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Shvoong Home>Books>The Diamond Necklace Review

The Diamond Necklace

Article Review   by:daksh     Original Author: Guy de Maupassant
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Guy de Maupassant is one of my favourite french authors. I love the fact that his writing is clear, fluid, and at the same time, brilliant. He has a knack for describing everyday events and the lives of real people. He captures the norms and values of his time particularly well in his short stories, making one feel as if one might have actually experienced that time... La Parure is a short story about a young, pretty girl, married to a man who was not rich, and leading a modest life. She dreamed of having beautiful clothes, jewels and a beautiful, grand place in which to live. She borrows a beautiful diamond necklace from a wealthy friend and wears it to a ball one night. She is giddy with content, and the most beautiful of all at the ball. She feels happy to fit in with high society, and be the one everyone is admiring for her innate grace and beauty. When she reaches home in the early hours of the morning with her husband, she realises that the necklace has disappeared. He returns along the path to the ball, and searches for the necklace. There is no sign of it. Frightened of what her friend will say, Mathilde (the young girl) tells her that the clasp is broken, and will return it in a few days, bidding her time. Her husband and her take a huge loan and replace the diamond necklace with on which looks just like it. She returns it to her friend. From that day, Mathilde is changed. No longer is she the frivolous, rather vain young girl with dreams of luxury and grandeur...No, Mathilde resigns herself to the harshness of the reality she and her husband face. To pay of the loan, she works extremely hard, scrubbing floors, and cleaning all the time. 10 years go by, and at last the loan is payed.
However, Mathilde has aged greatly. She sacrificed her beauty for a night of pleasure. Particularly touching, is one part of the story where Guy de Maupassant describes Mathilde as no longer at all the beautiful young girl, but who still sometimes when catching her breath, thinks of that night so long ago, when she was the most beautiful of all. And then comes the shocking truth. Mathilde sees her old friend one day. The lady barely recognises her and is shocked when she finds out that this weather, common woman is her friend Mathilde. Mathilde tells her friend that it is her fault that Mathilde is the way she is now. She explains everything about the diamond necklace. She says, naively, "But you didn't realise it, eh? We fooled you..." And her friend, deeply moved, takes her hand, and tells Mathilde that the diamond necklace that she had lent her was a fake, that it was worth so much less than Mathilde had thought. It could have been replaced and paid for in less than a few months. And there the story ends. This is a beautiful story which lets the reader draw his own conclusions, and learn his own lessons. You interpret it your own way. However, if you know something about Maupassant's life, you may find that the story shows his distate for the bourgeoisie and their values, and of the romantic notions of women like Mathilde.
Published: November 12, 2006   
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  1. Answer  :    it is the focal point of the story Thursday, June 28, 2012
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