The Necklace Essay

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In the following excerpt, Bates discusses Maupassant's ability to combine trick and tragedy into one, asserting that in "The Necklace" it is clear that the author was completely aware of the limitations of the surprise ending.

[To] Maupassant . . . still belongs that supreme tour de force of surprise endings, "The Necklace," in which the excellence and the limitation of the method can be perfectly seen. Maupassant's story of the woman who borrows a diamond necklace from a friend, loses it, buys another to replace it, and is condemned to ten years' suffering and poverty by the task of paying off the money, only to make the awful discovery at last that the original necklace was not diamond but paste— this story, dependent though it is for effect on the shock of the last line, differs in one extremely important respect from anything O. Henry ever did. For here...

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This section contains 372 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Necklace Study Guide
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The Necklace from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.