The Necklace Rhetorical Analysis

951 Words4 Pages
"Compare the reactions of the main characters to their situations of poverty in 'The Necklace' and 'Veronica'"

Acute poverty is difficult to imagine unless it has been experienced first hand, and one's perception of poverty is often proportional to one's social status or quality of life. 'The Necklace' by Guy de Maupassant, set mainly in an unspecified area of rural Africa, and 'Veronica' by Adawale Maja-Pearce, a nineteenth century story with a contemporary setting in Paris, both adopt poverty as a main theme throughout the stories, and much of the reader's perception of the characters is shaped by their reactions to their different forms of poverty. They are closely interlinked, but when compared, the vast differences in the two societies
…show more content…
Perhaps the author was trying to convey his jealousy. This shows that he is increasingly becoming concerned with more trivial matters such as this, because of his privileged life in the city. The abundance of luxury allows him to focus on unnecessary things, as is the case with Loisel in 'The Necklace'. Veronica's treatment of her husband provides a contrast to 'The Necklace', as Loisel treats her husband ungratefully. This is demonstrated by her saying "What earthly use is that to me?" when her husband gives her the invitation. She also begins to cry: "Two large tears rolled slowly out of the corners of her eyes". This reaction is childish, and reflects that of a spoilt child who has been refused a demand. This is because Loisel is convinced that she is impoverished, and Veronica– who actually is– remains satisfied, and stubbornly refuses to accept help. Her poverty has conditioned her to make the most of what she has, and she is stoic in her kind and cheerful…show more content…
Okeke reflects upon his previous life. For example, he says, "I was eighteen then...my own worth". Okeke is reflecting upon the naivety of his youth. The lack of commas makes it more conversational, which is consistent with the rest of the story, and adds an element of vulnerability to his perspective. It suggests that a sad event might have happened to make him realise his naivety and put his life into perspective. The reader discovers later in the story that this event was most likely Veronica's death. Throughout these first few paragraphs there are regretful undertones which take on the philosophy 'ignorance is bliss', as Okeke then had no idea of what was to come. The wording creates a nostalgic tone, using phrases such as "In those days" and "no longer". The atmosphere of this section is similar to a scene in 'The Necklace'. Loisel realises after being made poor that she should have been grateful for her privilege in her previous middle class status. It describes her reminiscing about her previous life: "she would sit by the window...so admired". Loisel longs for the days when she was not poor, and the phrasing here adopts a nostalgic tone. Loisel is also staring out of the window, which is something typically associated with daydreaming. Before she was made poor, she dreamed of wealth and luxury, and now she dreams of not being in poverty. This is ironic, as she now realises
Open Document