What is the narrative technique in "The Necklace"?

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Guy de Maupassant utilizes the third person limited narrative technique throughout his short story "The Necklace ." Unlike the third person omniscient narrative, where the narrator shares the thoughts and feelings of each character in the story, the third person limited narrative knows the thoughts and feelings of a...

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Guy de Maupassant utilizes the third person limited narrative technique throughout his short story "The Necklace." Unlike the third person omniscient narrative, where the narrator shares the thoughts and feelings of each character in the story, the third person limited narrative knows the thoughts and feelings of a single character, while all other characters are presented externally. In the story, Maupassant only explores the thoughts and feelings of Mathilde Loisel, who desperately wishes to enjoy a life of luxury and resents marrying a lowly clerk. Mathilde Loisel's husband's thoughts and feelings are not described throughout the story, and the reader also knows nothing about Madame Forestier's thoughts or emotions. By using the third person limited narrative, Maupassant is able to create a surprise ending, and the reader does not expect that the necklace is an imitation. If the reader had access into Madame Forestier's mind, they would more than likely know that the necklace is an imitation. Overall, Guy de Maupassant utilizes third person limited narration throughout "The Necklace" by only accessing Mathilde Loisel's thoughts and feelings in order to create a surprise ending.

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This story makes significant use of backstory, or exposition, in order to share with readers the relevant information that we need to properly understand the Loisels' predicament. The narrator explains the circumstances of Madame Loisel's origins—that she lacked a dowry and had no real chance of marrying terribly well as a result of her family's lack of connections, that she was unhappy in her marriage because it did not satisfy her longing for status and beautiful things, and that she felt herself to "suffer ceaselessly" as a result of her perceived deprivation. This helps us to understand why Madame Loisel responds the way she does to the news of the invitation her husband procures and why she eventually feels compelled to borrow the jewels from her friend Madame Forestier.

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The narrative technique in the short story "The Necklace" is a third person omniscient point of view or perspective. This is an appropriate technique since Madame Loisel nor her husband would be reliable narrators. The third person omniscient narrator knows all and shares what the characters are thinking and feeling. This narrative technique allows the reader to know exactly how Madame Loisel truly feels. Using this narrative technique helps the reader see that Madame Loisel is humiliated about her station in life. She is angry because she feels she was born for the finer things in life. Truly, this narrative technique is used to express the emotions that both Madame Loisel and her husband feel. While she is depressed and very unhappy, her husband tries so hard to make her happy. He does not have the prestige and high ranking wealthy reputation that Mathilde so desires. He does not have the financial status that Mathilde so desires. She longs for a wealthy, luxurious lifestyle. The narrative technique is craftily used to help the reader get into the minds and hearts of the characters. In this technique, the reader can form an opinion that is based on the inner turmoil that Madame Loisel experiences due to not having expensive jewelry, fine clothes and a mansion. The reader can see that Madame Loisel feels life has been unjust to her. At the same time, this narrative technique shows the reader that Madame Loisel is truly missing out on what is really important in life. The reader is relieved that Mathilde learns this lesson even if it is learned the hard way. The third person omniscient point of view is a narrative technique that allows the reader to travel on Madame Loisel's journey as she goes from being extremely unhappy to a lady who is finally "decently content" with the life she was born to live.         

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