The Character of Mademoiselle Loisel in Maupassant's The Necklace

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The Character of Mademoiselle Loisel in Maupassant's The Necklace

Opportunity presents itself in various ways. Sometimes, it accompanies adversity; sometimes, it occurs amid life's brightest moments. Although working through adversity may be difficult, doing so may provide an individual with chances to grow, to gain responsibility, and to improve self-esteem. Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace" remarkably demonstrates how misfortune can lead to the improvement of a human being. Before her misadventure, the protagonist Mme. Loisel is a discontented homemaker with little self-confidence; through her adverse experiences, however, she learns to accept her circumstances, thereby improving her character.

Until the time of her mishap, Mme. Loisel expresses ardent dissatisfaction with many (if not most) areas of her life; discontent defines her character. Her lofty expectations cause her to believe that, because she is beautiful, she deserves the "best" that life has to offer, but the reality of her situation greatly troubles her. She should have a prestigious husband, yet "she let herself be married to a little clerk" (de Maupassant 46). Mme. Loisel thinks that she deserves to reside in an elegant home, but instead she "suffer[s] from the poverty of her dwelling"(46). She longs for "delicate furniture" and experiences "torture" from the look of her "worn-out chairs" (46, 47). Mme. Loisel is even dissatisfied with her cuisine; while her husband dutifully compliments her cooking, she dreams of "dainty dinners" and "delicious dishes served on marvelous plates" (47). Truly, this woman finds little in her life which brings joy or even contentment.

Such discontentment negativel...

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..., socially-dictated woman.

Mme. Loisel's adversity provides her with an opportunity to better herself. Had she not lost the necklace, Mme. Loisel may have never relinquished the lofty (but unrealistic and shallow) expectations she had of herself and her husband. Most likely, she would have spent the rest of her life as an unhappy, discontented woman. Instead, Mme. Loisel receives a chance to begin again with a clean slate and a more positive attitude. Finally, Mme. Loisel realizes that her adversity has helped her by forcing her to grow up-to appreciate what she has rather than what she does not and to realize that little in this life comes without hard work.

Works Cited:

Maupassant, Guy de. The Necklace. Washington: Renton, 1995-97. B&L Associates. 29 March 2003 .
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