21 Sep 2016

BA English Short Story'The Necklace' by G.D Maupassant

The Necklace
G.D Maupassant

G.D Maupassant was a French novelist and short story writer. In 'The Necklace’, he displays all the qualities which distinguish him as a master artist of short story writing
.This story shows the perfection of his writing skills..The story exposes that in human life, chance sometimes, is more powerful than human resolution. It is man s' destiny.

Mrs. Loisel was an imaginative type of woman. She was strikingly beautiful and lady - like but she belonged to a poor family and therefore she had no opportunity of being rich or wealthy one in her life. As a result she was married to a poor clerk..This depressed her and she and she would often think about rich houses, beautiful dresses, ornaments and the luxuries of an aristocratic life. She thought that she was born for all this with the result that she did not lead  a happy life and in the house she lived appeared to her dull and boring. She had a rich friend, Mrs. Frostier but she did not go to see her because of her poverty.

One day her husband brought an invitation for a ball at the minister s' house. He was very excited because he was among a few lucky employees who had been able to get the card. He thought that his wife would be also happy to get it. But she threw the card spitefully on the table and told her husband that she would not be able to go because she did not have any dress to put .She was very sad and started weeping. Her husband consoled her and asked her how much she need for a good dress.

She said that it would cost her at least four hundred franc. He husband gave her the money he had  kept himself to buy a gun. However the dress was prepared but she was again sad. Her husband was surprised to see her behaving strangely. On asking she told that she did not have any jewel to put on with the dress..First the husband suggested that she should wear some fresh flowers but on her refusal, he suggested tat she should borrow some jewel from her friend, Mrs. Frostier. She went to her friend and borrowed a diamond necklace and she was very happy to get it.

The day of the party arrived. Mrs. Loisel was a great success. She was the prettiest of all. All the men looked at  her, asked her name and wanted to be presented. All the members of the cabinet wanted to dance with her. She danced with enthusiasm, with passion, intoxicated with pleasure thinking of nothing in the triumph of her beauty.

She went home towards four of clock in the morning. She went in front of the mirror to have a final view of her beady but she suddenly uttered a cry. Her necklace was not around her neck..Her husband searched it everywhere but all in vain. They decided to replace the necklace. After a week s' struggle, they were able to find a necklace exactly identical to the one which was lost..Its price was thirty six thousand franc. Loisel possessed eighteen thousand franc. The rest they had to borrow.

They borrowed it from whosoever they could. They bought the necklace and returned it to Mrs. Frostier.
After this their life was most miserable. They shifted to a cheaper house to save money. Now she had to do all the house work by herself. Loisel did part time job to earn more money. Their life had become more miserable. They looked quite old. It took them ten years to repay the money but at last they cleared it all. Mrs. Loisel often thought how life would have been different for them if the necklace had not been lost.The story touches the peak when one day Mrs. Loisel came across Mrs. Frostier and knew from her that the necklace which was lost and or which they had suffered so long was fake one costing no more than five hundred franc.

Write the character sketch of Matilda
Matilda is a young and beautiful wife of Mr. Loisel a clerk n the board of education. She is proud of her elegant beauty. She is unhappy with her poor lot. She thinks that she is the victim of the social injustice and irony of fate. She is unhappy with her husband s' small income, house and old furniture. She feels she has been deprived of the comforts of life which she might have enjoyed by marrying a rich man. In short she is she is sick and ashamed of her present miserable life. But all this does not mean that she does not love her husband.

 Of course, she loves him deeply though much of the credit for this  goes to the husband. He does his best to make him as happy as he can afford. He puts up with her foolish demands and yields to all her stupid dreams..The loss of the necklace proves a turning point in the  development of her character. It makes her a responsible woman.

Matilda thus lays two different roles in the story. Before the loss of the necklace, she is a thoughtless, ungrateful, proud beauty unhappy with the poverty of her husband. After the loss, she becomes a mature, humble and grateful wife who can gladly sacrifice every pleasure to get her husband out of his financial misery. This change in her character makes her a lovable character in spite of all her faults and follies.

 Write the character sketch Mr. Loisel?
Mr. Loisel is a clerk in the board of Education. His role in the story is the role of  noble hero. His love and sacrifice for a proud and ungrateful wife makes him a lovable character. He knows that his wife dies not respect him. Still he loves and obeys her..He does his best to make her life comfortable. He never rebukes her for her insulting attitude.

He does not reproach her for the loss of the necklace. His behavior after the loss is the behavior of  an ideal partner---- a really great  man. He does not grumble instead he manfully face the misfortune. H almost sells himself away to pay for the loss. He works day and night to repay the heavy loan. He goes through the worst fo his ungrateful wife. And yet he never complains, never blames her for his misery. In short he is an n ideal life partner. He is surely a character to be loved and remembered.

Loisel is one of the few lovers who remain lovers even after marriage. Usually a love marriage soon leads to disillusionment resulting in dissolution. Matlida is lucky to have Mr. Loisel as her husband. He loves her so much that more than none of her foolish pranks annoys him. He gladly faces the bitter consequences of his foolish wife s' acts of folly. He is a character to be admired and loved.

Important Note for BA English students:

To grip this short story divide the story into two parts-Matilta s' life before the loss of the necklace her life after the loss of necklace.


Important Questions:
1.Vanity is self deception , discuss with reference to the short story, 'The Necklace'?
2.Matilda wins a flash in the pan at the cost of his life?
3.Do you think that simplicity is inevitable to have a contented and happy life?

Points to remember
1.Some time little single mistake costs the whole life.
2.Matilda Loisel is a beautiful woman,but she is not contented with her lot.
3.She always dreams of the life luxuries and wants to enjoy an aristocratic life style having fine and big house,long row of servants.
4.Being born in a family of clerks,she is married to a clerk by the name of Mr. Loisel who works as a clerk in minister of education office.
5.One day he brings an invitation card of a dance party at the minister s' home,he is also thrilled as the invitation is given to only a few selected persons.
6.He hands card to Matilda but she becomes sad and starts weeping because she has no fine costume.
7.Her husband gives her money,anyhow a good looking costume is arranged but she is again sad as she has no jewelry to wear on.
8.She borrows a necklace from her friend Madam Forestier.
9.Wearing new costume and borrowed necklace,she becomes queen at the ball,even minister wishes to dance with her.
10.The necklace is lost,they replace the necklace which costs them 36000 Francs of borrowed 18000.
11.Now it costs ten year to repay the loan,life becomes difficult for the couple,Matilda s' beauty is lost.
12.After 10 years ,she meets Madam Forestier and tells her the whole story,who is humbled to tell that her necklace was artificial costing no more than 500 Francs.

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