Comparing Symbols In The Necklace And The Birthmark

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Comparison of Symbols in “The Necklace” and “The Birthmark”
In both Guy de Maupassant's short story “The Necklace” and Nathaniel Hawthorne's “The Birthmark”, the theme of vanity as downfall is very prominent. Maupassant's use of the birthmark and Hawthorne's use of the necklace as symbols offer direct evidence to this theme. My goal in this paper is to compare and contrast the two main symbols of the short stories in question using evidence from the source material.
“The Birthmark” involves Georgiana, the young and beautiful wife of a scientist, who has a birthmark the shape of a tiny, red human hand. Georgiana, who previously thought her birthmark to be charming, senses her husband's disgust in this perceived disfigurement. After a particularly jarring display of her husband’s disgust for her birthmark, she becomes willing to remove it because she wants her husband's love and admiration again. The birthmark actually,
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Loisel detests her real life, often daydreaming about having a better one. Her husband, a working class man, cues in on this and in a desire to make her happy has hopped through many hoops to get her an invitation to a fancy ball thrown by his boss. She borrows a diamond necklace from her wealthy friend Madame Forestier in order to ‘fit in’ with the upperclass. Over the course of the night, she loses this necklace, and the next ten years are spent by her husband and herself working in “abject poverty” to pay the loans needed in order to replace it. The necklace ends up being a fake, representing the wife’s opportunity to pretend to be the woman she had always dreamt of being, if only for a few hours, and how this vanity ruins what little bit of comfort her life held
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