Situational irony is a literary device that often confuses readers. Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace” is a classic example of situational irony. The story is about a woman who borrows a diamond necklace from her friend and loses it at a party. She spends the next ten years of her life working to pay back the debt, only to find out that the necklace was fake.
The title of the story, “The Necklace”, is ironic because it is not actually a necklace that is important, but the situation in which it is lost and found. The woman in the story, Madame Forestier, does not realize that the necklace is fake until after she has spent years working to repay the debt.
The most frequent literary term, out of all the tales, is situational irony. Situational irony occurs when what one expects to happen does not occur. Madame Forestier’s necklace was the focus of the situational irony in this story. At the end, Madame Loisel learns that she gave up her life to replace her friends’ trinket, which she subsequently finds to be a phony.
The reader did not expect Madame Forestier to be happy that the necklace was returned to her, but more importantly that her friend had gone through so much trouble for her. The situational irony is seen as a turning point in the story because it is when Madame Loisel realizes that she has been living a lie and that she needs to start working hard if she ever wants to get ahead in life.
The second example of situational irony occurs when Madame Loisel is invited to the Ministerial ball. The reader expects Madame Loisel to be ecstatic about the invitation, but instead she is filled with anxiety because she does not have a dress or jewelry to wear. The third and final example of situational irony occurs at the end of the story when Madame Loisel returns the necklace to Madame Forestier.
The reader expects Madame Loisel to be relieved that she no longer has to worry about the necklace, but instead she is filled with regret because she realizes that she will never be able to afford anything as beautiful as the necklace again. The situational irony is an important part of the story because it helps to reveal the character flaws of Madame Loisel and it also helps to create a turning point in the story.
But, instead, we discovered that Madame Forestier’s original necklace was a fake and had very little value. This is one of the most crucial elements of the tale since it demonstrates that telling the truth will always bring about a superior result than deception. Another minor situational irony occurred early in the narrative when Monsieur Loisel, Madame Loisel’s husband, got her an invitation to The Minister’s residence, but she was embarrassed by how she looked and didn’t want to appear poor in comparison to everyone else.
The situational irony in this part is that, if Madame Loisel would have just gone the way she was, she wouldn’t have had to spend 10 years of her life working off a debt for a necklace that was fake to begin with. The final, and most important, situational irony in “The Necklace” is when Madame Loisel finally gets back the original necklace from the friend she lost it to at The Minister’s residence. The ironic part is that the necklace is now worthless because it is old-fashioned and no one would want to wear it, yet Madame Loisel spent 10 years of her life working hard to pay it off.
Even though Guy de Maupassant uses different types of irony throughout his story, situational irony is the most important because it is used to teach a moral lesson. The moral lesson in “The Necklace” is that honesty is always the best policy and that lying will only make things worse in the end. Guy de Maupassant uses situational irony very effectively in “The Necklace” to deliver this moral message to the reader.
Situational irony is when something happens that is different from what was expected. In the story “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant, there are three examples of situational irony. The first example of situational irony occurs when Madame Loisel borrows a necklace from her friend Madame Forestier to wear to The Minister’s ball. Madame Loisel expects the necklace to be very valuable and is shocked when she finds out it is only a fake.
She was not grateful for her husband’s present of a thing she has always desired, but rather upset and embarrassed. Situational irony plays an important role in this story. The tale also includes many other elements, one of which is flat and round characters. Madame Loisel is a round character in “The Necklace.” A round character is someone in the narrative who undergoes significant development in personality that sometimes surprises the reader.
Madame Loisel was not happy with what she had. The author describes her as having “rather heavy eyebrows” (Maupassant 1) and a “narrow forehead”( Maupassant 1). This could be interpreted in many ways but one way to see it is that she is not content with what she has in life. She always wanted more than she had. The author also describes her as having a “provincial air”(Maupassant 1) which could suggest that she is not used to the finer things in life and wants to experience them.
An example of direct characterization of Madame Loisel is when the author says, “She would have liked flowered silk dresses, laces, the shimmer of jewels”( Maupassant 1). The author is directly telling the reader what Madame Loisel wanted instead of showing it through her actions. An example of indirect characterization is when Maupassant writes, “She suffered endlessly, feeling herself born for every delicacy and luxury”(Maupassant 1).
The author is showing the reader how Madame Loisel feels instead of directly telling the reader. Another important character in The Necklace is Madame Forestier. She is a flat character because she does not go through any development or change throughout the story. A flat character is a one-dimensional character that stays the same throughout the story. The only thing that changes about her is her opinion of Madame Loisel.
The most essential aspect of a round character is that the individual’s attitude and appearance are altered as a result of the challenges they’ve faced in the narrative. Madame Loisel is described as a lovely young woman who does not appear to be satisfied with her position as a lower-middle-class housewife, since she sees other women gaining more than she has. She also thought that her looks should have brought her greater success.
The necklace also changes her attitude by the end of the story. The situational irony is that she thought the replacement necklace was real, but it was not. The result of this change in attitude is that she is now content with her life and does not want anything more than what she has.
She learns housekeeping and, with time, her hard efforts have paid off. “Mme Loisel now seemed old to me,” Maupassant wrote, “Her hair was poorly done; her clothes were disheveled; her hands were red from washing the floors in huge pails of water. However, when her husband was at work, she would sit before the window and recall that evening party of yesteryear or that ball where she had been so beautiful and praised” (165).
The sudden change in Mme Loisel’s appearance and behavior shows how her life has changed for the worse since she lost the necklace. The loss of the necklace not only changed Mme Loisel’s social status, but also her own personal view of herself.
The final irony in “The Necklace” is when Mme Forestier tells Mme Loisel that the necklace was fake. The reader is shocked to find out that Mme Loisel went through all that trouble for a piece of costume jewelry. Maupassant writes, “She flung herself upon her friend, stammering: ‘Ah! Give it back to me! I will never part with it again! I am too happy!’ Mme Forestier, surprised and a little moved, tried to reason with her.
She had long ago replaced the necklace with another just like it” (166). The fact that the necklace was fake all along is the biggest irony in the story. If Mme Loisel had not lost the necklace, she would have never had to go through all that trouble. The loss of the necklace changed her life forever, and she ended up worse off than she was before.