In an article from USA TODAY, Andrea Yates had everything she could want, a loving husband and five children. Yates had been her high school's valedictorian, a nurse for eight years before getting married. She was a stay at home mom that home schooled her children. Yates had a history of depression, voices and visions started after her first son. After her fourth son, she was diagnosed with postpartum depression. She had many attempted suicides to her own life. Doctor's had diagnosed her as possibly psychotic, but stable and able to begin outpatient treatment. The medical staffs concern was that she would harm herself and not her children. On the mourning of June 20, she drowned five of her children one by one in the family bathtub.
Maupassant's story is the traditional Cinderella story because it is so endearing because it takes advantage of one's sense of justice.
By sense of justice I do not mean one's sense that all evil should be punished, but one's sense that all virtue should be rewarded. Maupassant takes this Cinderella story, puts it in a more believable Third Republic setting, and, by making Mathilde slightly less perfect then the improbable Cinderella, he makes Mathilde a more sympathetic and realistic character. It seems as if this more realistic Cinderella story was just about over, but Maupassant is not satisfied yet. He takes a trivial detail, Mathilde losing her necklace, and uses it to yank her from her new, happier life, to a horrible life of poverty. A world where any tiny, innocent mistake can ruin your life is certainly a wicked world, and it is that world that Maupassant cynically tries to show we live in.
In the first sentence of the story Maupassant describes Mathilde, "She was one of those pretty...