How does Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace" reflect aspects of the period? What are those historical aspects? Discuss their significance in the story as a whole.

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booboosmoosh's profile pic

booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace," historical aspects of the story relate to the historical climate of the time.

The mood of the French following their defeat by the Prussians in 1871 was somber, but a decade later the nation was buoyant, even though certain factional conflicts still remained.

The English translations of the short story identify Monsieur Loisel as a civil servant...

While most English-language translations of "The Necklace'' declare that Monsieur Loisel is a civil servant under the Minister of Education, technically this is not true. The French term is actually "ministre de l'Instruction publique," or Minister of Public Instruction.

This is a consequence of French politics during the 1800s. With the change of writing style in the mid-1800s, fiction became centered more on "the human condition" as opposed to "heroes and villains." It was during this time that... 

Maupassant began his writing career [during this time.] Many of his stories, including "The Necklace," demonstrate his affinity to both the realist and naturalist movements. 

Maupassant was a writer that concentrated on symbols: the necklace represents Madame Loisel's greed and dissatisfaction with her life. It shows her to be artificial and insincere.

Those who admire the necklace only for its supposed worth have been fooled. Just because it looks real does not mean that it is real. 

This is, of course, the case with Madame Liosel. She is not who and what she appears to be. Her "life of drudgery" is nothing like what she makes it out to be: after a night of dazzling "splendor," like Cinderella, Madame Loisel must put away her glamorous clothes and become what she truly is: a young woman who lives a life of Hamartia. This is an error in "action or judgment" that brings about disaster.

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trang5891 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) Honors

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my essay is about historicalism, do you have any ideas to write a thesis statement about it?

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