i have never written a critical analysis before, i turned in my first 'paragraph' and my teacher laughed at me. i need help :(
Think about something you could say about the story that other people might disagree with. For example, "Mathilde lost her money, her youth, and her beauty, but she gained something far greater." Then your paper could talk about how she gained appreciated for less material things like: working with her husband for a common goal or pride in setting a goal and achieving it.
If you choose to discuss theme, which is the most prevalent element of this story, you can take the approach of the relevancy of Maupassant's theme of the falsity of valuing material things. For, certainly this is a cogent message for our society that places paramount value upon riches and the acquisition of material possessions.
In your discussion of this theme, then, you will examine the character of Mathilde as it is this character who develops the theme for Maupassant as Mme. Loisel is destroyed by her false values. When she loses the necklace, she chooses to secretly replace what she thinks it is, rather than go to her old school friend and confess her mishap. In her false pride she works for ten years, making her loving husband suffer along with her until she can return the diamond necklace. Even at the end, she boasts to Mme. Forestier of having replaced it. In the voice of Maupassant, Mme. Forestier replies that the necklace was faux. The realization that she has worked for ten years for what was false, must have been devastating to Mme. Loisel.
What does the term "critical analysis" mean to you? Is this a term you have discussed in class? When you are doing a critical analysis of a story, you can choose one element of the story, for example, the setting, the characters, the author's word choices, etc., and analyze how that element creates some effect in the story. For example, in "The Necklace," do you see any theme or message in the story? What is the main idea you take away after reading the story? Now, what does the author do to convey that theme, message, or idea?
Once you have one main idea about the story, you can write an introduction that shares that idea with the reader. Give the reader a little preview of how the author uses elements from the story to create that idea. Also,the introduction should always state the name of the story and the author.
Often a critical analsyis of a story should include a brief summary of the story, so the reader knows what you are talking about as you discuss your ideas. The second paragraph is the best place to do this.
Next,once you have thought about the ways the author creates a theme or a particular effect, write a paragraph for each. Use quotations from the story to support what you say and explain how the quotations connect with your main idea.
Finally, a conclusion should restate your main idea and give the reader a review of the essay.
I hope this helps you to get started. Good luck.