A Wasteful Fashion in The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant
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Ten years of life used to pay back a debt that was worth ten thousand dollars. Was it worth it? Guy de Maupassant was a popular French writer who is known as one of the fathers of modern short stories. Many of Maupassant’s stories are set during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870’s. Maupassant ended up writing about three hundred short stories, six novels, three travel books, and one volume of verse. In his short story, ‘The Necklace’, the main character, Mathilde Loisel, feels as if she should have been born rich but instead was born into a life of poverty. One day her husband, knowing Mathilde longed for this rich life, presented her with an opportunity to attend a rich party. After initially refusing, Mathilde finally agrees to go and goes out to buy a nice dress and borrow a beautiful diamond necklace to wear at the party and fit in with the rich crowd. When the party had ended, Mathilde was unable to find the necklace. Instead of admitting the loss of the necklace to her friend who loaned it to her, she and her husband took out a loan to a replacement. They then spent ten long years working double, only to find out in the end that the original necklace was a fake. Guy de Maupassant develops his theme that people should be happy with who they are and what they have in his short story ‘The Necklace’ through the use of irony, characterization, and symbolism.
Guy de Maupassant uses irony, a key literary element in his short story, ‘The Necklace’ by giving an example of a