Guy de Maupassant – “The Necklace” Essay

Guy de Maupassant – “The Necklace” Essay

Describe the historical events or innovations that characterize the period in which the work was created

The work was created and presented in 1884 as a realistic literature. It was presented at a time in history characterized by women being defined by their social classes in terms of birth, marriage, and social capabilities. Although she was pretty, Mathilde Loisel was born into a family of clerks that did not have much wealth and power. This resulted in her not having dowry so that she could only be married to a relatively poor man. Her husband was the family’s financial provider as Mathilde spent her time at home and not engaged in any financial activities. Five innovations characterized the period. The first innovation was the presence of torches in public roads and streets. Guy de Maupassant – “The Necklace” Essay.  Although electricity was not in use at the time, city and town authorities were keen on improving security and aesthetics by setting up public touches and engaging personnel to turn them on and off. The second innovation was public education with a ministry of education set up to manage public education. Having a ministry of education allowed for public education to be accredited and monitored to ensure that standards met the quality requirements and needs. The third innovation was the presence of cabs to facilitate public transport. Mathilde and her husband looked for a cab to take them home once the party was over. The fourth innovation was the presence of police as formal law enforcement who managed public safety concerns. The fifth innovation was newspapers as a tool for informing the public (East of the Web, 2018).

Analyze how this work reflects a theme or style characteristic from its period

The composition reflects literary realism style that characterized the mid to late 19th century. The writing styles seeks to present familiar scenes, things and occurs as they are in reality with a focus on lower and middle classes of the society. In the story, the author depicts banal and everyday experiences and activities as they would truthfully occur in a typical home without supernatural elements or speculation. For instance, the story describes the dinner scene. It describes the round table on which they had dinner, the three-day-old cloth that covered the table, and beef stew served at the table. Another realistic scene is presented during the conversation between Mathilde and her husband when they received the invitation card. The conversation enables readers to visualize Mathilde’s dissatisfaction with her poverty and desire to live a more effluent life. The conversation presents an argument that one would expect of the situation without including any exaggerations (East of the Web, 2018). Guy de Maupassant – “The Necklace” Essay.


Analyze the work’s or author’s scientific contributions to the humanities

The work contributes to humanities by presenting elements of cultural rebellion and revolution. The divide between the rich and the poor is put into sharp contrast with the existing schism clearly evident in how the different social classes lived their lives and opportunities available to them. Of interest is the fact that the poor are unlikely to improve their social class and financial standing even if they work tirelessly. Mathilde lost a necklace and spent the next ten years of her life paying for the necklace. The sharp contrast between the different social classes helps to explain why the spirit of rebellion developed at the time. At a time when the rich had more opportunities to get richer while the poor had fewer opportunities to get rich, the work helped to explain why the poor rebelled against the exiting social class systems (East of the Web, 2018).


East of the Web (2018). Guy de Maupassant: The Necklace. Guy de Maupassant – “The Necklace” Essay.