The Necklace Questions and Answers
by Guy de Maupassant

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What are the similarities and differences between Madame Mathilde Loisel of "The Necklace" and Della Young of "The Gift of the Magi"?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Both Mathilde and Della are young, attractive women who occupy the lower-middle class and are married to relatively poor men. Mathilde and Della also experience economic issues and desire to attain wealth and financial stability.

Both women also find themselves in ironic situations. Mathilde discovers that she has wasted ten years of her life to pay back a worthless necklace that she initially thought was priceless, while Della discovers that her present for Jim is worthless because he sold his valuable watch. Money and material objects also play a significant role in their lives and affect the outcome of their different situations. Additionally, Mathilde and Della could also be described as foolish for different reasons.

Despite sharing several similarities, Mathilde and Della are completely different people. Mathilde is portrayed as a superficial, vain woman who is unhappily married and values appearances over inherent qualities. Mathilde fantasizes about enjoying a life of luxury and...

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