No Regrets

A Structural Analysis of “The Neckace” by Guy de Maupassant
Guy de Maupassant, a French writer, is considered to be one of the fathers of the modern short story. His stories could be lined with the works of the master short story writer Edgar Allan Poe. He wrote several stories that are surprising in terms of the twists and are as whole full of suspense. In his story “The Necklace”, there will be lots of such twists, especially in the ending. Of what is the necklace Ms. Mathilde borrowed? Let’s go find out.

The story starts when de Maupassant describes Mme. Mathilde Loisel: a woman of the common class who loves the luxuries of life, of the noblemen. She loves different kinds of riches, yet she couldn’t taste them because she is locked in and bored of her life. She then was invited for a ball, but she had no dress to wear. She was given 400 francs by her husband so that she could buy a shirt. After buying one, she’s still upset because she’s got no jewelry. The husband, pissed off, told her to borrow from Mrs. Forrester. She did it, and Mrs. Forrester lent her a beautiful diamond necklace. She then went into the night, and she looked really beautiful. After the night, she was bothered because she lost the necklace she borrowed, so she and her husband would have to replace it with a new one. They soon found one, worth forty-thousand francs. They bought it after lots of dealing and getting indebted with lots of people. They returned it, and the next thing they have to do is to pay everything up. After 10 years their debts were cleaned and they’re free, but they’ve both aged. Mme. Loisel knew the real fate of women during their time. She then met Mrs. Forrester again, and she greeted her. Then Mme. Loisel confessed the substitution they did, and Mrs. Forrester was so upset and moved, for the 40 000 franc-necklace they bought was too much; Mrs. Forrester’s necklace was a fake, and it costs just 500 francs.

The story is based on an archaic view on women, where women “have no caste or hierarchy” (Maupassant). This was how men look at women during the 19 century, and much worse in the olden days. Women are equal to each other, whether one is a part of the nobility or a common women. To further worsen things, people grade women by their beauty or height or anything else concerning aesthetics. These point of view prevailed during de Maupassant’s time, and he used Loisel to represent the 19th Century woman. Noticeable is the heavy use of irony on the story, especially the ending. This had left more suspense to the story. This also left me in surprise when I first read it. The irony that de Maupassant used really is powerful enough to surprise anyone who will read the story. De Maupassant lived in a world where the noblemen rules over the common people. In this story he shows how hard fate is, not only for the common people but for the whole mankind. He also illustrated how cruel fate is to man, and this illustration could be seen in the ending where they actually paid 40 000 francs and spent 10 years of their lives working hard just to replace a fake necklace worth 500 francs! Imagine then how horrible fate is if we’re in their situation! However, the lesson here is that we should accept our fate whatever happens. That’s because fate is our own doing; we control it, therefore it is altogether right to reason out that whatever direction our fate is heading is the result of our doing. Our fate is based on our decisions, so we have no choice but to accept with all our heart our fate because we are the ones responsible for its outcome. If we try to accept our fate and not trying so hard to change it, then its result would not be so heavy for us. Another thing that de Maupassant shows us is that failure (represented by poverty) shouldn’t be cried on too much, for failure makes us stronger in life, and without failure we could never learn so much from this world. C.S. Lewis, the writer of The Chronicles of Narnia series (and one of my favorite writers as well) once said: “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” Whatever we have to say about the story, the baseline is this: Accept the failure brought by fate, and you’ll be as successful as you could ever be.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful