Figurative Language In The Necklace

What are some examples of figurative language in "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Guy de Maupassant's tale of a beautiful, yet petty, young woman who is disconsolate over her social position demonstrates the use of figurative language throughout the narrative.

When her husband tries to cheer his wife who bemoans their social position by showing her an invitation he has received to a ball at the Ministerial Mansion, Madame Loisel tosses it aside petulantly because she has no dress appropriate for such a ball. To make her happy, her husband gives her money with which to purchase a new dress. However, after finding a lovely gown, Mme. Loisel is yet dissatisfied, declaring that without "a jewel or a gem," she will appear poor. She expresses her thought in a simile: "I'll look like a pauper." 

At the ball, Mathilde Loisel is so attractive that she gains the admiration of all the men in attendance. In a short passage that includes figurative language, Maupassant writes,

She danced madly, wildly, no thought to anything in the triumph of her beauty,..

There is also a metaphor in this passage: "a happy cloud....of all the adulation." (in an unstated metaphor her feelings are compared to "a happy cloud"]

Further in the narrative, after having lost the necklace and endured hardships in the effort to repay the loan on a new one, Mathilde is described as being "clad like a peasant" [simile] as she bargains with the grocers and fruit dealers.

lhc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Early in the story, the narrator tells us that Madame Loisel dreams of grand and elegant surroundings, including "tapestries peopling the walls" (an example of personification, when one gives a human characteristic to a non-human object.  When Madame Loisel goes to the party in the expensive dress her husband bought her, and the borrowed pearls, the narrator describes her as being "drunk with pleasure."  As the story progresses and the necklace is lost, there is a reference to the toll this financial distress is taking on her husband, who is described as "have aged five years" (an example of hyperbole, or extreme exaggeration). 

stylechic9 | Student

an idom like " hold your horses" meaning wait your turn or maybe (this is a sad one) " my grandma kicked the bucket meaning she died.


if you aren't satisted -that is totally OK!