“the Necklace” By Guy De Maupassant

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“The Necklace” by Guy De Maupassant

“The Necklace” by Guy De Maupassant


“The Necklace” or La Parure in French is a short story written by Guy De Maupassant which was first published on 17th February, 1884, in Le Gaulios, a French newspaper. It is one of the stories of realistic tales which centers on a single object, “The Necklace”. It is a precise illustration of a husband wife relationship. The story has an ironic surprising ending which depicts the strong sense of pride which may tone down the reality and can develop an opportunity as well as disaster in a marital relationship. This paper will evaluate the plot and chief symbolism i.e. the necklace under the theme of the story that is realism.



“The Necklace” has a theme of reality vs. appearance. All her life, Madame Mathilde Loisel lives in dilemma which restraints her from differentiating between reality and appearance. She used to think that she belongs to high class, however, in reality she was from a poor family. The story depicts the theme of realism which began in mid 19th century in France (Bloom, n.d.). The theme rejected the doctrine of Romantic Movement. Realist literature centers in the life of middle -class and focus on their realistic portrayal rather than its ideal characterization. This theme portrays the tragic live such as it did in the story “The Necklace” in which the tragic life of the couple, their actions and its consequences are illustrated with little or no subjectivity.

Plot of the Story

The story is about a husband and wife. Madame Mathilde Loisel always thought herself to be of high status who possess everything. However, in reality she owns nothing and was married to a low-paid clerk who was unable to provide her high status possessions. They got a chance to go the Minister of Education Party but Madame refuses to go as she did not have anything to wear. Husband gave her the only 400 francs he had for a beautiful dress and ask her to have roses to compliment the dress (Pierce, 2013). Madame simply refuses his suggestion and borrows a diamond necklace from her friend, which she lost at the end of the party. In order to return it she borrows 36,000 francs and from here her financial misery begins. The story has a surprising end when after ten years, the owner of necklace reveals that it was a replica and worth only 500 francs.

Like his mentor Flaubert, Maupassant also used to believe that fiction should portray reality as accurately as possibly rather than being ideal and romantic all the time. In all his work he strives for objectivity rather than romantic details or psychological explorations (Artinian, 1941). He prefers the structure of his writing with clearly defined plot and observable details. “The necklace” also displays the fixation of the author with observations and the facts. Author simply informs his readers about the unhappiness of Mathide towards her life and the things she desired rather than exploring her ...
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