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Analysis

Literary Devices in The Necklace

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The necklace could very well be just a necklace, but it could also be something more. It's so flashy and beautiful, and so seemingly valuable. Despite its convincing outside, it turns out to be "fa...

Setting

The story's set in Paris, that magical, glamorous city of lights where just about every other work of 19th century French literature is set.So that's the where. When's the when? We'd say the 1880s...

Narrator Point of View

The story's focus is certainly on Mathilde, but the narrator does not speak from her point of view. Instead, he talks about Mathilde as if he were from the outside looking in. When he brings her up...

Genre

Maupassant was a student of the great French author Flaubert, who was a founding figure of "Realism" (with a capital "R") as a literary genre. Realism meant more than just writing about real-seemin...

Tone

Maupassant writes like a sophisticated fellow who knows the world, and particularly the world of "society" (high society). He's an excellent social observer who's willing to share his insights with...

Writing Style

What's amazing about Maupassant's writing is how economical it is –he does a lot with only a little bit of space. His control over timing and pacing is incredible. Think about the scope of th...

What's Up With the Title?

The story revolves around the spectacular diamond necklace that Mathilde borrows from Mme. Forester for a ball. That set of jewels gives Mathilde the best night of her life. It also ruins it a few...

What's Up With the Ending?

The ending to "The Necklace" may just be the mother of all twist endings. But just how does it work? What makes it a "twist ending?" The short answer: the twist ending depends upon suddenly reveali...

Tough-o-Meter

Maupassant at times uses slightly old-fashioned language (just how old-fashioned it is depends on the translation). But for the most part, everything about the story is blissfully short and simple.

Plot Analysis

Miserable MathildeAt the beginning of the story, essentially nothing happens. The narrator's interested in telling us about Mathilde (even though we don't yet know her name). We learn about her bac...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Tragedy

Mathilde's hates her middle-class life and dreams only of riches.The story opens with a long description of how wretched Mathilde is with her middle-class life. All she wants is to be rich, glamoro...

Three Act Plot Analysis

We meet Mathilde, and learn about her dream of being wealthy and glamorous. M. Loisel delivers the invitation to the ball to Mathilde, who throws a minor fit and gets him to buy her a dress. She bo...

Trivia

Besides being his "instructor" in things literary, Gustave Flaubert (author of Madame Bovary) was also Maupassant's childhood playmate. (Source)Maybe Maupassant could relate to Mathilde's desire to...

Steaminess Rating

Mathilde's is certainly attractive and desirable. There's also a whole lot of "desiring" going on at the ball. But that's all that happens, and, honestly, that kind of stuff happens in Disney movie...
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