An Analysis of Similarities in the Necklace by Guy De Maupasant and the Gift of Magi Bu O. Henry
Some stories deal with love, greed, and envy. That is the case in The Gift of the Magi and The Necklace. The Necklace by Guy de Maupusant shows that some things one wants may not be the things that one needs and The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry shows that some people will give up their most prized possessions for the one they love. Though they are about different people and different times, they do have things in common.
Both of these stories revolve around married couples. Each of these couples are poor. The short stories give clues about their financial struggles. Maupassant tells the story from the wifes point of view. We learn that Mme Loisel was born into a poor family and because she had no dowry, she married a not so wealthy man. The author tells us that she grieved incessantly for the finer things that she could not afford. She was envious of others who had wealth. She was ashamed to visit a well to do school friend.Even though she does have a maid to do her housework, she feels that she lives in poverty. She was miserable. In O. Henrys tale, the couples poverty is revealed by his description of their apartment and the furniture inside. The wife reveals that she has scrimped and saved by haggling with the food vendors but has only managed to save a few pennies after several months. Della was also miserable, but for a different reason. She was not unhappy for herself. She was unhappy because she only had $1.87 to buy her husband a present for Christmas.
Both short stories provide us a small look at the husbands. Both men love their wives. M. Loisel demonstrates his love by getting an invitation to a fancy reception. He knew that she would want to be part of the in crowd. He then gave her the money that he had save to buy himself a rifle so that she could buy a new dress. Later, he proved his love by borrowing the money needed to replace the lost necklace. Ultimately his loved was shown by working hard for 10 years to repay the debt. Jim returns home after a long day to find that his wife has cut off her long, beautiful hair. After recovering from a little shock, he gives her a big hug. When she frets about his not liking her any more, he assures her that nothing could make him love his girl less. Then he gave her the present hat he had bought her for Christmas.
Each is a story of sacrifice. M. Loisel sacrifices his rifle money to try to make his wife happy. He ends up sacrificing 10 years of his life working three jobs to help pay their debt. We presume he does that because of his love for his wife. Even Mme. Loisel sacrifices her beauty and her lifestyle. They move to a very small apartment and she does all the housework herself. Maupassant describes her as having become an old woman, heavy, rough, harsh, like one of the poor. We can only think that she did that because of a sense of duty. Della sacrifices her crowning glory. She sells her long, beautiful hair for money to buy her husband a present. Jim sacrifices his treasured pocket watch for money to buy his wife hair combs. There is no doubt that they each made their sacrifices because of love.