Symbolism In The Necklace

783 Words4 Pages
‘The Necklace’ was a short story written by French writer Guy de Maupassant in the late nineteenth century, which was a period of time where the literary movements naturalism and realism were frequently used in French literature. The short story shows how greed and wealth can change a personality and affect their lifestyles. Throughout ‘The Necklace’, Maupassant aims to show the conflicts between the lower and upper classes, and how their desires may vary. This essay will discuss how Maupassant uses social context, symbolism, literary devices and his characters demonstrate his misogynistic viewpoints.

The main character of the story, Madame Loisel, lives a steady life in the middle classes in the beginning of the story. She aspires to the
…show more content…
Her husband manages to get an invitation to one of the wealthy parties that she longs to attend, but when she refuses, saying she has nothing to wear, he helps her purchase an expensive dress. Mathilde borrows an extravagant diamond necklace from her friend Madame Forestier. Madame Loisel has a wonderful time at the party, but afterwards discovers the diamond necklace is lost. The couple spend their inheritance and take out loans to replace it. After years of living in poverty and debt that ruins Mathilde’s looks. Mathilde runs into Madame Forestier, to whom she confesses the whole story. Madame Forestier tells her that the necklace was a fake.

Maupassant’s misogynistic portrayal of women is evident through Madame Loisel’s superficial and materialistic nature. This is demonstrated when Monsieur Loisel tries to convince his wife to go to the party. But, she declines again, saying,” She was not convinced. “No. There’s nothing so humiliating as to look poor when you’re with women who are rich.” The declarative, ‘she was not convinced’ shows that she isn’t satisfied with her husband’s suggestion to wear a posy, because she does not want to diminish her beauty by wearing something that only people from the middle class would wear. Her husband’s
Open Document