What are two examples of alliteration in "The Necklace"?

Expert Answers
brandyhwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

First, I want to make sure that there is a clear understanding of what alliteration is, and how to identify it within a work of literature. At the most basic level, alliteration is the use of two or more of the same letter or sounds, that occur subsequently and often consecutively within a sentence. It is important to remember that alliteration is concerned with consonant sounds; the repetition of vowel sounds is another literary term.

With that in mind, the specific examples of alliteration within The Necklace can be found below.

Example 1:

All those things, of which another woman of her rank would never even have been conscious, tortured her and made her angry. 

In the above example, the repetition of the W in which, woman, and would, exemplifies alliteration. The repetition here is used to emphasize her feeling of inadequacy and anger about her relative social standing. 

Example 2:

When she sat down to dinner, before the round table covered with a table- cloth three days old, opposite her husband, who uncovered the soup- tureen and declared with an enchanted air, "Ah, the good pot-au-feu! I don't know anything better than that," she thought of dainty dinners, of shining silverware, of tapestry which peopled the walls with ancient personages and with strange birds flying in the midst of fairy forest; and she thought of delicious dishes served on marvellous plates, and of the whispered gallantries which you listen to with a sphinx-like smile, while you are eating the pink flesh of trout or the wings of a quail. 

While long, the above example showcases alliteration in a few different places. Initially, alliteration can be found with the repetition of the letter D in the line about dainty dishes, and the letter S, in shining silverware. Alliteration is again found in the line about fairy forest, and delicious dishes, with the F and D repeating respectively. These examples of alliteration are painting a fanciful picture, which models the picture in our main character's head. 

favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds in consecutive words or words that appear near one another.  What is important in alliteration is the sound, not the letter.  Therefore, "cool kites" would qualify as alliteration because of the repetition of the hard c/k sound at the beginning of the words.  On the other hand, "charming cats" would not qualify as alliteration because, although both words start with the letter "c," the ch- sound and the k- sound are not the same sounds.  

In the line, "Natural ingenuity, instinct for what is elegant, a supple mind, are their sole hierarchy," "supple" and "sole" present an example of alliteration with the repeated "s" sound.

In the line, "Mathilde suffered ceaselessly," the repeated "s"/soft "c" sound at the beginning of "suffered" and "ceaselessly" is another example.

In the line, "The sight of the little Breton peasant who did her humble housework," the "h" sound at the beginnings of "who," "humble," and "housework" present another example of alliteration.