What are the Character sketches of Mathilde and Madame Forestier in "The Necklace"?20 characters

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Character description is divided into two types:  direct and indirect. (Let Mme. Loisel be the example)

Direct characterization = statements by the narrator giving his/her opinion of the character(e.g. "She [Madame Loisel] was one of those pretty and charming girls,....")

Indirect characterization

1. physical description of the character e.g. "She dressed plainly..."

2.  the character's actions e.g. "...she scornfully tossed the invitation on the table...."

3.  character's thoughts, feelings, and speeches e.g. "there's nothing more humiliating than to look poor among a lot of rich women."

4.the comments and reactions of other characters  "He [Monsieur Loisel] was stunned.  he resumed, "Let's see Mathilde. How much would a suitbal outfit cost...."

You may want to view the site below from a discussion group on how to do character sketches for another work.  There are some helpful suggestions from other editors on it.  Good luck!

renkins44's profile pic

renkins44 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

In order to do a proper character sketch, focus mainly on how a character changes from beginning to end. The change should be substantial. In other words, focus the character's values, beliefs, and worldview.

Typically, the change is marked by how a character reacts to conflict. There are mini-conflicts (also known as complications) leading up to and following the major conflict of losing the necklace.

Consider Mathilde's original values that led to each conflict. Had she been happy with her original situation and not looked for superficial social standing, there would be no conflict at all. Mathilde's inner conflict of who she is and who she wants to be is central to the plot of the story. Because of her significant changes, she is known as "dynamic character."

Monsieur Loisel, the static character, never changes sunstantially and thus can be used to measure the Mathilde's changes as the two interact. Think of when you go to see an old friend for the first time in a while. You can learn a lot about how you changed if that person is the same as you remembered him or her.

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