What are Maupassant's views about women in "The Necklace?"

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace" depicts women as materialistic and only worried about status. Given that "Mathilde suffered ceaselessly, feeling herself born to enjoy all delicacies and all luxuries," readers are made aware that she desires much more to be happy than her simple and comfortable married life.

Compounding this idea is Mathilde's desire to show herself off. Upon receiving news that her husband has gotten tickets to a ball, Mathilde declares that she has nothing to wear. Her husband gives her the money he had been saving for a fishing trip--allowing her the ability to purchase a new dress. After purchasing the dress, Mathilde is still not happy. She needs jewelry. Although ashamed that she must borrow the jewelry, Mathilde chooses the most brilliant and beautiful diamond necklace from Madame Forestier.

Unfortunately, Mathilde loses the necklace and goes into debt trying to pay it back. years later, she comes across Madame Forestier. Mathilde, shockingly, blames Madame Forestier for her poverty.

Essentially, the story of Mathilde and the necklace show that many women can never be happy, that material things are far more cherished than should be, and that they fail to assume responsibility for their actions.


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