In "The Necklace," what are two examples of alliteration?

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In "The Necklace," two examples of alliteration include "humble house-work" and "dreadful debt."

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To answer this question, we first need to define alliteration and discuss its purpose. In a nutshell, alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds in words that are next to each other or close to each other. It is important to note that a consonant sound does not have to consist of only one letter. For example, “shells on shores” would be an example of alliteration, due to the repetition of the “sh” sound.

The reason that authors, such as Guy de Maupassant, choose to use alliteration is typically to draw attention to something. It creates an appealing sound and links words together to provide vivid images.

To provide examples from “The Necklace,” let us consider the following sentence:

“The sight of the little Breton peasant who did her humble house-work aroused in her regrets which were despairing, and distracted dreams.”

The first example of alliteration is “humble housework” and the second is “despairing, and distracted dreams.” These examples of alliteration draw focus to the sentence, and to our protagonist's significant dissatisfaction with her circumstances in life. The emphasis created by the use of alliteration here helps the reader to fathom how low Mathilde’s spirits are.

Later in the story, after the party has been attended and the necklace lost and replaced, Mathilde reflects on the “dreadful debt” that she must pay. The use of alliteration places emphasis on the debt, which alters the lives of this hapless couple. The repetition of the heavy “d” sound helps the reader to feel Mathilde’s despair.

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Alliteration is when words beginning with the same consonant are placed in close proximity. Using alliteration creates a sense of rhythm or cadence.

Maupassant's short story was originally written in French, so when we look for alliterations, we are dealing with translations. However, most translations include alliteration in order to capture the cadence of the French story. Maupassant's original text employs alliteration, though not always in the same spots as in English. One place, however, from the French (which is captured in the English, as we will see below), is "forêt de féerie," which translates alliteratively into English as "fairy forest."

Two examples, the second with a series of three alliterations, are below:

carrying priceless curiosities, and of the coquettish...

dainty dinners, of shining silverware, of... birds flying in the midst of a fairy forest

Interestingly, the alliterations tend to cluster around Madame Loisel's dreams of the high life of a rich and fabulous lady, underscoring the poetry and fantasy of her imaginings. What she wishes for really can't be obtained in the real world. They also cluster around moments of emotional intensity, drawing attention to those places in the story.

Madame Loisel's fantastic imaginings foreshadow how she will be taken in by a diamond necklace that turns out to be nothing more than a fake. Madame Loisel lives in the false world of her imagination, sadly unable to discern what is truly worthy in life from what is cheap and superficial.

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Alliteration is a sound device where the initial consonant sounds of a word are repeated.  This creates a musical effect and often adds a subtle emphasis in a sentence. 

Mathilde is a woman who feels that she deserves a better life.  Her husband is only a lowly clerk, and cannot take care of her with the level of comfort she feels she deserves.  When he tries to please her by getting an invitation to a ball, he expresses his excitement through alliteration.

I had tremendous trouble to get it. Every one wants one; it's very select, and very few go to the clerks. You'll see all the really big people there.

The alliteration is the repetition of the “t” sound in “tremendous trouble” and helps the reader appreciate the importance of the ball.

Mathilde does not respond well, however.  Alliteration is used again to demonstrate his confusion at her reaction.

He stopped, stupefied and utterly at a loss when he saw that his wife was beginning to cry. Two large tears ran slowly down from the corners of her eyes towards the corners of her mouth.

The words “stopped, stupefied” are alliteration of the “st” sound.  Mathilde’s husband was surprised that she wasn’t excited about the invitation to the ball.  He thought she would be glad, but she is just complaining about the fact that she doesn’t have anything she considers appropriate to wear.

After he gives up all of the money he has saved to buy her a new dress worthy of the ball, she is still not happy.  She is worried about her jewelry.

"I'm utterly miserable at not having any jewels, not a single stone, to wear," she replied. "I shall look absolutely no one. I would almost rather not go to the party."

Mathilde uses alliteration to emphasize the fact that she does not have any jewelry she considers worthy of wearing to the ball. Her husband suggests flowers, which she rejects.  He finally recommends asking a wealthy friend to borrow a necklace.  This Mathilde agrees to, and of course that is what gets her into all the trouble.

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What are two examples of alliteration in "The Necklace"?

Alliteration is the repetition of sounds at the beginning of a set of words in close proximity. For example, tongue twisters are alliterative because they tend to repeat the same sound at the beginning of adjacent words (i.e., She sells seashells down by the seashore—the s sound is repeated). Alliteration is a device used to draw the reader’s attention to specific important details that they might otherwise pass right over. By drawing the reader’s attention, the author is helping the readers understand something deeper within the text, usually something related to theme or characterization.

Example 1

In paragraph four of the story, Maupassant uses alliteration when describing some of the finer things that Mathilde desires. In the paragraph, there is alliteration to focus on things like “shining silverware,” “fairy forests,” and “delicious dishes.” Each of these things is a fantasy that Mathilde entertains while her husband enjoys the simple dinner they can afford. Maupassant uses the alliteration to help the reader understand how enraptured Mathilde is within finery and wealth, a crucial part in understanding the underlying themes of the work.

Example 2

In paragraph eleven, after her husband hands Mathilde the invitation to an extravagant party, she finds a problem with it. Maupassant uses alliteration in the phrase, “her husband had hoped”—which draws the reader’s attention to the disposition of Monsieur Loisel, who only wishes for his wife to be happy. However, we are shown even more her desire for extravagance, in how she is not pleased as her husband expects. Instead, we see even more clearly how she is selfish in the face of a kind deed from her husband. This makes the suffering she goes through all the more cathartic at the end of the story.

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What are two examples of alliteration in "The Necklace"?

Alliteration occurs when words beginning with the same consonant are placed in close proximity. This creates a sense of rhythm in a poem or a story that can add to our enjoyment of it. One point to note, however, is that we are reading the story in translation from the French—we must assume that if a translator provides alliteration it mimics the original, but it most likely will not be exactly the same. Also, alliterations might vary from translation to translation.

That being said, in "The Necklace," an example of alliteration is as follows:

She waited all day, in the same condition of mad fear before this terrible calamity.

In this sentence, the alliterative "c"s of "condition" and "calamity" place an emphasis on these two words—the condition the Loisels are in has not changed and this is a calamity for them.

A second example is below:

the prospect of all the physical privations . . .

This what Monsieur Loisel is thinking about as he borrows money to replace the necklace. The repeated "p" sounds create a rhythmic cadence in this line.

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What are two examples of alliteration in "The Necklace"?

Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds in consecutive words or words that appear near one another.  What is important in alliteration is the sound, not the letter.  Therefore, "cool kites" would qualify as alliteration because of the repetition of the hard c/k sound at the beginning of the words.  On the other hand, "charming cats" would not qualify as alliteration because, although both words start with the letter "c," the ch- sound and the k- sound are not the same sounds.  

In the line, "Natural ingenuity, instinct for what is elegant, a supple mind, are their sole hierarchy," "supple" and "sole" present an example of alliteration with the repeated "s" sound.

In the line, "Mathilde suffered ceaselessly," the repeated "s"/soft "c" sound at the beginning of "suffered" and "ceaselessly" is another example.

In the line, "The sight of the little Breton peasant who did her humble housework," the "h" sound at the beginnings of "who," "humble," and "housework" present another example of alliteration.

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What are two examples of alliteration in "The Necklace"?

First, I want to make sure that there is a clear understanding of what alliteration is, and how to identify it within a work of literature. At the most basic level, alliteration is the use of two or more of the same letter or sounds, that occur subsequently and often consecutively within a sentence. It is important to remember that alliteration is concerned with consonant sounds; the repetition of vowel sounds is another literary term.

With that in mind, the specific examples of alliteration within The Necklace can be found below.

Example 1:

All those things, of which another woman of her rank would never even have been conscious, tortured her and made her angry. 

In the above example, the repetition of the W in which, woman, and would, exemplifies alliteration. The repetition here is used to emphasize her feeling of inadequacy and anger about her relative social standing. 

Example 2:

When she sat down to dinner, before the round table covered with a table- cloth three days old, opposite her husband, who uncovered the soup- tureen and declared with an enchanted air, "Ah, the good pot-au-feu! I don't know anything better than that," she thought of dainty dinners, of shining silverware, of tapestry which peopled the walls with ancient personages and with strange birds flying in the midst of fairy forest; and she thought of delicious dishes served on marvellous plates, and of the whispered gallantries which you listen to with a sphinx-like smile, while you are eating the pink flesh of trout or the wings of a quail. 

While long, the above example showcases alliteration in a few different places. Initially, alliteration can be found with the repetition of the letter D in the line about dainty dishes, and the letter S, in shining silverware. Alliteration is again found in the line about fairy forest, and delicious dishes, with the F and D repeating respectively. These examples of alliteration are painting a fanciful picture, which models the picture in our main character's head. 

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