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The Folly of Envy: A Comparative Analysis of Guy de Maupassants The Necklace and Raymond Carvers Neighbors - Essay Example

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Henry-Rene-Albert Guy de Maupassant was born in Normandy, France to wealthy parents in 1850. He was a lad during the Franco-Prussian War and the expulsion of Napoleon III as emperor. Raymond Carver's life could not be more different - born as he was in 1939 in rural Oregon to an alcoholic sawmill worker and a waitress…
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The Folly of Envy: A Comparative Analysis of Guy de Maupassants The Necklace and Raymond Carvers Neighbors
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"The Folly of Envy: A Comparative Analysis of Guy de Maupassants The Necklace and Raymond Carvers Neighbors"

Henry-Rene-Albert Guy de Maupassant was born in Normandy, France to wealthy parents in 1850. He was a lad during the Franco-Prussian War and the expulsion of Napoleon III as emperor. Raymond Carver's life could not be more different - born as he was in 1939 in rural Oregon to an alcoholic sawmill worker and a waitress. And yet, the thematic similarities in de Maupassant's "The Necklace" and Raymond Carver's "Neighbors" are gripping indeed, proving as it were the universality of the "friends with money" theme, and the eventual downfall wrought by envy and covetousness.In "The Necklace", the protagonist is Mathilde, "one of those pretty and charming girls, born by a blunder of destiny in a family of employees" (1). Married to a simple clerk whose meager paycheck could not accommodate her expensive tastes, "(s)he suffered from the poverty of her dwelling, from the worn walls, the abraded chairs, the ugliness of the stuffs."On the other hand, in "Neighbors", Raymond Carver paints for us the image of a middle-class couple, Bill and Arlene Miller, who are not painfully poor, but wish they could be wealthier and are envious of their next door neighbors, the Stones, who "go out for dinner, or entertaining at home, or traveling about the country somewhere(70)."When the opportunity to "escape from their class" presents itself to both Mathilde and the Millers, both jump at the opportunity. For Mathilde, it came in the form of a party for the well-heeled. . Read More
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