Compare and contrast "The Necklace" with the Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm version of "Cinderella". How are the two stories similar? How are they different?
What might be de Maupassant's message in creating such a sadly ironic fate for his heroine Madame Loisel? What idea might he be trying to convey about the shortcomings of her dream for a better life?
"The Necklace" by de Maupassant and the Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm version of "Cinderella" are similar in that both focus on a poor girl who is seeking to construct her self and both convey the dangers of determining self-worth according to material things such as beauty, clothes, house, jewels etc.; however, they are different in that one remains blind to what determines real self-worth and happiness and the other, Cinderella, is lucky enough to have this instilled in her from her parents and has the potential then pass it on to others.
Despite her poor beginnings, Madame Loisel is desired and gets married, but she cannot appreciate what her husband has to offer as the Minister of Education. He might not have wealth, but he can offer the benefits of knowledge, perhaps the real knowledge (the real necklace) that would make her happy. However, she cannot see this because she determines her self-worth and whether or not she is loved through material things. She suffers as if she is a victim due to her situation because she sees her situation, her surroundings, as a reflection of her self (-esteem), ...
"The Necklace" is contrasted with the Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm version of "Cinderella."