Guy de Maupassant The Necklace | An Analytical Study


Guy de Maupassant The Necklace | An Analytical Study

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Guy de Maupassant The Necklace | An Analytical Study

Guy de Maupassant The Necklace | An Analytical Study

Guy de Maupassant The Necklace | An Analytical Study

The Necklace’ is a French short story by Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893), a reputed French story-teller. The main theme of the story is pride in physical beauty, desire for ornament, and comforts in life. The storyteller shows, through the story that one who goes beyond his means suffers miseries.

It is the story of Mrs. Loissels, the wife of Mr. Loissels. Mr. Loissels was a clerk in the Public Education Department. He somehow managed his family with his scanty earnings. His wife Mrs. Loissels came from a poor family. She was very beautiful and desirous of a comfortable way of life. She had a strong weakness for ornaments. She suffered from the mental agony of being a wife of a poor clerk and often dreamt of a better household which his husband was unable to provide. One day his husband returned home from his office with an invitation letter. The Education Minister had invited the Loissels couple to a feast. Mr. Loissels thought that his wife would be glad to be invited by such a man of position like Education Minister. But instead of being happy she tore off the invitation letter and threw it away and in exasperation, she said that by wearing what she would go there. Then her husband agreed to buy her a costly frock for four hundred Francs. Yet she was not happy. She desired to have an ornament. Then his husband suggested to her to borrow some ornaments from her friend, Madam Farestia. Accordingly, she went to Farestia and borrowed a diamond necklace. Wearing the frock and the necklace she observed her beauty and comeliness in front of the mirror. She became jubilant and went to the feast. Of all the invitees she was the most beautiful and her charms bewitched all, even the Minister. Being proud of her beauty she began to dance. She danced till 4 o’clock at night. But when the dance came to an end then suddenly her beautiful and costly frock dropped off and then her cheap dress worn under the costly frock came to be visible. Then she ran off the stairs and in a car of olden model she reached home. Going home she discovered that the diamond necklace was missing. They searched it here and there shaking all the clothes but in vain.  The cost of the necklace was about forty thousand francs. Then Mr. Loissels bought a new diamond necklace for the same price selling all his belongings and borrowing money from his relatives and giving it to Madam Farestia. They become poorer than before. Their standard of living fell down. It took ten years to pay off the debt. In hardship, Mrs. Loissels became old before age. Her beauty and comeliness fell off. Then after ten years, one day she suddenly happened to meet her friend Madam Farestia and told her all of her sufferances. She also told about the necklace. Then Farestia said that the necklace that she lent her was not genuine but a duplicate one.

The story bears only three Characters Mr. Loissels, Mrs. Loissels, and Madam Farestia. But Mrs. Loissels is the main character. She is very beautiful and desirous of an aristocratic and comfortable way of life. But for going beyond their means, she along with her husband happens to suffer a lot in life. She is a type of all those women who are proud of their beauty and run after vain comforts. The author has unfolded women- psychology through her. Mr. Loissels seems to be henpecked. He suffers a lot for his wife’s vain desire. Madam Farestia is a minor character. She has little role in the story. She only appears to lend her necklace to Mrs. Loissels and sympathizes with her mate Mrs. Loissels. 

In narrating the story the author has employed the Objective Method with skill. In this method, an author keeps himself away from his story and delineates his story objectively.

The story, in Structure, is a perfect one. It bears visibly all the stages of a good short story. The opening is direct. In the opening, the storyteller introduces his main characters- Mrs. Loissels and Mr. Loissels. The climax of the story reaches when Mrs. Loissels discovers that the diamond necklace which she borrowed from her friend Madam Farestia was missing.

The Setting of the story is consistent with the events and situation. But the author is very economic and logical in portraying the setting of his event.

The Dialogues employed in the story are very logical as he uses them sparingly but all the dialogues have taken the role of leading his story ahead and likewise unfolded the inner motives of his characters.

The Philosophy of Life is also found in the story. The author has not expressed it directly but leaves it to be drawn out by his readers after the reading of it. The story suggests that if one goes beyond his means it causes one to suffer in life.

The Language of the story is very simple as it is characterized by the use of concrete and formal (not unfamiliar) words and phrases and is free from poetic imagery and much emotional expression.

All the qualities of a good short story as —unity of purpose, brevity, spontaneity and universality are present in this short story. The author keeps up the unity of his purpose showing that it is love that can make our life happy. The brevity which is thought of as the soul of a short story is also maintained throughout the story as all the component elements of a good short story are employed in the story with possible economy without causing any harm to the perfectness of the story. Thus Universality is gained by means of the reliable representation of the theme and event. The story begins and ends with a spontaneous logical order and the author seems not to use any force in bringing about the denouement of his story through proper stages.

 As a short story, its Length is ideal as —neither very short nor long.

The analysis of the story as done above shows that all the elements and qualities of a good short story are present in it so it may be called that it is a short story of the first grade. 0 0 0

Guy de Maupassant The Necklace | An Analytical Study

Read More: Guy de Maupassant’s Short Stroy ‘The Jewel’-An Analytical Study

Maupassant The Necklace

N. B. This article entitled ‘Guy de Maupassant The Necklace | An Analytical Study’ originally belongs to the book ‘World Short Story Criticism‘ by Menonim Menonimus. Guy de Maupassant The Necklace | An Analytical Study

Books of Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:

  1. World Short Story Criticism
  2. World Poetry Criticism
  3. World Drama Criticism
  4. World Novel Criticism
  5. World Essay Criticism
  6. Indian English Poetry Criticism
  7. Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
  8. Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  9. Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  10. Critical Essays on English Poetry
  11. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
  12. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
  13. Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period
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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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