Criticism And Realism In The Necklace, By Guy De Maupassant

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Originating in France, ‘The Necklace’ is a short story written by French writer Guy de Maupassant in the late nineteenth century, the period where literary movements realism and naturalism dominated French fiction. Maupassant played an important role in both the realist movement and the naturalist movement through his depiction of the setting as well as the character’s decision. The short story reflects upon the rigid patriarchal society during the late nineteenth century, demonstrating how the wealth of a person can lead to their generosity and greed; thus affecting their lifestyles. Through ‘The Necklace’, Maupassant aims to depict the conflicts between the upper-class and the lower class, how their inner desires vary. This essay will analyze ‘The Necklace’ and how Maupassant uses the social context, characters and literary devices in the short story to illustrate his misogynistic viewpoints towards women.

The protagonist of ‘The Necklace’, Madame Loisel, live a rather steady, ordinary middle-class life in the beginning of the story. However, she views that she is intended for a luxurious life, and, therefore, does not cherish what she has. She takes a step forward to her desires, as she was invited to a ball where all the upper-class woman would be, yet she was unhappy with the fact that she does not even have a stone to put on. With her greed for attention, she asks one of her upper-class friends, Madame Forestier, for a necklace that she could borrow for the ball.
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