3 December 2012 Sylvia Remenzel Vs. Madame Loisel In “The Lie” by Kurt Vonnegut, Sylvia Remenzel is the wife of Dr. Remenzel and the mother of Eli Remenzel. Madame Loisel from “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant is the wife of Mr. Loisel, a devoted husband that will do anything to make his wife happy. Throughout these stories Sylvia and Madame Loisel are described as, obsessed with a wealthy lifestyle, the feeling that they deserve things, and having jaded ethics. Sylvia and Madame Loisel both exhibit the characteristic of being obsessed with wealth and wanting to appear wealthy to other people. In the story “The Lie”, Sylvia becomes annoyingly obsessed with knowing what number Remenzel, Eli that would be attending Whitehill Academy. Even though Dr. Remenzel increasingly warns her about being conceited, she keeps asking, “What number is he?” “I’m going to go wherever they keep the records and find out what number he is…I think things like that are interesting, even if you don’t” (Pg.6). This shows that she wants everybody to know what number Remenzel her son is, she gets a great satisfaction by being connected to this wealthy community, and can’t wait for her son to be enrolled into the prestigious academy.
Madame Loisel shows this same obsession of wealth as Sylvia, when she receives the invitation to the ball. Although Madame Loisel’s husband worked as hard as he could to receive the invitation, she did not want it because she felt she didn’t have an expensive looking dress. In order for her to get the gown she wanted, her husband had to give up the 400 francs he saved for his hunting trip, yet she didn’t even appreciate this gesture. Throughout the story all she wants is jewels, and other expensive items in order for her to feel like she matters. Madame Loisel states “Nothing. Only I have no gown, and, therefore, I can’t go to this ball. Give your card to some colleague whose wife is better equipped than I am” (Pg. 2). Her statement represents the greed she has for being perceived as a wealthy person. Then, when she was able to get the dress of her dreams it still wasn’t good enough for her, she needed jewels due to her obsession “It annoys me not to have a single piece of jewelry, not a single ornament, nothing to put on. I shall look poverty-stricken.” (Pg.3). Her attitude portrays how desperate she is to look and feel as though she is wealthy. She shows in this statement her blatant disrespect for what her husband has sacrifices for her, and she is only concerned with her addiction to feeling wealthy. These women are also similar in the way they feel that they deserve things. Throughout “The Lie” Sylvia states and truly believes that Eli should receive special privileges because of his name. She thinks it is crazy for him to possibly have to live with the black students on campus. She also believes that Eli deserves to room in the new building due to the fact that his family has given $3,000,000 in scholarships. “I want Eli to have a room with a fireplace, if that’s possible,” said Sylvia. “Those rooms are for seniors…you mean I should demand that Eli be given a room with a fireplace?” said Dr. Remenzel”(Pg. 6). This argument reflects her feeling that her son deserves the very best just because his last name is Remenzel. Madame Loisel also displays this same attitude in “The Necklace.” Throughout the beginning of “The Necklace” the author states that Madame Loisel was born into a family of clerks, meaning she had no dowry, or high expectation for herself. Although she was born into a lower class family, she feels that she deserves to be envied, and have things of wealth. “She thought of long reception halls hung with ancient silk, of the dainty cabinets containing priceless curiosities” (Pg. 1). This statement represents her want of the wealthy life and her snobbish, conceited attitude. She also exhibits her deserving attitude when she talks to her husband