In Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace," what is the character sketch of Mathilde Loisel?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Maupassant's "The Necklace" is written in 3rd-person omniscient, which means that the narrator does know all about Mathilde. However, he chooses to sketch Mathilde by way of indirect description; that is to say, even though he does mention that she's unhappy, most of her character is determined by how she reacts to situations and consequences detailed throughout the plot-line. For example, the mood surrounding Mathilde is whining and complaining. She tells the maid to clean up more in order to make the dull house look better than it is. She complains that she doesn't have money for a dress or jewelry, too. Mathilde truly doesn't realize what she has; neither is she grateful for anything in her life. The indirect inferences force the reader to piece together Mathilde's character throughout the whole story without the narrator needing to blurt out that she is an ungrateful woman. Sadly, she learns the hard way about what it means to be grateful for what she has.

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The Necklace

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