What tone is created through Maupassant's use of third person limited narrotor?"The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Guy de Maupassant's employment of the third-person point of view used in his short story 'The Necklace" provides the perspective of Mathilde Loisel solely. Thus, the story is told in a subtlely ironic tone as Maupassant writes a social criticism of the bourgeosie, especially the weak and unimaginative M. Loisel, who is a minor clerk in the ministry office. For, he is completely manipulated by his wife, who complains of not having a dress and jewels; then, when she loses the necklace, he never criticizes, but meekly accepts the unfortunate life they must live.

Maupassant's characteristic irony is certainly evinced in his use of the third-person vantage point with Mme. Loisel. For, her hypocrisy in social pretenses costs her many a miserable year, and, then, she has acquired no humility as she proudly refuses to inform Madame Forestier that she has lost the necklace.  Even when she encounters Mme. Forestier, Mme. Loisel's pettiness is exhibited as she blames her old school friend for her misfortunes.  This pettiness backfires in great ironic proportions when Mme. Forestier informs her that the necklace was faux.

Clearly, the use of third-person point of view affords Guy de Maupassant the vantage point for ridicule, both of the bourgeoisie in the person of Monsieur Loisel and of the pettiness and hypocrisy of Madame Loisel.    

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