Guy De Maupassant, the author of " The Necklace" describes a relationship between two people with different dreams and how desires can alter your life.
The stories ‘The Necklace’ and ‘Life in the Country’ by Guy de Maupassant were set in a time in which poverty was very common in most places even though each society had a different view as to what poverty is.
In Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace" Mathilde Loisel, a middle-class housewife, fantasizes about leading a life of wealth. Mme. Loisel is a proud woman. She feels herself "born for all the delicacies and all the luxuries" (46). Since she was born into a middle-class family, she lacks access to the comforts of an upper-class life. Thinking that her beauty should earn her a higher place in society, she is discontent. She stopped seeing her wealthy former schoolmate "because she suffered ceaselessly when she came back." (47) Seeing Mme. Forestier, whom Loisel had once viewed as a peer, in a higher social status than herself disgusts Loisel. She attempts to make a good outward appearance to others in order to make up for her contempt for her social class. She dresses as elegantly as possible, clinging to the dream that "Natural fineness, instinct for what is elegant, suppleness of wit, are the sole hierarchy, and make from women of the people the equals of the very greatest ladies" (46). However, after she attends the ball her life slopes downward as debt on the necklace forces her into poverty. On more than one occasion she has the chance avoid or correct her difficulties with the necklace, and though the humble solution is also the best solution in both cases, she chooses to suffer unnecessarily for vanity's sake. She makes the choices she does because her pride will not allow her to do otherwise.
Mme. Loisel's pride causes her to make her first mistake shortly before the ball. Committed to the belief that "there's nothing more humiliating than to look poor around other women who are rich," (48) she decides that to merely have a dress is not good enough. She tells her husband that she wants jewelry. So she asks her old school friend (whom she otherwise avoids) if she can borrow a necklace, which as far as she knows may be worth thirty-six thousand francs. She uses this necklace at the ball, dancing with other men than her husband, while he sleeps in the back room. Between the hours in a crowded ballroom and the long walk to find a cab in the night, it was not at all improbable that the seemingly valuable necklace would have been stolen. Whether the necklace is stolen or just misplaced, it is indeed lost. Had she stopped to think, Mme. Loisel may have realized that there was some risk in borrowing a necklace that she thought was so expensive. Also, the impression she makes at the ball would not likely have much bearing on her life later on. Her refusal to wear natural roses shows us that one of her worst fears is to appear poor. Thus to prevent injury to her pride she makes a gamble in which winning will bring little, and losing, although the chance of such is overlooked, has drastic consequences.
Mme. Loisel's pride causes her to make another error after she loses the necklace. To buy time she lies to Mme. Forestier, telling that the necklace is being mended. When Mme. Loisel ultimately cannot recover the necklace she and her husband go into debt and buy a new one, worrying that Mme. Forestier would "have taken Mme. Loisel for a thief" (51). The obvious decision is for Loisel to tell Forestier the truth. Forestier would then have been able to tell her that the necklace was a fake. Mme. Loisel does not know this, but even so Mme. Forestier would not likely take her old school friend for a thief. Indeed, it is possible that she may have agreed to pay a portion of the debt, or give Loisel board as a servant. Mme. Loisel commits herself to ten years of drudgery to avoid having an old friend, whom she doesn't much care for, call her a thief.
This is reflected through Matilde's daydreaming, which only serves to torment her, the loss of the necklace borrowed for show, which only worsens their economic position, and finally, their unnecessary sacrifice....
Thus Mme. Loisel takes on the debt to bolster her pride, the same pride which puts her into her dilemma, and refuses to let her out. She takes it on "with heroism," (51) to convince herself that she is a good person. In her eyes it is the honorable solution. She speaks again to Mme. Forestier, after the debt is paid. At this point Loisel feels safe. Forestier can neither pity Loisel, who would feel patronized, nor can she scorn Loisel, in which case she would be offended. She returns triumphantly to her old friend smiling "with a joy which was both proud and naive at once" (52). She tells Forestier of her great hardship, expecting praise. However, her folly is suddenly revealed to her with a single statement: "Oh, my poor Mathilde! Why the necklace was paste. It was worth at most five hundred francs!" (52)
Loisel's actions leading up to the loss of the necklace were directed by an attempt to maintain her false sense of pride, for which she gave up her dignity over the next ten years....
After reading the three texts for this unit, pick two of the three stories and write a compare and contrast essay on the main characters. This assignment should be 3 pages (750 words).
In the narratives stories The Necklace and The Story of the Hour, the two main characters Mathilde Loisel and Louise Mallard. In the two stories these ladies struggle with their fate, and they are selfish and lack empathy. The two ladies play the protagonist role in the two stories, but there is some slight difference in their characters. The lives of these two ladies end up in a catastrophic way based on their individual personality errors. In the two stories, the authors focus on the lives of women who resist with the conditions of their lives. For instance, Mathilde Loisel cannot put up with her middle class standard of living; she desires to be sought after, envied and to be charming. She desires these vague things as well as lamenting having no jewels and dresses. As a result of this self-imposed burden, Mathilde leads her years of enormous debt and eventually leads to years of toiling and the loss of her youthful looks. Mallard, on the other hand, suffers as a result of being trapped in her marriage. The news of the death of her husband soothes her heart condition, and she excitedly considers her future.
These two ladies are selfish, and they find it hard to acknowledge their way of life, they are not able to value their devoted and thoughtful spouses. Chopin does not describe Louise Mallards husband, but Mallard remembers that the face of her husband was lovely when she looked at him. This phrase implies that he must have been a loving and kind husband towards his wife. Additionally, Mr. Louise worked hard to buy food and other essentials, while she took cleaned the house this shows that he was a caring man who worked hard to provide for his wife. When she received the news about her partner’s demise, Mallard is excited she repeated the words “free” to show that she must have been living in confined life. According to the story, Mallard did not love her husband, and she valued her soul and body freedom than the life and love for her husband. Mathilde, on the other hand, did not appreciate her husband; she never acknowledged his consideration in bringing her invitation to the ceremony. She focused on the jewels and the dresses she lacked. She often ignored his generosity in giving her his saving so that she can buy a beautiful dress. Mathilde buys the new dress and borrows an expensive diamond necklace to attend the ball. At this moment, her dreams of becoming famous, being adored by men, and being envied by every woman came true. Unfortunately after the ball, she losses the necklace, and is forced to pay for the necklace leading to years of misery and poverty with her husband. It is clear that these two ladies had loving husbands who were supportive; Mathilde’s husband helped her pay the debt for ten years. In addition, Mr. Loisel took extra jobs in the morning and night to assist his jobless wife pay for the necklace. Mr. Louise, on the other hand, provided food for his wife.
Different from Mathilde, who was the most desirable woman of the ball, Mallard had here moment while mourning the death of her husband. She does not need the envy of other women or to be admired by men in order to accomplish her desires. Mallard wanted to be free, but destiny waited around the corner. She walks into the room to guarantee her sister she was all right only the front door to open and her husband walks in the room. It turned out that her ‘dead husband’ had not died in the railway accident; it was all wrong. Her weak heart could not take this surprise, and she suddenly experienced shock and died from a heart attack. In the two stories, the authors depict two women very different yet alike who have difficulty appreciating their destiny and are trying to discard the life their standard of living. The two ladies desire a life and things they cannot accomplish; then they have these things, but fate plays a lethal task in destroying their lives. From these experiences, it is clear that these two were self-centered and did not value their spouses. A close analysis of the two ladies shows that they were different in social class, but they were alike in character. The two ladies did not love and appreciate their husbands and their stories ended in a tragic way. After reading these two stories, one is disposed to pity Mrs. Mallard than Mathilde, she lost her life as the story concludes unlike Mathilde who just lived in poverty for years and perhaps later lived a better life after paying the amount required for the necklace. However, Mallard’s death might have granted her freedom after years of living in self-imposed suffering. The feeling of living without her husband might have been accomplished after all; she always dreamed of living without her husband and may be a sip of the freedom might have granted her desires.