-- Read the familiar fairy tale of Cinderella and compare and contrast it
to Maupassant's "The Necklace." In what ways are the two stories
alike? And how does "The Necklace" invert the story of Cinderella?
What do both stories have to say about class?
godmother -- a godmother in the Disney version,
and birds in the Grimm Brothers version, makes it possible for Cinderella
to go to the ball; Mme. Forestier makes it possible for Mme. Loisel
to go to the ball by lending her the necklace.
clothes -- In the Disney version, Cinderella
rushes out before her beautiful clothes turn to her shabby clothes.
In the Grimm Brothers version, she rushes out to get away from the
Prince, presumably so he doesn't come to learn her true identity,
which is an impoverished woman. After the ball, she sits in "her
old gray frock."
In "The Necklace," Mme. Loisel rushes out of the ball
once her husband gave her the "modest garments of everday life
whose shabbiness clashed" with her gown.
Stairs -- In the Disney version and Grimm Brothers
version, Cinderella rushes down a flight of stairs. It is here that
Cinderella loses her glass slipper (Disney) or gold slipper (Grimm
Brothers). Mme. Loisel also rushes down a flight of stairs to get
away from the ball and its guests.
Carriage -- In the Disney version, Cinderella's
carriage turns into a pumpkin. There is no carriage in the Grimm
Brothers version. Mme. Loisel and her husband take a carriage that
is "ashamed to show [its] drabness during daylight hours."
Gold/glass slipper -- Cinderella loses her slipper,
which eventually, when the Prince sees that it fits Cinderella,
brings Cinderella wealth, happiness, and love. Mme. Loisel loses
a glass necklace, which she thinks is made of diamonds. This brings
about Mme. Loisel's downfall.
Class -- Cinderella is the daughter of the "wife
of a rich man." Cinderella comes from money; it is her evil
stepmother and stepsisters that make her live an impoverished life.
Cinderella is eventually made wealthy again. Mme. Loisel was unfortunate
to be born "into a family of clerks." Because of a tragic
error, her life becomes impoverished.
Attitude -- Cinderella is patient with her condition
in the beginning of the story. She hides from the Prince when her
stepsisters chop off toes and heels to try to fit in the slipper.
And for this patience and modesty, Cinderella is rewarded by being
returned to her life of wealth and happiness. Mme. Loisel is impatient
and possibly even greedy. For this, she is rewarded with worse circumstances
than with what she started.
Source: The idea of comparison comes from different places,
but the guide for "The Necklace" in Gale's
Short Stories for Students Vol. 4, Aug. 1998, makes a great connection.
Gift of the Magi"
By O. Henry
Read the story on page 151 of your McDougal Littell The
Language of LIterature: Grade 9 book.
for "The Elephant Man," the nonfiction graphic essay from The
Big Book of Freaks by Grahan Wilson. We read the essay in class
to think about how people treat people or ideas they don't understand.
When reading "A Very Old Man," think about what Garcia Marquez
is saying about how people would react to the second coming. Would people
know that it happened, or would they pass it off as nothing? How do the
people in the story react when the angel doesn't behave the way they would
think an angel would behave?
Here are some passages
from the Bible that can help you make this analysis. Passages are quoted