Essay on Comparing the Female Characters in The Necklace and Recitatif

Essay on Comparing the Female Characters in The Necklace and Recitatif

Length: 878 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Use of Female Characters in The Necklace and Recitatif  

   In Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace" and Toni Morrison's "Recitatif," materialism and the desire to be envied are vital ingredients in the themes of the stories. Both authors enhance their themes through the manipulation of plot and the use of women as their central characters. Maupassant and Morrison prove the notion that women are effective characters in depicting themes that deal with the social issue of craving material wealth.
The theme of these stories can be determined through an analysis of the narrator's attitude toward the characters in each story. The narrator in "The Necklace" reflects a disapproving opinion of Mathilde. He believes that Mathilde is snobby and too concerned with her social image: "She suffered ceaselessly, feeling herself born for all the delicacies and all the luxuries. She suffered from the poverty of her dwelling, from the wretched look of the walls, from the worn-out chairs, from the ugliness of the curtains" (66). Through this description of her personality, the narrator illustrates his notion that Mathilde feels that she deserves a wealthier, upper class existence. The narrator also exhibits his beliefs in stating, "She had no dresses, no jewels, nothing. And she loved nothing but that. She felt made for that. She would so have liked to please, to be envied, to be charming, to be sought after" (63). In these sentences, the narrator reveals his ideas about Mathilde and her concern for the way others view her.

The narrator of "Recitatif" does not expose his attitude toward Roberta as obviously as the narrator of "The Necklace." In "Recitatif," the narrator suggests that Roberta is obsessed with ma...

... middle of paper ...

...terialistic desires that Mathilde expresses. Therefore, Mathilde is more beneficial to the development of the theme than her husband.

Maupassant and Morrison convey their themes of social acceptance and materialistic longings through the narrators' attitudes and develop these themes through the manipulation of plot. To maximize the effect of the themes, Maupassant and Morrison present them through female characters with an inherent desire for others to covet them and an attraction to materialistic wealth.

 Works Cited
Maupassant, Guy de. "The Necklace." Understanding Fiction. 3rd ed. Eds. Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1979. 66-72.
Morrison, Toni. "Recitatif." New World of Literature: Writing From America's Many Cultures. 2nd ed. Eds. Jerome Beaty and J. Paul Hunter. New York: Norton, 1994. 210-225.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay Roles of Female Characters in "The Necklace" and "Life in the Country"

- Examine the roles of the female characters in society in ‘The Necklace’ and ‘Life in the Country’ There are three things that make up the society; the time, place and people. In each society each of these points differs from other societies. The stories ‘The Necklace’ and ‘Life in the Country’ by Guy de Maupassant were set in a time in which poverty was very common in most places even though each society had a different view as to what poverty is. This essay is examining the roles of the female characters in ‘The Necklace’ and ‘Life in the Country’ by Guy de Maupassant....   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Better Essays
859 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on The Life of Guy de Maupassant Exposed in The Necklace

- The life of an author may often reflect through their works. This is the case in the short story, The Necklace, written by Guy de Maupassant. An ironic and a self-explanatory tale, The Necklace is written filled with twists that might just make you doubt your stand in life. Characters which anyone might not think much about, symbols that many seem to miss, and principles that few seem to understand, The Necklace might just be short but with it, you can clearly see the life and ways of a person like Guy de Maupassant....   [tags: The Necklace]

Better Essays
2407 words (6.9 pages)

Essay about Female Directors Portray Female Characters

- How do female directors portray female characters within the Romance genre in relation to their portrayal as a whole. In our modern day society, it would be fair to say that media has largely influenced our perception of ourselves and others. This global medium has for years showcased idealistic qualities and values and moulded the way in which the public functions, whether it is through print media, television, radio or film. With an estimated ---- hours spent watching movies a ----, it is hardly surprising that the film industry is one of the largest today, bringing in 9....   [tags: Gender, Gender role, Female, Film]

Better Essays
2173 words (6.2 pages)

The Character of Mademoiselle Loisel in Maupassant's The Necklace Essay

- 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....   [tags: Maupassant Necklace Essays Papers]

Better Essays
741 words (2.1 pages)

Essay about The Complex Character of Mathilde Loisel in The Necklace

- The Complex Character of Mathilde Loisel in The Necklace    The development of a character on paper is key to being able to create that character on stage. The development of character on paper is also key to understanding it in our imaginations. I read and understand stories and novels much the same way that I read a play script…through character analysis. I believe that understanding characters in a short story, or any form of fiction for that matter, is essential to many reader’s abilities to grasp and enjoy the work....   [tags: Mauassant The Necklace Essays]

Better Essays
1154 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on The Necklace

- In the short story “The Necklace”, the main character, Loisel, is a woman who dreams of greater things in her life. She is married to a poor clerk who tries his best to make her happy no matter what. In an attempt to try to bring happiness to his wife, he manages to get two invitations to a very classy ball, but even in light of this Loisel is still unhappy. Even when she gets a new dress she is still unhappy. This lasts until her husband suggests she borrows some jewelry from a friend, and upon doing so she is finally happy....   [tags: Character analysis, Loisel]

Free Essays
764 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Maupassant’s The Necklace

- Mathilde Loisel lived the life of a painfully distressed woman, who always believed herself worthy of living in the upper class. Although Mathilde was born into the average middle class family, she spent her time daydreaming of her destiny for more in life... especially when it came to her financial status. Guy de Maupassant’s short story, “The Necklace”, tells a tale of a vain, narcissistic housewife who longed for the aristocratic lifestyle that she believed she was creditable for. In describing Mathilde’s self-serving, unappreciative, broken and fake human behaviors, de Maupassant incorporates the tragic irony that ultimately concludes in ruining her....   [tags: The Necklace Essays]

Better Essays
1604 words (4.6 pages)

Comparing the Representation of Female Characters in Snow White and Mulan

- Comparing the Representation of Female Characters in Snow White and Mulan Disney is an international film company that dominates full-length feature animations. Two feature long cartoons, Snow White (1937) and Mulan (1999), are good examples where a female character takes the central role, Snow White being from the first half of the 20th century and Mulan from modern times. Between the times when these films were made, one might expect the representation of women may have changed, (as female equality has improved) as well as some of the stereotypes of women that Disney has been criticised of conveying in the past....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1742 words (5 pages)

Essay on The Necklace

- The Necklace      In any literay work, it is absolutely essential to have characters, whether major or minor. It is also necessary to develop these characters through out the story. Character development gives the reader insight to the more important meanings or lessons of the story. These lessons are usually brought out by the events that take place within the story. Looking at Guy De Maupassant's piece “The Necklace”, we see a very clear development of the main character Mathidle. In the story, we see a change in her attitude about life....   [tags: Guy De Maupassant The Necklace Essays]

Free Essays
1166 words (3.3 pages)

Essay on The Necklace

- The Necklace In the story “The Necklace” the author’s theme is to show us that greed and envy can lead to destruction. In this story Mathilde is a very envious woman whom always dreamed of a life that she could not have. She was very charming and beautiful woman who thought that she must have been born into the wrong life, since she had no way of getting known and married by a rich man. Instead she married a simple middle class man and lived a middle class life. All the while she dreamed of living the life of the rich....   [tags: The Necklace Guy De Maupassant Essays]

Better Essays
652 words (1.9 pages)