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Short Story Fiction paper - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date “The Necklace”: “The Necklace” is Guy de Maupassant’s most popular short story. It is a ‘tale with a twist,’ and the surprise ending has a powerful impact on the reader. Madame Loisel is the protagonist of the story…
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Short Story Fiction paper

Download file to see previous pages... “The Necklace” relates Mathilde’s attitude towards life and her struggle to face the consequences of her actions. The character of Madame Loisel, and its appeal to the reader, undergoes dramatic change as the story progresses. The reader is scornful of the shallow protagonist who makes her appearance at the start of the story. As the narration progresses, Madame Loisel undergoes a transformation and the reader empathizes with Madame Loisel and her struggle. “The Necklace,” is a poignant tale of human folly. It is also a tale of transformation and human redemption. Madame Loisel is a dissatisfied woman whose social pretension leads to disaster, but she redeems herself to emerge as a woman of genuine character and strength. At the beginning of the narrative, Mathilde Loisel is a dissatisfied housewife. She is constantly aware of “The contrast between her charm, her innate good taste, her beauty on the one hand, and the mediocrity of her life as the wife of a government employee, on the other” (Donaldson-Evans, 167). She feels that she is destined for better things and bitterly resents her position. Madame Loisel foolishly disdains what she has and hankers after what might have been. She spends hours dreaming of “every delicacy and every luxury” (Maupassant, 3) which her modest means cannot afford. She contrasts every aspect of her present life with the luxury that could have been hers under more fortunate circumstances: her poor furniture with exotic tapestries and glowing lamps, her humble maid with grand footmen and her simple meals with rich feasts eaten on silver platters. Madame Loisel is obsessed with the tantalizing dreams of wealth. She does not appreciate the fact that Loisel loves her and that her “hapless husband is forever bending over backward to please” her (Donaldson-Evans, 168). Loisel gets tickets to the party with great difficulty and is “disconsolate” with his wife’s tears over the lack of an appropriate dress. He sacrifices his own dreams of buying a hunting piece in order to furnish her with a new dress. Although she is married to a man who cherishes her in every way possible, she remains wrapped up in her dissatisfaction: “And she wept all day long, from chagrin, from regret, from despair, and from distress” (Maupassant, 6). Her days are filled with sorrow. She does not derive any pleasure from life. She rejects the reality of her existence to imagine another filled with the trappings of a superior social position. Madame Loisel’s yearning for social recognition and wealth leads to her downfall. The ruling passion of her life is “to please, to be envied, to be seductive and sought after” (Maupassant, 5). She is so obsessed with the outer trappings of social position (jewelry and dresses) that “she loved nothing else; she felt herself made for that only (Maupassant, 5). When her husband secures tickets to the prestigious party, she does not appreciate his concern but throws the invitation at his face. Although she is aware that their straitened financial circumstances do not warrant the purchase of a new dress, she rails against Loisel and “her indignation leads to irritability and depression” (Donaldson-Evans, 167). Once this hurdle is overcome, she desires jewelry. Rejecting the alternative of fresh flowers, she borrows the necklace from her friend. She is so enraptured with the jewelry that “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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