Personification is a literary technique used to give non-human objects human qualities. This is evident in the short story “The Necklace,” where the author, de Maupassant, personifies several objects. For example, fate is personified when it is described as having “blundered” over Mathilde’s family, giving the abstract concept a human quality. Similarly, night cabs are personified when their physical appearance is described as being ashamed to show their shabbiness during the day.
The use of personification in describing households and residences also creates a vivid and hostile atmosphere. For instance, Mathilde’s run-down home is personified when it is said to torment and insult her, giving the apartment a lifelike quality that attacks the character. The tapestry on the walls is also given lifelike qualities when it is said to “people” the room with ancient personages.
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Even a part of a living organism, such as the heart, is personified in the story. Madame Loisel’s heart is given human feelings of anxiety and excitement when she looks at a diamond necklace, reflecting her desperation and desire for wealth and status.
Personification is an effective literary technique that allows readers to connect with the descriptions on a more intricate level. It helps readers better comprehend, sympathize, and react to human-like associations, drawing attention to essential plot points in a story. By using personification, de Maupassant is able to highlight the contrast between class and wealth in “The Necklace,” helping the reader understand the characters’ emotions and motivations.
Overall, personification is a powerful literary technique that can bring a story to life by giving non-human objects human-like qualities. Its use in “The Necklace” highlights the author’s mastery of language and his ability to convey complex emotions and ideas in a compelling and relatable way.
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