The Necklace Conflict Essay Introduction

The most important thing to remember about your conclusion is that it should mirror your introduction by focusing on your thesis.  A conclusion can also include a little extra flair, including a summary of your basic argument.

It is a good idea to first return to your thesis when writing your conclusion.  Here is your sample thesis statement.

From New Historicism’s standpoint, “The Necklace” is a product of a society obsessed with wealth and status,...

The most important thing to remember about your conclusion is that it should mirror your introduction by focusing on your thesis.  A conclusion can also include a little extra flair, including a summary of your basic argument.

It is a good idea to first return to your thesis when writing your conclusion.  Here is your sample thesis statement.

From New Historicism’s standpoint, “The Necklace” is a product of a society obsessed with wealth and status, where the struggle of the lower classes to overcome economic hardships is represented by Mathilde’s obsession with material wealth.

The main points in this thesis are your argument.  Basically, you are saying that New Historicism suggests that the story “The Necklace” is influenced by the materialistic culture of France at the time. In your conclusion, you should focus on how you developed these points.  You need examples from the text of the influence of society on the characters, especially the social-climbing Mathilde.

In the body of your essay, build your argument and then support it with evidence.  Here is some evidence of Mathilde’s ambition.

Mathilde suffered ceaselessly, feeling herself born to enjoy all delicacies and all luxuries. She was distressed at the poverty of her dwelling, at the bareness of the walls, at the shabby chairs, the ugliness of the curtains. (enotes etext p. 1)

It seems like Mathilde is comparing herself to people with more money.  You need to stress how this relates to your thesis in a body paragraph of your essay.  In your conclusion, after restating your essay (and possibly changing the wording around), you would summarize your points.  You can refer back to this argument as follows:

Mathilde is not pleased with her status.  She compares herself to the better off Madame Forestier, whom she sees as her superior only because she has more money and therefore better possessions.

Of course the irony is that the necklace is fake.  You would explore that in a further paragraph, and add that to your conclusion.

A well-written conclusion is concise, like an introduction, but also reminds your reader where you have been in your essay.  Restate your thesis and review your points and you’ll be fine!

"The Necklace" (in French, "La Parure") is perhaps the most famous short story by French author Guy de Maupassant. It's been called Madame Bovary in miniature, and tells the tale of a dissatisfied middle-class woman whose dreams of wealth and glamour end in disaster. Maupassant first published it (in French) on February 17, 1884 in a daily newspaper called Le Gaulois, where he worked as an editor.

So just who, you ask, is this guy, Guy, with the hard-to-pronounce French name? (By the way, it's roughly "Gee du Mow-pass-on" – with the "g" at the beginning sounding like the "g" in "goat," and the "n" at the end having that French nasal sound). As it turns out, he's a big deal. Maupassant is the father of the French short story. Some would even say that he is the father of the modern short story (or at least one of the fathers). Though he didn't invent the short story genre, he perfected it, popularized it, and greatly expanded his audience's understanding of what could be done with it. It helped that he wrote some three hundred short stories, all mostly between 1880 and 1890.

Maupassant was also famous for his use of the twist endings. Guy didn't invent that either, and he certainly didn't use it in every one of his stories. But when he did use it, he was good at it, and it was he, more than anyone else, who made the twist ending big.

We mention that because "The Necklace" has the most famous of all of Maupassant's twist endings – which is also why it's his most famous short work. Though he was already well-known in France by the time he wrote it, in the English-speaking world his initial fame rested largely on this little jewel of a story. It was a particular hit with Americans, who couldn't get over how cool the ending was. In fact, the story led to something of a twist-ending fad in popular literature. It wasn't too long before the U.S. produced its own version of Maupassant, O. Henry, whose story "Gift of the Magi" may have the other most famous twist ending of all time.

Think of Mathilde Loisel as the 19th century Paris version of the "desperate housewife." She's middle class, a maid, and a kind husband. But she's cooped up in the house all day with nothing to do, and her days are marked with boredom beyond belief. Her only way out of dealing with it is to live in a fantasy world of glamour, wealth, and beautiful people.

Does that situation really seem all that far-removed from today? In many ways, the figure of the dissatisfied housewife is just as relevant now as it was then. Just like Maupassant's contemporaries, we're still fascinated by it, perhaps because we're troubled by it. Why else would a show actually called Desperate Housewives be so popular? And can't we all relate in some way to Mathilde's desire to live a more exciting, glamorous life, even if we can only do it in daydreams?

You also won't find a more perfect encapsulation in story form of an experience we can certainly all relate to: the "if I hadn't lost that one thing!..." experience. That's right, if you think losing something once ruined your day, just wait until you see what happens to Mathilde. It's painful to read about, yes, but sometimes it's good to have a reminder of just how badly chance can ruin your life.

Finally, if you like interesting plots and crafty endings with a twist, they don't get much more classic than this one. Plus the story's just five pages. And like we said earlier, it's kind of like Madame Bovary writ small. So if you want to get a sense of the classic situation of a desperate housewife, why not read "Madame Bovary in miniature"?

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