Comparing the Role of Social Class in The Necklace and Recitatif

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The Role of Social Class in The Necklace and Recitatif

Often in a piece of literature, a story will appear to be about one issue when, in actuality, the author intended it to be about another. In the short stories "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant and "Recitatif" by Toni Morrison, the issues of class separation and struggle, though they may appear at first glance to be unimportant, are in fact the central points around which these two stories revolve.
In "The Necklace" and "Recitatif," class differences affect the ways in which the characters interact with one another. Nowhere in the story "Recitatif" is this more apparent than in the meeting between Roberta and Twyla's mothers at the orphanage. Twyla describes Roberta's
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In both of these stories, the relationships between the characters illustrate the author's view that class does, indeed, become a factor in their dealings with each other.
In these stories, differences in class between characters, too, create the main conflict. In "The Necklace," Mathilde's lower-middle class position in society at the beginning of the story, along with her selfish and vain nature, directly cause her downfall. Because she feels that she was born into the wrong class, she becomes jealous of her wealthy friends and eventually causes herself to sink into an even lower class. In "Recitatif," the conflict between Roberta and Twyla is primarily caused by the two women's differing social classes. Roberta, with her chauffeured limousine and house in Annandale, is clearly a member of the upper class, while Twyla, who drives a station wagon and lives in Newburgh, belongs to the lower-middle class. The two struggle over this difference throughout the story, as illustrated by Roberta's poor treatment of Twyla at the Howard Johnson's. Society, too, struggles with the issue of class in this story, and Roberta and Twyla are sucked in to this larger struggle. They each take opposing sides in a battle over the issue of school bussing, and ,once, Twyla even finds herself surrounded by an angry mob. Twyla's neighborhood, too, is affected by this social movement. Twyla describes it by saying that," something quick was in the air. Magnificent old houses...were

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