‘The Necklace” is a popular story. Discuss the features that make the necklace a popular story. “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant is a well-known short story around the world. It was first published in the Paris newspaper Le Gaulois on February 17, 1884. “The Necklace” features a young, beautiful woman in a social situation that she finds distasteful. Mathilde Loisel attempts to escape her social situation in life, but her scheming actions ultimately doom her. Some of the features that make this short story popular are an ironical beginning and ending, the third person narration style, climax and relevant themes.
In this short story the author uses an ironical beginning and ending to contribute to success. Irony occurs when we predict about the happenings in a story, then the story takes a turn and the complete opposite of the prediction occurs. Guy de Maupassant uses ironical situations in his story to retain his reader’s interest. For example, in the first paragraph he uses irony, “With no dowry, no prospects, no possibility of becoming known, appreciated, loved, of finding a wealthy and distinguished husband.
And so she settled for a petty clerk in the Ministry of Education. ” This quote is situational irony because when the author uses the words prosperous and famous, the reader would expect the husband to be much more then just a minor clerk. The largest use of irony was in the last sentence of the story. “Madame Foreister, deeply moved, took hold Madame Loisel’s hands. ‘Oh, my poor Mathilde! My necklace was paste. It was worth at most five hundred francs! ’…” The author surprises the reader very much by having the twist at the end of the story.
The reader would expect Madame Foreister to be angry with Mathilde, for not telling her the truth earlier, but she is surprised to hear that Mathilde and her husband had spent ten years repaying their debts for buying the real, thirty-six thousand francs necklace to replace only a fake. Therefore, the use of irony in this story does serve its purpose. Secondly the style of a third person narration was an influential feature in making this story popular. “The Necklace” is fully told by a third-person who avoids judging the characters or any of their actions.
The narrator does have access to the characters’ thoughts, and mentions that Madame Loisel is unhappy because she feels that she married below her status. But for the most part, the narrator simply describes the events of the story, leaving it up to the reader to determine the nature of the characters through their actions. “Now one evening, her husband came home exuberantly, clutching a large envelope. “ Look,” he said, “here’s something for you. ” She ripped it open and pulled out a printed card bearing these words: … ” Most of all, the narrator is concerned with Madame Loisel.
Though most of the story concerns the events surrounding the ball, the narrator recounts her birth into a humble family, her marriage, and also the many years of poverty they suffer afterward as a result of losing the necklace. “Madame Loisel now knew the horrible life of necessity. However, she did her part, thoroughly, heroically. The ghastly debt had to be re-paid. She would repay it. They dismissed the maid; they moved to a garret. She performed the gross household task… ” This skillful narration into a simply presented story makes the story popular and interesting.
It also enables the author to maintain the suspense of the story to keep the reader thinking till the last word. Moreover, climax is yet another crucial feature that effectively contributes to the popularity of the story “The Necklace”. The climax is the turning point in a story. In the Short story ‘The Necklace’ there are two major turning points. First, when the main character Mathilde realizes that she had lost the Necklace. “She turned toward him, panic – stricken: “I … I…I don’t have Madame Forestier’s necklace. ” ”
This particular incident raises a major conflict in the story as it further worsens the main characters family tatus. Second climax and the most interesting turning point occurs when the worn out woman learns that she has spent ten years buying a diamond necklace to replace a costume jewelry one. “ Oh, my poor Mathilde! My necklace was paste. It was worth at most five hundred francs!… ” ” Therefore, by employing two major climaxes in this story “The Necklace”, Guy De Maupassant has certainly made the story an exciting and a worthwhile one. Furthermore, as in any literature there are many relevant themes that the writer Guy De Maupassant portrays in this short story.
The first theme that I would like to discuss is materialism. Guy De Maupassant in the short story “The Necklace,” portrays how most of us live in a materialistic world. Many people in society live a life similar to that of Mathilde’s. Maupassant presents how materialism can be deceiving through the sorrows and trouble of Mathilde for not being wealthy even though she lived a prosperous life. We in our daily lives also come across many people who are not happy with what they have, even though they are very fortunate.
Thus issue is very relevant to the individuals on our society, just like the characters of “The Necklace”. Every person here always has something to look up to in a material world of theirs. Secondly another major theme used in this story to make it popular is appearances and reality. In the story “The Necklace” Guy De Manhassant’s present’s the theme “beauty is truth, truth is beauty. ” Madame Loisel is beautiful, but she is not content. She has the appearance of beauty but not the reality (or truth) of beauty. She is pretty and charming, but she is also unhappy with her life and believes that she deserves more.
Living modestly with her husband before the ball, Madame Loisel believes she is suffering a terrible injustice by having few luxuries. In fact, she does not experience the reality of poverty until she and her husband go into debt to pay off the necklace. The necklace itself represents the theme of appearances versus reality. It also portrays that the society accepts the appearance is our real self while in reality it is not the true reflection of us. For instance at the ball everyone was able to notice her because of her appearance. “All the men gazed at her, asked for her name, and tried to get introduced.
All the cabinet attaches wanted to waltz with her. The minister noticed her. ” It was all because of her outside appearance and not the inner beauty that lied in her. Thus, the use of relevant themes has contributed greatly in the success of this short story as through these themes the readers are able to relate the story to their life and therefore improve their life for the betterment. Finally all these and many other features of this short story have made it popular.