Main Themes in the Necklace Story by Guy De Maupassant

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The short story “The Necklace” by Guy De Maupassant takes place in France several hundred years ago. Mathilde Loisel lives in a flat with her husband. Mathilde Loisel borrows a necklace from her friend Madame Forestier. Mathilde’s husband has secured an invitation to a party hosted by his boss. Her husband agrees to buy her a new dress. Mathilde has a wonderful time at the party she dances until four in the morning.  Mathilde notices that the diamond necklace is gone. Embarrassed, the couple spends their entire inheritance and take out loans to pay for a replacement necklace. Mathilde and her husband spend the next ten years scrimping and saving to pay off their debt. Finally, Mathilde tells her friend about replacing the necklace, only to learn that it was a fake. At the beginning of the story, Madame Loisel is a haughty, proud woman whose pride leads her to be discontented and grumpy about her life.  She is absolutely positive that she is destined for more.  Her supreme confidence in her slighted position in life leads her to complain, be unhappy, and not appreciate what she does have.  By the end of the story, however, her confidence and pride have been humbled.

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Mathilde Loisel is a woman who is dissatisfied with her life. Even though she is pretty and quite charming, she has none of the advantages of upper-class girls: a dowry, a distinguished family name, an entree into society, and all the little fineries that women covet.  While she lives a humble lifestyle, she is blessed with a husband who truly loves her, beauty as well as a modest household. However, her desire to cultivate an appearance of wealth and luxury lead her to borrow a necklace and lose it, resulting in her economic downfall.  Loisel is concerned with her own appearance, she ends up destroying herself by failing to recognize that the original necklace only appeared to be expensive: this led her to replace a cheap necklace with an extremely expensive one that she and her husband could not afford .”She thought of the exquisite food served on marvelous dishes, of the whispered gallantries, listened to with the smile of the sphinx while eating the rose-colored flesh of the trout or a chicken’s wing.”This quote explains that Loisel spends much of her time imagining what life would be like if she were wealthy. These lavish scenes are even more replete with vivid imagery than the descriptions of reality. When Loisel gets a chance to experience wealth she takes it to far resulting in the down spiral of life.

People can read The Necklace as a story about greed, but people can also read it as a story about pride. Mathilde Loisel is a proud woman. She feels far above the humble circumstances (and the husband) she’s forced to live with by her common birth. In fact, her current situation disgusts her. She’s a vain one too, completely caught up in her own beauty. It could be that it is also pride that prevents Mathilde and her husband from admitting they’ve lost an expensive necklace. After the loss of the necklace makes Mathilde poor, and her beauty fades, she may learn pride of a different sort: pride in her own work and endurance. She suffered intensely, feeling herself born for every delicacy and every luxury. She suffered from the poverty of her dwelling, from the worn walls, the abraded chairs, the ugliness of the stuffs. All these things, which another woman of her caste would not even have noticed, tortured her and made her indignant.  Mathilde feels herself to be better than her circumstances. She deserves more than she has, and is angry at the universe because she isn’t getting it. The necklace among other things is about pride and pride in yourself.

The Necklace gets its title from the gorgeous piece of diamond jewelry that drives the story’s plot. The expensive nature of the necklace is not the only way in which wealth is central to this story. The main character of The Necklace is obsessed with wealth. She wants nothing else than to escape from her shabby middle-class life with a shabby middle-class husband and live the glamorous life for which she was born. She’s so jealous of her one wealthy friend it hurts. When Mathilde’s given the chance to get decked out in diamonds and go to a ritzy party to mingle with all the beautiful people, it seems like her dreams have finally become a reality. Then she loses the borrowed diamond necklace, gets cast into poverty, and learns what it means to truly live without money.She was one of those pretty and charming girls, born by a blunder of destiny in a family of employees. She had no dowry, no expectations, no means of being known, understood, loved, married by a man rich and distinguished. The first thing we know about Mathilde is that she seems meant for a life of wealth and luxury, but instead is born into a lowly middle-class family. We don’t even know her name yet, but we know this other information about her. The conflict between what she wants and what she has is established immediately.

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Main Themes In The Necklace Story by Guy de Maupassant. (2019, Aug 02). Retrieved December 1, 2022 , from

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