What way do the characters respond to materialism? - Coggle Diagram
What way do the characters respond to materialism?
Her ungratefulness is highlighted through the way she treats her husband.
"She tore... tossed... peevishly...irritably"
The verbs "tore" and "tossed" suggest a hostility towards her husband. This is the complete opposite of how women were supposed to act in the 19th century which already shows that something was irregular or something was wrong, which could foreshadow how something would go wrong.
Her negative behavior is completely contrasted to the loving way he treats her. The husband's characteristics are in complete contrast with the wife's. It could indicate him spoiling his wife with all the riches he can afford.
The fact that she's ungrateful presents her in a negative way for the audience.
Additionally, they are the opposites of the society they lived in. Women would be loving and men, harsh in a way. However, in this piece, it's the opposite which shows that they went against societal expectations.
Pride is a repercussion of Madame Loisel materialistic nature.
"there's nothing more humiliating than as to look poor"
The pronoun "nothing" signifies and highlights that there is nothing in life apart from riches and glory to her which is quite futile and shallow. This also indicates Madame Loisel detrimental pride as she cannot be seen lower than a class she is already a part of. The fact that she lives in an apartment and her husband works a mediocre job such as a clerk which wasn't of value or worth respect back then juxtaposes her ideology on life and indicates the fact that she is in denial.
The adjective "humiliating" strips her from any dignity and sets an awkward atmosphere as Maupassant paints her as ungrateful which helps the reader come top the conclusion that Madame Loisel is very ignorant and is unable to beyond the surface of life. Madame Loisel interprets poor people, or people who are perceived to look poor as humiliating, degrading them as if they're human beings with no dignity. The adjective 'poor' highlights how she views her life and dehumanizes other people that are in her position as they are seen nothing else than poor.
‘Oh, my poor Mathilde! But it was only an imitation necklace. It couldn’t have been worth
much more than five hundred francs! ...’
The use of the adjective "poor" is quite ironic
Loisel [the husband]
The husband isn't portrayed to be as materialistic as his wife, Madam Loisel.
" 'What am I supposed to wear?' 'He had not thought of that' ".
Madam Loisel is seen to be fixated on the materialistic glory of attending the ball, the glory of dolling herself up in pretty clothes and ornaments. The phrase "He had not thought of that" informs the reader of the contrasting ideals of the husband and wife. HIs status in society was mentioned to be nothing more than a clerk. His status and his ideals mirrors as he is aware on his position.
the verb "thought" highlights his simplistic nature as he does not give in to his wife's materiality ways. It also connotes the fact that he does not place his self worth and enjoyment on things such as nice attire or shoes, he enjoys the simple aspects of life which leads him to not think about what he does not have. This indicates the husband's grateful nature which creates a huge contrast and juxtaposes his wife materialistic nature. This paints the husband as very optimistic as he sees life with things that he has rather than the things he does not have.'
On the other hand, Madam Loisel indulges herself in materialistic desires. She eyes the most expensive clothing, she longs the envious gazes of others. The contrasting attitudes of the couple could reflect the possible effects of disorientated hierarchy among the people.
Madam Forestier understood deeper aspects of society, she focused on how she presented herself.
"It was only an imitation necklace"
This shows that she understood that something did not have to real for her to be respected by society. Its almost as if she understood the saying 'fake it till you make it' /
The word 'imitation' is completely juxtaposed to the word 'diamond'. A diamond is something that is precious, whilst 'imitation' connotes to something that is not precious. This juxtaposition can show the difference between her non-materialistic way of life compared to Madam Loisel.
The title "The necklace" focuses on an object which highlights Loisel's materialistic ways, right from the beginning.
Additionally, a necklace is a precious object. This signifies that in the late 1800s people saw materials as valuable objects as it would signify their place in society.
Her materialism is presented through her ideal life.
"oriental tapestries... bronze candlearas... silk... fine furniture... pretty little parlours"
The use of alliteration puts emphasis on how it was just a fantasy.
The fact that her ideal life mentions materials puts emphasis on her materalism.
The use of imagery, again, shows how it was just a fantasy.
She had struggled in her life due to poverty and her escape from reality was to fantasize. Her fantasies were much more better than her reality
The use of lavish semantic fields further extenuates her want and her desire for that lifestyle. This may suggest that this may have been a coping mechanism for her.