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The Necklace is a story of a girl who thought that she was born in the wrong family and had a life that she did not deserve. Mathilde, the main character in the story was convinced that she should have been born in a rich family and be married to a rich man (Maupassant, 83). A Rose for Emily is a story of a rich woman who lived in misery and loneliness despite being born in a rich and renowned family. She never got married, though several suitors came requesting her hand in marriage, but her father turned them away. Similarities and differences in the lives of the characters in the two stories are enshrined in misery and led to the tragedies of both stories.
Emily and Mathilde had similarities despite hailing from two different social classes. These similarities led each character to the tragedy that characterized the final stages of their lives. Both characters lived a life of misery.
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Mathilde’s misery emanated from her failure to accept her condition as a “poor person” as she perceived her status. As a result, she lived a life of fantasy where she imagined being born in a rich family and getting married by a wealthy person. Due to her fantasies, she failed to improve her life and, therefore, ended up being poorer than before (Maupassant, 84). Mathilde would have improved her social status if she worked hard after accepting her condition. However, she borrowed a necklace from a friend to attend a party, only to lose it before returning it to the owner. Had she accepted her condition, she would have attended the party without the borrowed necklace, which would not have gotten lost. Her household borrowed money from lenders so that she could repay the necklace, which took her and her husband many years to repay. Her self image barred her from telling the owner of the necklace about its missing. She wanted to be held in high regard just as her fantasies led her to believe. Had she talked to the owner of the necklace, she would have realized that it was fake and could have cost less than what she spent on buying an original one. Consequently, her fantasies led to her tragedy-remaining poor and getting old faster than she would before the loss of the necklace.
Emily lived a life of misery because she did not get married and had no friends within her town to socialize with. Her failure to get married was caused by her father who chased prospective suitors away (Faulkner, 45). The social status could have contributed to Emily’s misery. Since she belonged to the upper class, she could not just be married to anyone. She had to marry a person of equal class and status, hailing from a famous family. Her father was to dictate the right person for her. Since no suitor pleased her father, she did not get married. It was highly expected that she would have gotten married once her father was dead. However, it seems her father had a lot of influence on her, which prevented her from accepting prospective suitors. The misery that characterized Emily’s life was caused by her high social status and her father’s decisions and influence. This consequently led to her tragedy of dying unmarried and very lonely.
The differences between the two characters, though not alike in nature led to their tragic end. Despite being different in social status, the two characters ended up having tragic lives. It would have been expected that Emily would have had a fruitful and prosperous life due to her family name and social standing. However, her wealth and high social status that should have led to prosperity and a happy ending of her life led to her tragic end when she died lonely and unmarried.
On the other hand, Mathilde’s poverty should have motivated her to work hard and achieve the status she had always longed for. However, the poverty compounded her misery and led her life to a tragic end (Faulkner, 91). Her life was tragic because a happy ending would have involved achievement of her dream life. However, her life ended poorer than it was before. This was demonstrated by the family’s actions such as dismissing the maid, which made Mathilde to have extra chores to take care of (Faulkner, 90). The extra duties made her exhausted and dirty, which was a sign of poverty.
Another difference between the two characters that led to their demise, though in a different way is the control each had in their lives. Mathilde had full control of her life and, therefore, full access to self-determination. Despite being in control of her life, she did little to improve it. Mathilde’s life could have been better than Emily’s because she had the ability to self-determination. Self-determination is an ingredient of success because it provides people with autonomy to make decisions without undue influence from others.
On the other hand, Emily’s life was partially in her control. Her father decided for her, which led to her unmarried life. She had the control of her later life, which she could have controlled to achieve that which she could not when her father was alive. However, it is debatable whether she had the ability to decide on her own or her father’s influence was beyond reproach. Nevertheless, lack of self-determination capacity led her to a life of misery and loneliness. However, she failed to use it, which led her to more poverty than before. Consequently, her life ended up being tragic, characterized by the lack of a happy ending.