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A study of deception and irony in the necklace

Although written in the late nineteen century, “The Diamond Necklace” translates effortlessly to modern day with relatable life lessons supporting the deceptiveness of appearance. By way of irony and symbolism, Guy de Maupassant’s story shows how appearance is usually deceptive by way of the necklace, Madame Forestier, and Mathilde’s life. Despite the fact that unknown to Mathilde, the lost necklace constitutes the least of her concerns. More importantly, her deteriorating character through conversation with Madame Forestier unveils a deceptive appearance from both ladies. Due to this ethical mishap, Mathilde and her husband face poverty to a heightened degree while living in the shadow of their after comfy life.

Mathilde’s sole coveted object, the necklace, constitutes the pinnacle of deceptive appearance by way of its fake diamonds and an accompanying unrealistic persona. Wishing to portray an alter image other than her middle class status, Mathilde uses the necklace to portray a deceptive reality to the other partygoers and herself by believing that she too deserves this status automatically due to her beauty. She believes the appearance of costly belongings is symbiotic with happiness and fulfillment in her life, only to uncover out that this plastic sense of reality consumes her constant thoughts and desires. Maupassant shows this need by writing, “She had no dresses, no jewelry, absolutely nothing. And she loved nothing else she felt herself made for that only. She would so significantly have liked to please, to be envied, to be seductive and sought soon after.” (five).

In addition, appearance and perception typically complement 1 an additional, because each are topic through private opinion and thus deceptive. Mathilde’s thoughts about attending the party are later revealed, as Maupassant writes, “No there’s nothing at all much more humiliating than to appear poor amongst a lot of wealthy women” (37). Additional explaining the connection Mathilde placed in between the necklace and self-worth, the story continues with irony as the necklace Mathilde sought right after to prove her self-worth and look ended up destroying her beauty more than the course of ten hard years although repaying the necklace’s debt. Maupassant shares of the specifics by writing, “ Mme. Loisel seemed aged now. She had become the robust lady, difficult and rough, of a poor household” (104). Ultimately the energy Mathilde believed was gained from the dress and necklace was solely primarily based on how others would perceive her, showing that this persona came from a short-term contentment for her life rather than the objects. Maupassant again plays with irony, since the quite item Mathilde sought for enhanced look requires away her perceived beauty by the end of the story, as Smith mentions, “Mathilde loses her youthful freshness and prettiness as she becomes a tough-natured housewife, performing all the household cleaning herself and fighting with shopkeepers over every centime as she struggles to make do on the least attainable quantity of funds every month.”

Maupassant shows Mathilde’s contrasting life and character as a consequence of loosing the necklace. With the necklace, Mathilde constituted a powerful and profitable figure at the ball without the necklace, she is merely a housewife burdened with the reality of poverty. Pierce explains this point in the story, “At the Ministry ball, Madame Loisel’s achievement is a direct outcome of her look of wealth and higher social standing, whereas, in reality, she is comparatively poor and is of a lower class.” Reinforcing the prevalent theme of deceptive appearance, the necklace not only is a symbol of Mathilde’s perceived social prosperity, but also the crucial to her social accomplishment and worth in her self-centered eyes.

Madame Forestier continues the theme of deceptive appearance via her dealings with Mathilde and ownership of the fake necklace when her wealthy life-style would suggest otherwise. Since Madame Forestier’s jewelry box represented her upper social class, Mathilde assumed the diamond necklace to be true. Maupassant shares of her excitement by writing, “All at as soon as she found, in a box of black satin, a superb necklace of diamonds, and her heart started to beat with boundless desire” (48). Nonetheless, the reality that Madame Forestier would buy a fake necklace suggests that she understands look to be deceptive, and power lying in the perception of any object is based on biased opinions. Maupassant injects humorous irony by means of the deception of look each women encounter by later writing, “Oh, my poor Mathilde. But mine have been false. At most they have been worth five hundred francs” (128)! Despite the fact that Mathilde in the end ruins her life style by not telling Madame Forestier that she replaced the necklace, Madame Forestier negates the reality that the necklace Mathilde borrowed was certainly counterfeit. Adamson shows Maupassant’s motive in holding off the crushing news of the necklace towards the end, by mentioning, “Writing of `her treasure’, `a superb diamond necklace’, he misleads the reader into believing that the necklace truly is valuable.” Drawing the reader to believe in the deceptive worth of the fake necklace, Madame Forestier’s reaction and comments about the necklace show twofold deceptiveness, from the poor and wealthy. As Steegmuller elaborates, “But even a halfway cautious reading of the well-known tale shows the relationships among the two females and among the heroine and her husband to be vague and unconvincing.” This distant partnership shows the contrast among the women’s perception of one one more and their true reality and inward appearance.

Lastly, life lessons from Mathilde’s life and family give a lot insight into how appearance can be extremely deceptive. Resonating to modern times, applicable life lessons from “The Diamond Necklace” reminds the reader of the unstable surface life bases itself on. Maupassant resounds this idea close to the finish of the story while referring to the lost necklace, by writing, “How singular life is, how changeable! What a tiny point it requires to save you or to shed you” (107). During the starting of the story, a bystander would have described the outdoors appearance of Mathilde’s life as close to perfect, full with loving husband, adequate food, and adequate indicates to get pleasure from the modest pleasures in life. However, the inward reality of Mathilde’s life proved the opposite, as Maupassant writes, “She suffered intensely, feeling herself born for each delicacy and every single luxury. She suffered from the poverty of her dwelling, from the worn walls, the abraded chairs, the ugliness of the stuffs” (three). This leads to the ultimate downfall for Mathilde, as her happiness is fleeting and contingent on others’ perception in addition to her by no means happy desire for the finer objects in life. Mathilde’s selfish desires also triggered discomfort and turmoil for her husband, as Maupassant later writes, “He compromised the finish of his life, risked his signature without having even understanding whether it could be honored” (96). Smith also shares of the deceptive look Mathilde wished to portray to her pal by writing, “Rather than face the disgrace of going and telling Madame Forestier of the loss, they buy a replacement. The value is massive. Now begins a desperate race against time to spend off every thing.”

Mathilde acted and thought as if the grass was greener on the other side, with the metaphorical fence and barrier her lack of wealth. However, the other side of the grass can be deceptive and often comes with an completely new set of issues, as shown by Madame Forestier’s possession of the fake necklace. Ultimately ruining their comfy life, Madame Forestier’s fake necklace deceived the couple into signing and operating their lives away. Showing this reoccurring theme each in the past and modern day culture, Bement elaborates this society downfall by writing,” By means of the necklace there is personified all the greed, all the shallow really like of pricey ornaments, all the striving of so a lot of individuals to impress other people by appearance. Right here is the oft-recurring human trait of seeming to be what 1 is not, the want to seem better than one particular is.” Wanting to seem as although belonging to a larger social class, Mathilde’s temporary contentment from the necklace also acted as a double-edged sword, escalating her tendency to lie to her closest friend whilst also slowly wearing down her marriage. Though Mathilde was not wealthy prior to or soon after the introduction of the necklace, she had her character prior as opposed to after, when she lacked the moral courage to admit the truth about Madame Forestier’s diamond necklace.

“The Diamond Necklace” shows how appearance is frequently deceptive via the necklace, Madame Forestier, and Mathilde’s life. Mathilde’s disregard for the present caused her to contemplate about a lavish future, although negating the present blessings in her life. Although the story appears to investigate how the necklace will impact Mathilde’s character and immediate surroundings, this symbol of wealth and accomplishment only modifications her invested social interactions at the ball. With a society so invested in presenting flawless individuals, both financially and through appearance, Maupassant challenges this common assertion by way of his plot twist and woven life lessons regarding greed and perception.

Performs Cited


Adamson, Donald. “The Necklace: Overview.” Reference Guide to World Literature. Ed. Lesley Henderson. 2nd ed. New York: St. James Press, 1995. Literature Resource Center. Net. three July 2013.

Bement, Douglas. “The Woof-Plot in ‘The Necklace’.” Weaving the Short Story. Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., 1931. 65-87. Rpt. in Literature Resource Center. Detroit: Gale, 2013. Literature Resource Center. Net. 1 July 2013.

Maupassant, Guy de. “The Diamond Necklace.” Trans. Marjorie Laurie. An Introduction to Fiction. Ed. X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 7th ed. New York: Longman, 1999.

Pierce, Jason. “An overview of ‘The Necklace’.” Gale On the web Encyclopedia. Detroit: Gale, 2013. Literature Resource Center. Web. 3 July 2013.

Steegmuller, Francis. “An Overview of ‘The Necklace,’.” Maupassant: A Lion in the Path. Random Home, 1949. 203-210. Rpt. in Literature Resource Center. Detroit: Gale, 2013. Literature Resource Center. Net. 1 July 2013.

Smith, Christopher. “The Necklace: Overview.” Reference Guide to Quick Fiction. Ed. Noelle Watson. Detroit: St. James Press, 1994. Literature Resource Center. Internet. 1 July 2013.
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