Thursday, August 27, 2009
THE NECKLACE From the short story you have read, describe the changes that a character faces.Use evidence from the text to support your answer
Changes, either for the better or for the worse, sure are inevitable in our lives. We all certainly have experienced them, and sometimes we glory at them, whilst other times we remain unfazed or devastated upon seeing the results. Now, based on the short story ‘The Necklace’ by Guy de Maupassant, I would like to describe the tormenting but teachable changes experienced by the character Mathide Loisel.
In the beginning of the story, Mathide was a very charming and young married woman, who insisted that with her attractive attributes, she could have been wedded to a man who had higher status and her husband, Loisel. She was a perfect victim of vanity and was never contented with her life, often thinking that she deserved fine gowns and delicacies of the lavish lifestyle. Nevertheless, Loisel, the all-too-caring husband tolerated her grumbles and did all his best to provide his wife the best of possibles. One day, Loisel came home after work, with an invitation to the ball held in the Ministry of Public Instruction. The guest invited were all strictly selected and Loisel, a mere clerk in the ministry had gone through loads of troubles in order to acquire the invitation. He showed the invitation to Mathide, thinking that she would be thrilled and delighted. Instead, Mathide started to cry and lamented that she did not have a nice-enough gown to be presentable and told Loisel to give the invitation card to somebody’s wife who was ‘better equipped’ than her. Knowing his own priority, Loisel gave four-hundred francs to his wife and thus allowing her to get herself a gown that she fancied. The money was actually saved up to buy a gun for a hunting trip.
After getting the gown that she desired, Mathilde was caught in happiness, but the delight did not last for even half a day. Mathilde began to complain that she did not have a nice necklace to go with her pretty gown. Now that Loisel’s money was quite used up, he came up with an idea- Mathide would wear natural flowers as a necklace, to fill her vain desire. Then Mathide began to lament again. She told Loisel that with the flower-necklace, with a look at her, people would know that she was poor. Amidst endless lamentations provided by his wife, Loisel came up with another idea- Mathilde would go to her former classmate, Madame Forestier who was filthy rich and had her house filled with jewelleries, so that Mathilde could borrow a necklace from her, which of course she did.
Mathilde’s first change in her life was when she became a great success at the ball. Being born in a poor community and married to a little clerk, that was probably the very first time she ever indulged in luxurious delicacies. She was sought to be introduced and invited to dance every dance whilst Loisel waited and fell asleep in another room along with another couple of gentlemen. That was the proudest and happiest moment of her life and she was described to be ‘intoxicated with pleasure’. Then at dawn, Mathilde finally went to the room where Loisel had fallen asleep and they prepare to leave the Ministry of Public Instructions. Loisel threw some wraps over his wife’s shoulder for fear that she would be too fragile to catch a cold, but instead of showing appropriate gratitude, Mathilde shook free of the wraps and ran down the stairs as fast as she could, being afraid that others might see this and then gossip. They took a cab at a place quite a distance from the ministry to get home, and when they got home, it was then Mathilde realized something bad had happened- she had lost the necklace. That was also when she experienced her second change, which arrived after her night of glory, or rather known as the classic ‘fall after pride’.
Having literally no choices left, Loisel had to retrace the path they took while returning home while Mathilde did nothing but cried amid maddening fear. Loisel did everything he could think of doing, including publishing an advertisement in the newspapers, mentioning the lost of the valuable necklace and offered a reward for whoever capable of bringing it back. Heeding Loisel’s advice, Mathilde told Madame Forestier that the clasp of the necklace was broken and she needed time to have it mended in order to stall the return of the jewellery she had borrowed. After time had passed, Loisel knew that they had to return the necklace immediately, he borrowed some money and used up the assets his father had left him in order to purchase another necklace, very similar to the one Mathilde had borrowed from Madame Forestier. This left the Loisel couple heavy debts to be cleared for the rest of their lives, which was the third and most torturing change in Mathilde’s life, which resulted in her sudden turn into a more-mature woman.
Loisel took up three jobs in order to clear the debts and the couple had sold their house and shifted into a garret. Mathilde was no longer curled up in her castles in the air, thinking that she would become rich and pretty one day. Instead, she had bore her responsibilities with ‘sudden heroism’. She worked and became old-looking and haggard and talked loud whilst doing her chores. One day, while taking a walk in the beautiful park which was also a tourist spot, Champs Elysees, Mathilde ran into her old friend, Madame Forestier. She greeted Madame Forestier almost gloomily, and the rich woman was taken aback upon being acknowledged in a way which sounded so friendly. When she learnt that the haggard-looking woman was actually Mathilde and the Loisel’s sufferings for a decade, she exclaimed in shock and we learnt that the necklace was actually paste. It was clad in thick irony and of course, this struck Mathilde like a bolt of lightning like it would have hit anyone.
The three major changes which resulted in the joys and tears of Mathilde was amongst the factors that added to the reason on why this story is rather interesting. Like the message which seemed to have been delivered by the topic, changes are inevitable, and so as we grow older and older, we should learn to accept them with open hearts and deal with the problems faced afterwards.