How can I compare the settings of "The Necklace" and "Everyday Use," giving two examples from each story?

The short story "The Necklace," by Guy De Maupassant, and the short story "Everyday Use," by Alice Walker, have many similarities and differences. In terms of the setting, both stories take place in modest dwellings, with characters who come from little money and little status in society. In the opening paragraph of the story, this dissatisfaction is described: "She was one of those pretty and charming girls born, as though fate had blundered over her, into a family of artisans. She had no marriage portion, no expectations." The narrator seems perfectly content with her surroundings such as Mathilde's husband. Dee is clearly not happy with her family home and social position when there are examples like this: "

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The short story "The Necklace," by Guy De Maupassant, and the short story "Everyday Use," by Alice Walker, have many similarities. There are also many differences. In terms of the setting, both stories take place in modest dwellings, with characters who come from little money and little status in society.

In "The Necklace," Mathilde Loisel is born into a modest family and marries a man with little means and status. She feels that she was wronged by being born so humbly. She is dissatisfied with her station in life, her dwelling, clothes, and husband. In the opening paragraph of the story, this dissatisfaction is described:

"She was one of those pretty and charming girls born, as though fate had blundered over her, into a family of artisans. She had no marriage portion, no expectations, no means of getting known, understood, loved, and wedded by a man of wealth and distinction; and she let herself be married off to a little clerk in the Ministry of Education. Her tastes were simple because she had never been able to afford any other, but she was as unhappy as though she had married beneath her." 

In this example, we see how her station in life is at odds with her vision for what her life should be. In the following quote, there is an example of how her surroundings dissatisfied her:

"She suffered from the poorness of her house, from its mean walls, worn chairs, and ugly curtains. All these things, of which other women of her class would not even have been aware, tormented and insulted her."

In Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use," the character of Dee is similar to Mathilde in that she is born to a family of very humble means. The narrator of this story is Dee and Maggie's mother. She describes their home in the opening paragraph:

"I will wait for her in the yard that Maggie and I made so clean and wavy yesterday afternoon. It is not just a yard. It is an extended living room. When the hard clay is swept clean as a floor and the fine sand along the edges lined with tiny, irregular grooves, anyone can come and sit and look up into the elm tree and wait for the breezes that never come inside the house."

The narrator seems perfectly content with her surroundings, much like Mathilde's husband seems satisfied, though he wants to make his wife happy. Dee is clearly not happy with her family home and social position. When the narrator describes the house that burned, readers see another similarity between Mathilde, who hated her modest home, and Dee, who likewise hated hers. Following is an example from "Everyday Use."

"How long ago was it that the other house burned? Ten, twelve years? Sometimes I can still hear the flames and feel Maggie's arms sticking to me, her hair smoking and her dress falling off her in little black peppery flakes. Her eyes seemed stretched open, blazed open by the flames reflected in them. And Dee. I see her standing off under the sweet gum tree she used to dig gum out of; a look of concentration on her face as she watched the last dingy gray board of the house fall in toward the red-hot brick chimney. Why don't you do a dance around the ashes? I wanted to ask her. She had hated the house that much." 

Another example of Dee's similarity to Mathilde Loisel is this:

"Dee wanted nice things. A yellow organdy dress to wear to her graduation from high school; black pumps to match a green suit she'd made from an old suit somebody gave me. She was determined to stare down any disaster in her efforts." 

This is similar to Mathilde's desire for nice things, including the dress that cost four hundred francs she wanted for the party, and the jewels that she borrowed from Madame Forestier. Like Dee, Mathilde is determined to have nice things and present an image of herself to the world that is different than what the economic situation she was born into allows.

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