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Greed In Maupassant's The Necklace And The Rocking Horse Winner

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The utilisation of acts of greed as a motif in Maupassant’s The Necklace and Lawrence's The Rocking Horse Winner are remarkably similar. These similarities shine through in the characterization of the greedy, the motivations behind the greed, and the consequences of it.

The two greedy parties in stories are characterised in a similar manner. Both stories begin with the women being described as beautiful, unlucky, and dissatisfied. These traits outline a common archetype for women in literature, the maiden of want. This can be used to portray a character positively or negatively, depending on what they want. Abstract wants such as love, adventure, or fulfillment are generally reserved for positive characters but concrete wants such as clothing, sex, or wealth, as is the case in these stories, are generally used to depict unlikable or villainous characters. Both authors make it very clear that both women’s heart’s greatest desire is wealth, already making them seem shallow and greedy. Next, each author adds another trait that could be viewed as despicable. Mathilde is given ungratefulness, “Instead of being delighted, as her husband hoped, she flung the invitation petulantly across the table, murmuring: "What do you want me to do with this?"’(Maupassant). She responds to what is supposed to be a sweet surprise like a rude, spoiled child, instantly adding an air of unpleasantness to her character. Hester is given what is regarded as one of the most egregious traits for a
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