Are Mathilda's dreams unusual in "The Necklace"?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the short story 'The Necklace' by Guy de Maupassant, Mathilde's dreams seem very normal for a girl heer age. Having just married, she probably dreams of an attractive conventional family life which includes well-behaved children with a good future ahead of them, as well as social status and the outward trappings of financial success as well. This would include smart costumes for herself and the jewelry to go with it. These dreams are not unusual, but the irony is that had she been more patient, she probably would have got them. Instead, comparing herself to the other women she feels shabby, so she tries to rush it. Instead of waiting patiently and encouraging her husband in his promotion chances, she rushes it and risks everything just for one evening's dream.

epollock | Student

Her daydreams are not unusual. It is unlikely that Maupassant contrived the misfortune as a deserved punishment, particularly because Mathilde’s good qualities are brought out as the story progresses. Also, the unexpected and ironic ending indicates that the story is less concerned with showing how Mathilde gets her comeuppance than with evoking regret along with surprise. One might still claim, that Mathilde deserves at least some shock of a grim reality, but certainly not the disaster that occurs. Thus Maupassant succeeds in directing sympathy toward Mathilde, together with whatever criticism she deserves because of her daydreams.

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The Necklace

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