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“The Necklace”

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The essay is a critique of a piece of literature titled The Necklace written by Guy de Maupassant, and was published in 1884 in one of the French newspaper, Le Gaulois. The piece of art tells the story of Madame Mathilde Loisel and her husband. Through this piece of work, we are able to carry out gender criticism which is a type of literary criticism that study and advocate for the rights of women

Story summery

The story is the life of Mithilde and her husband. She was a beautiful and charming girl, born in a family of artisan. She thus had no hopes of marrying a man of her dreams, rich and with a social status. She ended up marrying a poor man working as a clerk in ministry of education. Mathilde always built castles in the air, making her not accept who she was (Guy 10)

Her husband through intensive pleading, managed to get two invitations to the ministry’s party. His wife refused to attend the party stating that she has nothing to put on. The husband used the money he had saved in order to buy a gun used it to buy her a dress. His wife is still not satisfied and demands to put on an expensive jewelry. With no money left, the husband was of the opinion that the wife opt to borrow money from her friend Jeane Forestier.

She bought an expensive necklace, while at the party; she realized that the diamond necklace was no longer there. The two searched it to no vain; they were forced to take loans from their fiends to buy a necklace just like the one that got lost. To repay the loan, they worked for ten years to raise the 36,000 francs. While walking, thinking the tribulations she underwent, she met with Jeane, as a results of wriggles the later doesn’t recognize her. They talked and through the conversation, it emerges that the lost necklace bared cost 500 franc Guy 7).

Story analysis/critique

It is evident that Mathilde while using her gender in trying to look like other women who are from well of families landed her self as well as her husband into a longer period of toiling paying for a necklace not worthy their efforts. “When you like women, they think you are supposed to do everything for them. It's not like we can't . . . it's like we won't. Women make men do the dumbest things. It just ain't right! Can't we get along? Like and love are two different things. Just because we call you, doesn't mean we need you. Women want it all . . . love, money, cars, money, money, money and more money” (Waff 7). In her desires, the family went into borrowing which later made it spent ten years to repay the loan.

It is also apparent that women in this case portrayed by Mathilde however much their husbands try their best to meet their expectation, they are always in dire need for something more and of course more expensive (Guy 12). After sacrificing his money that was intended to buy a gun, her husband used it to buy he a dress, she not only didn’t show pleasure but also gratitude and demanded a jewel.

This made her husband allow her to borrow from her friend, what this depicts is that women can plunge the whole society into trouble, in this scenario, the family toiled for ten good years repaying the loan, resulting to wriggled wife that can no longer be recognized by her friend. This signifies that as much as we desire for equality and recognition in the society, the price for doing so is extremely high.

We are also told that she was not pleased with what she had in her house, from curtains, worn out furniture, poor house with mean walls. Before marrying his present husband, she used to seeing herself with expensive jewelry despite the fact she was from a very humble and poor background. This symbolizes the desire of women when it comes to power and equality (Guy 2). They crave for much and do very little themselves in trying to realize such dreams, it is thus important for them to not only call for equality and power but take steps towards attainment of the same.


From the review of the story by Guy de Maupassant, “The Necklace” we clearly see the issue of gender, sexuality, gender and power, equality and prestige. Mathilde in her quest to try suit a life status that is beyond her as well as capability of her husband has landed her into serious trouble.

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