The Necklace

Symbolic structures of the fairy tale: A Comparison of 'The Necklace' and 'The Son's Veto' 11th Grade

Through the consistent allusion to fairy tales throughout both The Necklace and The Son’s Veto, de Maupassant and Hardy are able to present the vulnerability and suffering of the characters in an instantly recognisable template, portraying the brutality (and in Hardy’s view absurdity) of class and status in succinct, powerful stories. The subversion of these fairy tale plotlines also brings home both authors’ realism: the lack of a “happy ending” only serves to make more emphatic the misfortune and victimization of the characters.

The Necklace has constant parallels to the tale of Cinderella throughout, but in many ways is cleverly subverted to make the story into a tragic tale with a comic twist. The most obvious similarity is lost lost necklace, which is an allusion to the glass slipper in Cinderella. Importantly however, whilst the glass slipper is unique and destined only for Cinderella herself, the necklace is fake and therefore representative of the inherently materialistic nature of modern society. The background of the characters is another form of symmetry within the two stories – they are both poor and lead imperfect love or family lives (Madame Loisel is seen only to “go along with a proposal made by a junior clerk”,...

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