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Eng 1102 - Quick Sand Essay

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Jamal Shuja

Dr. Reginald Abbott

English 1102

25 February 2010

Quicksand

Some people will go to extreme measures to make themselves appear to be something they are not. In the late 1800s, things were not much different. At that time, wealth was very important, and social class was even more so. Unfortunately, to become a part of this society, one must be introduced into it, no matter their beauty, income, or elegance. In the story "The Necklace," a youthful, gorgeous working class woman is not satisfied with her husband's plainness and desires a more luxurious lifestyle. One night, she borrows a necklace from a friend and ends up losing it. She does not want to tell the friend, so she borrows money from other friends, family, and loan sharks to purchase another diamond necklace to replace it. It takes her ten years to pay off the debt, and when she finally does, she runs into her old friend and finds out the necklace was simply costume jewelry. In "The Necklace," Maupassaunt uses situational and verbal irony to illustrate how Mrs. Loisel unwillingly wedges herself into the undesirable state of the lower class.

Mathilde Loisel, is very pretty and feels she deserves a better life. However Mathilde has a great life: she is qualified for the middle class, as well as being married to a clerk who makes enough money to support his spouse and himself. She does not visit her well-off friends because it has always made her jealous. At this point in the story, it is easy to recognize that Mathilde has misjudged her wealth. She wants a new dress for the Chancellor's party, and even though her husband has been saving the money to buy a shotgun, he gives her the money almost without hesitation. Regrettably, this was not enough. She also has to have beautiful jewelry because "there's nothing more humiliating that looking poor in the company of rich women" (Maupassant 7). The reality of her situation is that, although she is not as rich as she might have wanted, she is certainly in a position to be comfortable financially, and she is not poor.

Mrs. Loisel learns what being poor is all about when she losses the borrowed necklace. Losing the necklace means losing so much more than just having to confront her friend about the problem. She loses her beauty and youth along with her husband's life savings. At the beginning of the story, she was stubborn and doesn't understand the value of the lifestyle she lived. It is not until Loisel and her husband finish paying off the debt of the necklace when she gains a sense of self worth and self respect. Throughout the story, Mathilde shifts from being superficial to having a profound sense of value.

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