The Necklace By Guy De Maupassant

I could say that Guy de Maupassant’s stories are just mundane waste of ink. Reading the story you understand things you have never thought about before or, by contrast, have already faced in your daily life. However, what do people think? Did all of them recognize the same the author did? Each of us should answer this question by own. Years passed but plays, novels on the theme, which Maupassant talked about, are still writing, and films are still shooting, why? There are things, which we remember, and things, which we cannot forget. In this work, I will try to describe the story called “The Necklace” and give full and needed for understanding information. The author’s person is going to be talked about. Thus, let me start explaining.


Henry-René-Albert-Guy de Maupassant

The person of Henry-René-Albert-Guy de Maupassant is definitely interesting to talk about. Maupassant’s place of being born is not known in definite; however, it was perhaps the Château de Miromesniel,Dieppe. His biography is obviously worth of attention, but I will notice the most important and interesting facts of Maupassant’s life in order to understand his stories better.


Maupassant’s relatives were noble. His parents divorced when he was a little boy of 11 years old. Maupassant’s first embryos appeared when he was studying at the Rouen Lycée. Little Maupassant was gaining knowledge and skills from his friends; he improved his gifts and talents, which helped him in his poetry and writing. Maupassant was a civil servant in the period between 1872 and 1880 years. However, he had never loved working, all his free time Maupassant spent in women pursuit. He had a pseudonym – Guy de Valmont, which he used in the articles in the newspapers.


The 1880s years were productive and significant in the life of author, because he wrote about 300 short stories and 6 novels, including travel books and even a volume of verse. Unfortunately, Maupassant had a syphilis (he was then only 20 years old) that shortly after led him to the increasing of his mental disability. The author used narcotics, I think trying to be saved from awful and cruel headaches he suffered from. Critics have mentioned that Maupassant describes his diseases in some of his stories, giving main characters and heroes his own painful suffering and struggling.

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Allan Edgar Poe is one of those, whose stories encouraged Maupassant and made him to go through the same paths as Poe did (in some fiction horror stories). Stephen King’s novel “The shining” encouraged Maupassant when he was writing “The Inn”, which is very similar and common to “The shining”.


I am sure it will be appropriately to notice some Maupasant’s words to understand his nature in full length: Now listen carefully: Marriage, to me, is not a chain but an association. I must be free, entirely unfettered, in all my actions -my coming and my going; I can tolerate neither control, jealousy, nor criticism as to my conduct. I pledge my word, however, never to compromise the name of the man I marry, nor to render him ridiculous in the eyes of the world. But that man must promise to look upon meas an equal, an ally, and not as an inferior, or as an obedient, submissive wife. My ideas, I know, are not like those of other people, but I shall never change them (Liukkonen, 2008, pg 2).


“The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant

However, “The Necklace” at first was published in the newspaper “Le Gaulois” in Paris, France on February 17, 1884. It was a part of Maupassant’s collection of short stories called Tales of Day and Night”, which appeared in 1885.

“She was one of those pretty and charming girls born, as though fate had blundered over her, into a family of artisans. She had no marriage portion, no expectations, no means of getting known, understood, loved, and wedded by a man of wealth and distinction; and she let herself be married off to a little clerk in the Ministry of Education” – with these words we faces in the beginning of the story and meeting a main character Madame Mathilde Loisel. She had a dream common to the American dream. She wants to become rich and have leisure. The story teaches readers many things. The middle-class Matilda discovers many ironic nuances through the story.

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Talking about the plot of the story, should be noticed that Maupassant is definitely talented, taking in account not much words he needed to illustrate many ideas and problems, which worries the humanity through the centuries. The story tells about middle-class woman Matilda, who wants to impress the society.


Matilda Loisel was invited on the high-society affair (because her husband worked there), unfortunately, she understood that she had nothing to wear. A husband, Loisel, gave her money to buy a dress. Being unsatisfied, Matilda borrows a necklace from good friend Madame Forestier. After the affair, Matilda finds out that necklace is lost. Loisels started to find money to buy a new necklace: Loisel possessed eighteen thousand franks, which his father had left him. He borrowed it, asking for a thousand francs of one, five hundred of another, five louis of this one, and three louis of that one (“The Necklace, pg 7).


Finally, Loisels bought the same necklace and brought it to Madame Forestier. However, she said to the Matilda, who was proud and happy to give back the necklace, that her necklace was fake and coasted about 500 francs! To give money back Loisels have to have many limitations. Ten years of Matilda’s life have been robbed — and for what? For an evening of vanity and pride (Barthes, 2004, pg 1).




However, the story is successful among readers. It teaches readers many useful things. It triggers many emotions and feelings, especially sorrow and sadness. I liked how Maupassant said in his “The Necklace”: “How strange life is, how fickle! How little is needed to ruin or to save!” I agree with these words.

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“The Necklace” is worth of attention, undoubtedly! The story is about pride going before the fall. Hardship – is the known word for Matilda, but did she know what were the reasons of it? All money she earned during ten years she paid for one evening! People learn from the story how much one can pay for its pleasure and pride. Thus, Guy de Maupassant brought a lot of significance in the literature of whole world. Moreover, it is going with out saying and any doubt.




1. Barthes, Roland. TheEiffelTowerand Other Mythologies. Tr. Howard, Richard.Berkeley:UniversityofCaliforniaPress. 2004.

2. Clyde K. Hyder, Algernon Swinburne: The Critical Heritage, 1995, p.185.

3. Harriss, Joseph. The Tallest Tower. Unlimited Publishing LLC, 2004, pg 15, 16.

4. James, Henry. Guy de Maupassant, reprinted in his Partial Portraits, Macmillan, 1888, pp. 243-87.

5. Liukkonen, Petri and Personen, Ari. Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893) – in full Henry-René-Albert-Guy de Maupassant. Kuusankosken kaupunginkirjasto, 2008.

6. Matthews, Brander, ed. The Short-Story: Specimens Illustrating Its Development.New York: American Book Company, 1907;, 2000. <>.

7. Maupassant, Guy de. The necklace and other short stories. Courier Dover Publications, 1992.

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