Why did M. Loisel expect his wife to be pleased to receive the invitation from the Minister of Education in the short story "The Necklace"

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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A protege of Gustave Flaubert, Guy de Maupassant used in the short story "The Necklace" a treatment of main themes, conflicts, and characters that are quite similar to Flaubert's Madame Bovary. This being said, Monsieur Loisel is characterized in the same fashion as Charles Bovary: they are both men who are totally oblivious of their personal realities, and whose state of contentment blocks any inclination to question anything about their lives. In other words, they move forward blindsided and narrow-minded. There is a reason for this: it is to let the reader focus completely on the immense conflicts of the female main characters.

Therefore, the reason why Monsieur Loisel expects his wife to be pleased is because there is an overall disconnect in the Loisel marriage: Loisel is said to be happy with just eating his simple soup at nights, with not having a lot of money, and with his job at the ministry. Meanwhile, his wife

...was unhappy as if she had really fallen from a higher station; since with women there is neither caste nor rank, for beauty, grace and charm take the place of family and birth.

Hence, the reality that Mathilde holds as true is totally different from that of her oblivious, simpleton husband. The disconnect between reality and fantasy is big enough to result in Monsieur Loisel's complete disregard of the state of his marriage. Moreover, the historical context of the story denotes a time where the needs and wants of women were not really regarded as important. Mathilde was a victim of both herself and her circumstances.

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