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Bloom, Harold, ed. Guy de Maupassant. Philadelphia, Chelsea House, 2004. Collection of essays on de Maupassant’s short fiction, divided into sections. The section on “The Necklace” includes a plot summary, a list of characters, a summary of critical views on the work, and four full essays relevant to the story.

Bryant, David. The Rhetoric of Pessimism and Strategies of Containment in the Short Stories of Guy de Maupassant. Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 1993. Using several stories as examples, Bryant discusses de Maupaussant’s depiction of a world hostile to humanity. He describes three constants in the stories that contribute to de Maupassant’s overall unity of vision: the world as a metaphysical farce in which the narrator’s detachment transforms suffering, the power of chance, and writing as a response to fate.

MacNamara, Matthew. “A Critical Stage in the Evolution of Maupassant’s Story-Telling.” Modern Language Review 71, no. 2 (April, 1976): 294-303. Emphasizes the extent to which de Maupassant was influenced by oral tradition and spoken conversation.

Powys, John Cowper. “Guy de Maupassant.” In Essays on de Maupassant, Anatole France, and William Blake. Whitefish, Mont.: Kessinger, 2006. Highlights de Maupassant’s realist approach and his focus on physical reality.

Worth, George J. “The English ’Maupassant School’ of the 1890’s: Some Reservations.” Modern Language Notes 72, no. 5 (May, 1957): 337-340. Chronicles de Maupassant’s career and the metamorphosis of his anecdotal conversational style.

For Further Reference

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Artinian, Artine, editor. The Complete Short Stories of Guy de Maupassant. Garden City, NY: Hanover House/Doubleday, 1955. The introduction discusses Maupassant's writing from a critical viewpoint, praising the artistic merit of this author's many works.

Le Guin, Ursula K. "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas." In The Wind's Twelve Quarters. New York: Harper & Row, 1975. A short story describing a fantasy city of great wealth, and the misery of one child whose captivity preserves that wealth by magic.

Maupassant, Guy de. The Best Stories of Guy de Maupassant. Edited by Saxe Commins. New York: Random House, 1945. Includes a fine introduction describing the life and experiences of Maupassant.

Bibliography and Further Reading

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James, Henry. ‘‘Guy de Maupassant,’’ reprinted in his Partial Portraits, Macmillan, 1888, pp. 243-87.

Prince, Gerald. ‘‘Nom et destin dans 'La Parure',’’ in The French Review, Vol. 55, 1982, pp. 267-71.

Sullivan, Edward D. ‘‘Maupassant et la nouvelle,’’ in Cahiers de l'association internationale des etudes francais, Vol. 27, pp. 223-36.

Further Reading

Artinian, Artine. "Introduction" in The Complete Short Stories of Guy de Maupassant, Hanover House, 1955, pp. ix-xvii.

An introduction to Maupassant's literary reputation, particularly in the United States.

Donaldson-Evans, Mary. ‘‘The Last Laugh: Maupassant's 'Les bijoux' and 'La parure',’’ in French Forum, Vol. 10, 1985, pp. 163-73.

Compares ‘‘The Necklace’’ to ‘‘Les bijoux,’’ another Maupassant story with similar themes, arguing for the superiority of the former based on its greater complexity.

Europe, no. 482, 1969.

A collection of essays in French on Maupassant and his works, which helped reestablish his literary reputation.

James, Henry. ‘‘Guy de Maupassant,’’ in Maupassant's The Odd Number, Harper & Brothers, 1889, pp. vii- xvii.

Also published in the October 19, 1889, edition of the influential periodical Harper's Weekly, this piece served as an introduction to American readers to the works of Maupassant.

O'Faolain, Sean. The Short Story, Devin-Adair, 1974.

In a section entitled ‘‘The Technical Struggle: On Subject,’’ O'Faolain addresses ‘‘The Necklace,’’ among other works, and argues that the story's merit lies not in its "whip-crack ending" but in Maupassant's portrayal of characters and society.

Steegmuller, Francis. Maupassant: A Lion in the Path, Collins, 1949.

Primarily a biography, this work relates much of Maupassant's fiction to his...

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life through the device of psychoanalysis.

Sullivan, Edward D. Maupassant: The Short Stories, Barron's, 1962.

An introduction to Maupassant's contes and nouvelles, with some useful commentary on ‘‘The Necklace.’’

Thibaudet, Albert. "The Generation of 1850," in his French Literature from 1795 to Our Era, Funk & Wagnalls, 1968, pp. 263-359.

Offers an overview of the major figures and movements in French literature and contextualizes Maupassant's writings in terms of his contributions to literary development and his relationships with other authors.

Media Adaptations

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Last Updated on June 1, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 154

There are at least three film versions of Maupassant's story available in English. The first, a silent film from 1909, was directed by D. W. Griffith and runs eleven minutes. A 1980 version runs twenty minutes and is distributed by Britannica Films. A 1981 production runs twenty-two minutes and is distributed by Barr Entertainment.

Another film version of "The Necklace," which followed the French title of "La parure," appeared on American television on January 21, 1949. The famous conclusion was changed to a happy ending, which was apparently more to the producing advertiser's liking.

In addition, there are several audio recordings of "The Necklace," most available on both cassette and compact disc: Maupassant's Best-Known Stories (two volumes), distributed by Cassette Works; De Maupassant Short Stories (one volume), distributed by Listening Library; Favorite Stories of Guy de Maupassant (two volumes), distributed by Jimcin Recordings; and the French-language "La parure," "Deuxamix," "Le bapte" (one volume, abridged), distributed by Olivia & Hall.


Historical and Social Context