Guy de Maupassant’s short story “The Necklace” includes three literary elements that are mainly dominant. Although the author uses all of the elements, he focuses on three of them.
The one element that is above all important is irony. The author uses many examples of irony in his short story. In the first paragraph he uses irony, “With no dowry, no prospects, no way of any kind of being met, understood, loved, and married by a man both prosperous and famous, she was finally married to a minor clerk in the Ministry of Education.” This quote is situation al irony because when the author uses the words prosperous and famous, the reader would expect the husband to be much more then just a minor clerk. The largest use of irony was used in the last sentence of the story. “Mme. Forestier, quite overcome, clasped her by the hands. ‘Oh, my poor Mathilde. But mine was a fake. Why, at most it was worth only five hundred francs!’” The author surprises the reader very much by having the twist at the end of the story. The reader would expect Mme. Foreister to be angry with Mathilde, for not telling her the truth earlier, but she is surprised to hear that Mathilde and her husband had spent ten years repaying their debts for buying the real, thirty-six thousand francs necklace to replace only a fake.
Another main element of the story is character. The author intends Mathilde to be cruel and demanding. When they receive the invitation to the dance, Mathilde wants everything to look wonderful even though they do not have the money. She even uses the money her husband has been saving for a long time to go hunting with his friends. “’I’m not sure exactly, but I think with four hundred Francs I could manage it.’ He turned a bit pale, for he had se aside just that amount to buy a rifle so that the following summer, he could join some friends who were getting up a group to shoot larks on the plain near Nanterre. However, he said, ‘All right. I’ll give you four hundred francs. But try to get a nice dress.’” She always acts innocent and sneaky to get what she wants. “It’s embarrassing not to have a jewel or a gem- nothing to wear on my dress. I’ll look like a pauper. I’d almost rather not go to the party.” Her husband always ends up giving in and buying her what ever she wants.
Suspension of Disbelief An author can encourage us to suspend our disbelief or purposely discourage us to do so. A good example would be the way an author describes something to us. For example, if an author vividly describes an event, a setting, or a character this would be effective in suspending the reader s disbelief. I thought Edgar Allan Poe did a very good job in the Tel-Tale Heart, of ...
The last main element the author focuses on is conflict. The conflict in this story is Man vs. Self. Mathilde always wanted more then what she had. Nothing was ever superior enough for her. “She grieved incessantly, feeling that she had been born for all the little niceties and luxuries of living.” She thinks is perfect and that the world should revolve around her. When she is older, she is not as perfect as she was when she was younger. “Mme. Loisel appeared an old women now. She became heavy, rough, harsh, like one of the poor. Her hair untended, her skirts askew, her hands red, her voice shrill, she even slopped water on her floors and scrubbed them herself. But, sometimes, while her husband was at work, she would sit near the window and think of that long-ago evening when, at the dance, she had been so beautiful and admired.” This shows how she has to clean her house on her own now that she does not have her maids and butlers any longer. She is also no longer beautiful. The only reason she was admired at the dance was because of the necklace. Her life could have been like that party if she had not lost the necklace. “What would have happened if she had not lost that necklace? Who knows? Who can say? How strange and unpredictable life is! How little there is between happiness and misery!” She ruined her own life, and she herself could be the only one to fix it.
“The Necklace” is a wonderful piece of writing. The way the author elaborated on the literary elements is outstanding and amazing. He used irony in the perfect way to surprise the reader at just the right time. The author also makes the reader think about their own life and if they are similar to Mathilde.
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