Portrayal Of Women In Guy De Maupassant

1312 Words6 Pages
Hitoe Nakamura

To what extent can Maupassant be seen to be misogynistic in his portrayal of women in the necklace?

The French author of short stories and novels, Guy de Maupassant, wrote about many aspects of French life in the 19th century, where society was rigidly divided by people’s class and status in the social hierarchy. “The Necklace”, is heavily influenced by the two literary movements of the century, realism and naturalism. The French author was often criticized for being misogynistic through his negative portrayal of women. This is shown through his lack of sympathy for the protagonist, Madame Loisel. The essay will explore how Maupassant uses Loisel’s life and character to demonstrate the harsh realities of life through the way he objectifies and stereotypes women in the patriarchal society.
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Loisel lives a decent life but constantly wants more, her greed and desire to be rich and wealthy is what ultimately brings the downfall of her character. On the night of the reception, Madame Loisel wears a magnificent diamond necklace from Madame Forestier. As Madame Loisel spends her time at the ball, she is able to live the life she believes she is entitled for. The happiest night of her life slowly becomes her worst nightmare. As she loses the necklace, and is unable to admit her mistake due to her excessive pride. Which leads her to face ten years of hard labour to pay off her debts for replacing the necklace as a result of her insincerity and greed. Maupassant uses Hamartia to associate with the morals in the story, using the protagonist to send the message across to the reader. In this story, a sense of realism and naturalism is conveyed by how life for Loisel had not turned out like the fairytale ‘Cinderella’, but instead the harsh realities of
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