"The Necklace" by Guy De Maupassant.
Author: Guy de Maupassant
Henri Ren Albert Guy de Maupassant (Aug 5, 1850 - Jul 6, 1893) who confined his name as Guy de Maupassant, was a French author known legendary for his short stories. The stories outlined the desirable image of French life within the nineteenth century. He was imaginative, publishing over three hundred short stories and six novels. Also, he served and fought in the Franco-Prussian War as a young man.
Guy de Maupassant's daintiest short story considered is Boule de Suif.
The short story is a rather in long-form, but fully explaining the length.
Harsh criticism of the French society of the late 19th century is made in the story.
Delegates from the different classes and stations of French Society is taken by Maupassant and placed in the same carriage, which is then accidentally driven during the Franco-Prussian war behind enemy lines.
Guy de Maupassant, despite, died at a young age when in progress struggles with both physical and psychological state. Miss Harriet, My Uncle Jules, A Piece of String, Mademoiselle Fifi, Found on a Drowned Man and The Wreck covers some of his excellent works.
Abstract of "The Necklace"
The story “The Necklace” opens with Madame Loisel being sorrowful and dissatisfied with her life. Grumbling about her shabby walls and absence of luxuries in life she feels that she was only born for finer things in life.
Although living a middle-class lifestyle, she cries because she isn't rich. She is bitter about the life she leads and yearns for beautiful clothes and jewels as well. Once an invitation to a fancy ball was brought by her husband, but instead of being delighted, she complains of not having a fancy dress to wear for the occasion.
She is never considerate of the things she already has. Her husband somehow endured the price for the dress and she accepts to go the ball. But unsatisfied she aspires for some fine necklace to go with that dress. Not able to get one she again started to sob.
Heeding to the advice of her husband she rushes to Madame Forestier to borrow a necklace. Out of several necklaces from the box shown by Madame Forester, a close friend of hers, she prefers a diamond necklace.
Happy and elated they went for the ball at night wearing a beautiful gown and a diamond necklace. The attention she received at the fancy ball was very appealing. She enjoyed every attention.
After the ball, while returning home, she realized that she has lost the necklace. Utterly broken on what to answer Madame Forestier about the necklace. Next, they promptly borrowed the money and bought a diamond necklace the same as they lost one and gave it to Madame Forester.
They kept working hard for ten long years to completely repay the loan amount. This time she had turned old, her hands were red and her hair too was badly done. Once Loisel sees Madame Forestier and chooses to part the truth about losing the necklace and replacing it.
Madame Forestier reveals that her original necklace had been a fake one. With this, the story comes to an end. The lesson Loisel learned made her less materialistic and she started enjoying simple things in life. Now she professes to be content in life.
1.Mathilde Loisel – She is the protagonist of the story and wishes for a luxurious lifestyle. Most of the time unsatisfied she stays complaining in life. Her beauty for one night made her cost the entire future. She is also endowed with physical beauty but according to her materialistic things were more meaningful.
2.Monsieur Loisel - Monsieur Loisel is the husband of Mathilde Loisel and is seen happy with little things in life. In spite of not a heavy earning he still seeks to fulfil the demands of Mathilde and tries to understand her unhappiness. When the necklace is lost, he seems to sacrifice his own savings to repay the debt.
3.Madame Forestier -A wealthy friend of Mathilde. When Mathilde went to borrow a necklace from Madame Forestier she was treated very generously. Madame Forestier does not mind giving one of the beautiful necklaces to her friend and even did not worried to inspect when it was returned. Mathilde, on the other hand, is bitterly envious of Madame Forestier’s wealth.
What does the necklace symbolise?
The necklace, beautiful however trifling, denotes the ability of observation and also the crack between appearances and truth. Mathilde borrows the necklace as she fancies to provide the looks of being wealthy.
Madame Forestier doesn't tell her upfront that the necklace is faux, maybe she too, aspires to provide the illusion of being wealthier than she really was. As a result of Mathilde is thus covetous of Madame Forestier and assumes her to be moneyed, she never doubts the authenticity of the necklace, rather she presumes diamonds.
She enters volitionally and inadvertently into this deception, and her complete belief in her borrowed wealth allows her to convey a look of wealth to others. She considered herself wealthy for one night, she becomes wealthy in others’ eyes.
But the actual fact that the necklace is at the middle of the hoax that results in Mathilde’s destruction. This also suggests that only trouble will return to us from denying the truth of one’s state of affairs.
1. “What would have happened if she had never lost those jewels? Who knows? Who knows? How strange life is, how fickle! How little is needed to ruin or to save!”
These lines were introduced at the end of the story when Mathilde was daydreaming during her housecleaning. She remembers the night and grieving nothing but the lost necklace. She imagines how everything leads to the downfall into their life because of the necklace.
She even missed realizing that her ultimate ruin came with her desire to look to be someone other than herself. Even with her hardships, Mathilde has botched to learn from her mistakes. Rather she thought what would have happened if she had not lost the necklace! What would be the situation then?
Mathilde thinks how minute it is required to wreck one's life and gets to realize the strangeness of life.
The story comes to a turn when she meets Madame Forestier again and hears that the necklace had been not a real diamond.
Had she simply told Madame Forestier she lost the necklace, she would have learned right away that it was outfit jewellery and would not have sacrificed everything to buy a replacement.
What is the concept of realism?
Realism, a literary technique originated in France in the mid-nineteenth century representing life as it is. Realist literature often concentrates on the lives of the middle class like the terrible lives of Mathilde and her husband and mostly regarded with portraying behaviours and their outgrowths with little or no bent.
Realism is basically different from the concept of romanticism and idealism. Frequently dominant forces are on social factors and cultural conditions in realist literature, as are elements of rationalism and scientific argumentation.
Flaubert was one of the earliest practitioners of realism; others included Mark Twain, William Dean, Henry James. In these, attempts are made to shows the things as they are, using less imagery and figurative language.