Compare and contrast Matilda in "The Necklace" by Guy De Maupassant, to Emily in "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner.

Asked on by jack123

1 Answer | Add Yours

pmiranda2857's profile pic

pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Madame Loisel is consumed with a desire for material wealth.  She is married to a working man who is content with his life.  She longs for a life of luxury, with fancy clothes and jewels.

"She believes that superficial things—a ball gown, better furniture, a large house—will make her happy, and an invitation to a ball makes her miserable because it reminds her of her dowdy wardrobe and lack of jewels."

Emily, is a daughter of an aristocratic Southerner living in the pre-Civil War South. Her father has prevented her from marrying, finding all her suitors unworthy. When the South loses the war, and her father dies, Emily is left alone with a house in ruins and a life that is no longer relevant. 

Madame Loisel and Emily both end up have unfulfilled lives. Neither has what she wants. One wants riches, the other a husband, each life is sacrificed for the mistaken idea that their lives are empty.  Although Madame Loisel has a husband, she is not content, the pursuit of wealth and glamor ends up shaping her life.  A life of hardship to repay the cost of the necklace.

Emily ends up murdering a man so she would not be alone. Desperate for a husband,  she cannot allow Homer Barron to leave her, so she poisons him and spends many years sleeping next to a corpse.   

Neither woman sees the value of the life she has, but rather imagines that she has missed out on the life she deserved.


We’ve answered 319,815 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question