The World's Greatest Short Stories By Guy De Maupassant

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On the other hand, how do we account for the audience reaction being contrastingly different with some viewing a particular piece of literature as a tragedy and others viewing it as a comedy? This is where the environment influences come into play. Not every behavior we have is innate, B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) suggested a strong role of learning in behavior and that experience shapes behavior by pairing stimuli and reinforcers, i.e. any event that strengthens the behavior that it follows (Kolb and Whishaw). Particular experiences with tragedy that we have throughout our lives are paired with particular stimuli and reinforcers, like seeing certain types of video clips on the news, and thereby elicit certain behaviors from us. In the book, The World’s Greatest Short Stories, analysis of the stories for tragic elements based on the theory we were studying lead to quite contrasting views from my fellow classmates and myself. One of the stories that was found to have controversial audience responses was, The Necklace, written by Guy de Maupassant. The story told a beautiful young lady, Matilda, who was never satisfied with her meagre standard of living and desired more material wealth. The tragic flaw arises when she borrow a supposedly expensive diamond necklace from a friend and loses it. She and her husband decide to lie and replace the necklace in secret, rather than own up to the mistake. In the end, Matilda and her husband spend most of their lives working off

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