the necklace.docx - The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant The...

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The NecklacebyGuy de MaupassantThe Necklace(1884) is a famous short story and morality tale that is widely read in classroomsthroughout the world.The girl was one of those pretty and charming young creatures who sometimes areborn, as if by a slip of fate, into a family of clerks. She had no dowry, no expectations, noway of being known, understood, loved, married by any rich and distinguished man; soshe let herself be married to a little clerk of the Ministry of Public Instruction.She dressed plainly because she could not dress well, but she was unhappy as if shehad really fallen from a higher station; since with women there is neither caste nor rank,for beauty, grace and charm take the place of family and birth. Natural ingenuity, instinctfor what is elegant, a supple mind are their sole hierarchy, and often make of women ofthe people the equals of the very greatest ladies.Mathilde suffered ceaselessly, feeling herself born to enjoy all delicacies and all luxuries.She was distressed at the poverty of her dwelling, at the bareness of the walls, at theshabby chairs, the ugliness of the curtains. All those things, of which another woman ofher rank would never even have been conscious, tortured her and made her angry. Thesight of the little Breton peasant who did her humble housework aroused in herdespairing regrets and bewildering dreams. She thought of silent antechambers hungwith Oriental tapestry, illumined by tall bronze candelabra, and of two great footmen inknee breeches who sleep in the big armchairs, made drowsy by the oppressive heat ofthe stove. She thought of long reception halls hung with ancient silk, of the daintycabinets containing priceless curiosities and of the little coquettish perfumed reception
rooms made for chatting at five o'clock with intimate friends, with men famous andsought after, whom all women envy and whose attention they all desire.When she sat down to dinner, before the round table covered with a tablecloth in usethree days, opposite her husband, who uncovered the soup tureen and declared with adelighted air, "Ah, the good soup! I don't know anything better than that," she thought ofdainty dinners, of shining silverware, of tapestry that peopled the walls with ancientpersonages and with strange birds flying in the midst of a fairy forest; and she thought ofdelicious dishes served on marvellous plates and of the whispered gallantries to whichyou listen with a sphinxlike smile while you are eating the pink meat of a trout or thewings of a quail.She had no gowns, no jewels, nothing. And she loved nothing but that. She felt made forthat. She would have liked so much to please, to be envied, to be charming, to besought after.She had a friend, a former schoolmate at the convent, who was rich, and whom she didnot like to go to see any more because she felt so sad when she came home.

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Term
Fall
Professor
rommel
Tags
The Necklace, Guy de Maupassant, Mathilde Loisel

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