of what she was wearing but rather her con dence in herself The Necklace is a piece that leaves the reader sad and disappointed in the choices of the Mathilde but understanding of why it happened to her because of her vanity and pride Many lessons can be learned from this piece such as never let your pride get in the way of treating those who you love with respect That is seen through her sel sh act of taking money from her loving husband who was just being nice to her and giving her what she wanted to make her happy Rather than being happy for what her husband did for her she demanded more and got what she wanted Maupassant s audience of this piece also learn that what goes around comes around It was obvious that at some point in the story not everything was going to go right for Mathilde It became apparent that at some point everything was going to come crashing down on not only Mathilde but her poor husband who she dragged into the whole ordeal The necklace and the price of the necklace are not what made Mathilde beautiful on the night of the ball What made her beautiful and noticed was her con dence in herself Even though her con dence came all from the necklace around her neck we later found out that the necklace was not even worth much in the rst place The last and most important lesson by Maupassant s The Necklace is learned at the end Not everything that appears to be beautiful has be worth a lot of money beauty and happiness can be found in other ways than wealth such as con dence and love