The Necklace Essay

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In the following excerpt, Steegmuller maintains that the shock ending of "The Necklace" is the highlight of the story, condemning Maupassant's portrayal of relationships as "vague and unconvincing" and his plot as improbable. Steegmuller also asserts that while Maupassant has a reputation as a specialist in surprise endings, only a few of his stories actually conclude in this manner.

At the smiling moment of his life when he was thirty-four, had built his house at Etretat, hired François, and begun to enjoy his amours plus elegants, Maupassant did some of his best and his best-known work. In both these categories can be placed "La Parure" ("The Necklace" ), one of the most famous short stories in the world, described by Henry James when it was new as "a little perfection."

Although everyone knows the plot, not everyone knows James's resume of it:

In "La Parure" a poor...

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This section contains 1,261 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Necklace Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Necklace from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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