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A Tale Of Two Different Generations Of Women

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Henri-Rene-Albert-Guy De Maupassant (1850-1893), one of the major nineteenth-century French naturalist writers, wrote a timeless short story called "The Necklace." Even though The Necklace was written in 1884, the main character, Mathilde, portrayed in this story has similar behaviors to an average woman in the 21st Century, but her social and financial status is dissimilar.

Mathilde may live in a different century, but her behaviors are not so different from a 21st Century woman. She frequently dreams and fantasizes about living in a mansion where she is surrounded by elegant rooms with expensive curtains, end tables, oriental tapestries, and other tangible objects. Beside the consistent daydreaming episodes, she also feels that she is "destined for all delicacies and luxuries (5)." Because she has this illusion in her head, she is consistently chasing after a materialistic ghost to fulfill her starvation in delicacies and luxuries. Because of this ghost, she loses her husband's life-savings and has to downgrade her standard of living, equivalent to a lower-class citizen. Similarly to Mathilde from The Necklace, some 21st Century women suffer from the same psychological disease. They frequently dream and fantasize about living in a beach houses, driving a luxurious automobile, and wearing the most expensive jewelry and designer clothes. The majority of these women know when to wake-up from their dreams while others struggle to find the reality. However, there are always reluctant few who find themselves in financial chaos from living beyond their means.

Unlike today's society, women in the late 1800's, before the Women's Rights Movement, had to depend on their husbands for all their financial needs. Just like in this story, Mathilde had to request money from her husband to purchase a nice dress for the Ball. And if her husband denied her request, she would have no choice but to wear one of her old dresses. Also because their place of duty is in their home, their social status is based



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