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The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant - Essay Example

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Summary
The aim of the study is to present theme and narrative elements in the story “The Necklace”. The short story was written by Guy de Maupassant entitled “The Necklace” has been the subject of innumerable literary analysis due to the controversial nature of the plot and ironic tone…
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The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

Download file to see previous pages... This paper illustrates that the theme “is a representation of the idea behind the story… (It) tells you what the story is about”. For “The Necklace” the theme is, therefore, a story about discovering that wanting material things beyond what one could actually afford could bring incomprehensibly disastrous consequences. This was discovered by the main character, Loisel Rampouneau, an ordinary wife of a clerk in the Department of Education, as her simple and austere life turned into a remorsefully arduous journey. The literary elements that best contribute to the theme are the tone (defined as the “attitude reflected by the author in a literary work”; and symbolism (“a literal identity but also stands for something else”. The tone of the short story is replete with situation irony as depicted by the discovery that the diamond necklace borrowed from Mme. Forester, the root cause of Loisel’s agony, was actually bogus or fake. Loisel could have then realized that she was actually first better off living a simple life despite its austerity than facing the need to pay off significant amounts of debt for replacing the borrowed necklace which got lost – only to find out in the end that it was not real. There is irony in being so proud that admitting to Mme. Forester that the necklace she borrowed got lost never even crossed her mind. She immediately surmised that Mme. Forester would surely regard her as a thief and would rather cover up her mess than reveal the truth. Had she done this in the first place, she and her husband would not have been subjected to ten years of persistent hard work to pay-off the debts, used to buy a replacement for the lost necklace. The theme was also prominent when the occasion of the invitation to the ball presented ways of needing to dress according to the event. In meager status, Loisel insisted, beyond grasp, to project an image which is not her real and true identity, requiring her to buy a dress beyond their means and to borrow a jewelry to perfect the facade of elegance and sophistication. The symbolism that dominated in the story was the title itself, the necklace. It symbolized richness, elegance, good bearing, and sophistication – everything that was not possessed by Loisel. By borrowing it, she envisioned to project that image that the necklace symbolized. Without her knowledge and awareness, jewelries could also be copied, faked or made from cheap but glittering materials. She assumed wrongly that just because her friend, Mme. Forester was rich, that she possesses genuinely exorbitant jewelries beyond her means. Both elements: the tone and the symbolism contributed to the effectiveness of the theme through the establishment of appropriate attitude of the main character as desperate, lonely, wanting for material things. The first few paragraphs have assisted in setting the tone as the author noted: “she suffered from the poverty of her dwelling, from the worn walls, the abraded chairs, the ugliness of the stuffs” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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