The Necklace Questions and Answers
by Guy de Maupassant

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Compare and contrast "The Necklace" by William H. Coles and "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant.

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Guy de Maupassant's classic short story, "The Necklace," set in 19th century Paris, is about a middle class woman who longs to be rich. When she borrows and then loses the necklace of the title her life is changed forever. De Maupassant's story is a firm condemnation of materialism as the sought after wealth which the necklace symbolizes turns out to be a fake.

William H. Coles short story of the same name is about upper middle class Americans on tour in India in the present day. There is a deliberate contrast between the ostentatious materialism of the necklace worn by Betsy and the appalling squalor of the Indian people.

It's possible to compare Madame Loisel with the narrator's companion, Helen. At the beginning of de Maupassant's story Madame Loisel covets the opulence of the rich. She dreams of lavishly furnished rooms with expensive pieces of art and of servants catering to her every whim. In Coles' story, Helen spends part of her life in a seventeen room...

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