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obsession of the obsessed

Webster’s Dictionary states the definition of obsess as “to think about something unceasingly,” similarly, obsession, according to the same text is defined as “the domination of one’s thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea or desire.” The protagonist’s in both short stories, The Necklace, by Guy de Maupassant, as well at Solid Objects, by Virginia Woolf illustrate these words as they are defined. Mathilde, in The Necklace is inherentlyobsessed with materialism, wealth, and class, whereas John, in Solid Objects, becomespreoccupied with various objects commonly perceived as trash in order to provideknowledge and insight into his life. Though their respective fixations differ, the obsessionitself, similarly led both characters to their ultimate demise within society, one losing anyhopes of wealth and status, and the other losing a brilliant career as a politician. While theplots of both stories illustrate the obsession it is the author’s style and use of symbolismthat provides insight into the protagonist’s motives and thoughts.Both were obsessed with material items they perceived would lead to ultimatehappiness. Mathilde struggled to find peace in her life as a result of her natural beauty andgrace, that she was “born for every delicacy and luxury.” Though “fate had blundered”she was left by the wayside to endure a middle class life with only daydreams to remindher of the elitist company she thought she deserved. It was these daydreams and fancifuldesires of fine china, tapestries, and “antique silks” that troubled her to the point she couldnot be satisfied. She could not be pleased with a meal, no less and invitation to a ballbecause materially she had that pleased her or met her expectations. After her husbandhumbly sacrificed all the money he had been saving to purchase a gun to buy her a dress,she still felt terribly middle class ...

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