In “The Necklace”, Mathilde feels she has been born into a family of unfavorable economic status. She’s so focused on what she doesn’t have. She forgets about her husband who treats her good. She gets too carried away being someone someone
“‘The Necklace’ is one of the most famous of Maupassant's short stories but also one of the most enigmatic” (Adamson). Guy de Maupassant was born in Normandy to wealthy parents. His childhood setting and character reflected in his fiction writing. His mother provided the characterization of slighted, overbearing women in most of his stories. The plot is about the loss of a diamond necklace by a low-ranking officials wife. She finds outs the price of a similar necklace is 36,000 francs. Madame Loisel spent 10 years paying off her debt for the necklace only to find out that the gems were paste costume jewelry instead of diamonds. Guy de Maupassant develops his theme that objects can have a perceiving power in his short story “The Necklace” through the use of characterization, symbolism, and irony.
“Guy de Maupassant’s, “The Necklace”, is about a young couple who discovers the upper society appears to sparkles like a real diamond necklace, but in reality it is not always true. A decision that seems to protect their integrity turns out to tarnish it – like a fake necklace. However, through ironic insights we witness drama, character revelations and experience surprise” (Clugston, 2010) .The Necklace is told from a 3rd person point of view with limited omniscience. The title suggests that the plot will center on a necklace. So, naturally we, the audience or reader wants to know what the significance of the necklace is. After reading the story I believe that Maupassant used the necklace to symbolize the upper society or wealth. Another symbol that the necklace represents is appearance. In the story Mme. Loisel was a beautiful young woman that had admirers at the reception. She made all the attendees believe she was from...
The theme of these stories can be determined through an analysis of the narrator's attitude toward the characters in each story. The narrator in "The Necklace" reflects a disapproving opinion of Mathilde. He believes that Mathilde is snobby and too concerned with her social image: "She suffered ceaselessly, feeling herself born for all the delicacies and all the luxuries. She suffered from the poverty of her dwelling, from the wretched look of the walls, from the worn-out chairs, from the ugliness of the curtains" (66). Through this description of her personality, the narrator illustrates his notion that Mathilde feels that she deserves a wealthier, upper class existence. The narrator also exhibits his beliefs in stating, "She had no dresses, no jewels, nothing. And she loved nothing but that. She felt made for that. She would so have liked to please, to be envied, to be charming, to be sought after" (63). In these sentences, the narrator reveals his ideas about Mathilde and her concern for the way others view her.
The Necklace is a great example of how our desires can create tragedy rather than happiness. Madame Forestier would have rather been idolized for her wealth instead of buying items that grant her survival. She says,”It’s just that I have no evening dress and so I can’t go to the party.” which explains well how she had a finite amount of money and thought material wealth was more important than happiness. If she only knew before that she would spend the next decade working off her debt, she would have never asked for the necklace and she would have had a happy life. Furthermore, wealth isn’t the only thing that brings happiness to a life.
In “The Necklace,” Guy de Maupassant uses setting to reflect the character and development of the main character, Mathilde Loisel. As a result, his setting is not particularly vivid or detailed. He does not even describe the ill-fated necklace—the central object in the story—but states only that it is “superb” (7 ). In fact, he includes descriptions of setting only if they illuminate qualities about Mathilde. Her changing character can be connected to the first apartment, the dream-life mansion rooms, the attic flat, and a fashionable public street. [This is a well-defined thesis statement.]
The theme of the story, is to show honesty and be yourself and not someone that others expect you to be. Maupassant gives a very clear picture of this in his tale. In “The Necklace”, a poor couple are given a chance of a life time when a message arrives from Ministry of Education. This message asked the Losiel’s to “…. do them the honor of attending an evening reception at the Ministerial Mansion….” (170) Even with this rare occasion invite, Mme Loisel was very ungrateful as she had nothing to wear and throws the invitation to the ground. At this time, her husband decided to allow her to purchase a beautiful gown for this event. This still is not good enough for Mme. Loisel's she has no jewels to wear, and she make a selfish decision to borrow something that she feels is nearly impossible to replace. The author continues to show how material items can take over a person’s self esteem and confidence (which many can relate to)
The Necklace also displays distinctive realism in the use of socioeconomic influences which are essential to the plot. The major conflict in the story would be absent and the theme would not be obtainable without Mathilde Loisel’s insecurity about her own socioeconomic reputation. An example of Loisel’s self-deprivation nature is presented when she realizes she does not have a necklace, she says “I shall look absolutely no one. I would almost rather not go to the party” (Maupassant, sec. 3). Another example of the self-conflict caused by social pressure is Loisel’s immediate attempt to replace the necklace and her reluctance to speak to her friend Madame Forestier about the necklace for ten whole years. If she were not conflicted by societal pressures she might have avoided the whole situation altogether. The Necklace establishes a realistic difference in value between the necklaces and proposed clothing. Her husband proposes flowers which were valued 10 franks so in any case if she had chosen the flowers there would have been an insignificant economic loss. Her decision not to tell her friend about the necklace ends up costing her seven times the worth of the original. The roses symbolize the simpler things in life to the theme of the story. Mathilde Loisel’s withered appearance at the end
Around the world, values are expressed differently. Some people think that life is about the little things that make them happy. Others feel the opposite way and that expenses are the way to live. In Guy de Maupassant’s short story, “The Necklace”, he develops a character, Madame Loisel, who illustrates her different style of assessments. Madame Loisel, a beautiful woman, lives in a wonderful home with all the necessary supplies needed to live. However, she is very unhappy with her life. She feels she deserves a much more expensive and materialistic life than what she has. After pitying herself for not being the richest of her friends, she goes out and borrows a beautiful necklace from an ally. But as she misplaces the closest thing she has to the life she dreams of and not telling her friend about the mishap, she could have set herself aside from ten years of work. Through many literary devices, de Maupassant sends a message to value less substance articles so life can be spent wisely.
As I did research on how others interpreted the story, the same conclusion would pop up. The necklace was used as a symbol of higher class of wealth. We use symbolic items to try and fit into societies belief of “fancy”. The deeper meaning is within the true value of the necklace. It is a fake just as she is! She is trying to be something she is not and ends up losing the necklace which holds a false value as well. This is why a person should not take everything as it
she is in her own grim apartment. In her eyes, she lives a tortured and unfair
In the short story “The Necklace”, the main character, Loisel, is a woman who dreams of greater things in her life. She is married to a poor clerk who tries his best to make her happy no matter what. In an attempt to try to bring happiness to his wife, he manages to get two invitations to a very classy ball, but even in light of this Loisel is still unhappy. Even when she gets a new dress she is still unhappy. This lasts until her husband suggests she borrows some jewelry from a friend, and upon doing so she is finally happy. Once the ball is over, and they reach home, Loisel has the horrible realization that she has lost the necklace, and after ten years of hard labor and suffering, they pay off debts incurred to get a replacement. The central idea of this story is how something small can have a life changing effect on our and others life’s. This idea is presented through internal and external conflicts, third person omniscient point of view, and the round-dynamic character of Loisel. The third person limited omniscient point-of-view is prevalent throughout this short story in the way that the author lets the reader only see into the main character’s thoughts. Loisel is revealed to the reader as being unhappy with her life and wishing for fancier things. “She suffered ceaselessly, feeling herself born for all the delicacies and all the luxuries.” (de Maupassant 887) When her husband tries to fancy things up, “she thought of dainty dinners, of shining silverware, of tapestry which peopled the walls…” (de Maupassant 887) As the story goes on her point of view changes, as she “now knew the horrible existence of the needy. She took her part, moreover all of a sudden, with heroism.” (de Maupassant 891) Having the accountability to know that the “dreadful debt must be paid.” (de Maupassant 891 ) This point-of-view is used to help the reader gain more insight to how Loisel’s whole mindset is changed throughout her struggle to pay off their debts. Maupassant only reveals the thoughts and feelings of these this main character leaving all the others as flat characters. Loisel is a round-dynamic character in that Maupassant shows how she thought she was born in the wrong “station”. “She dressed plainly because she could not dress well, but she was as unhappy as though she had really fallen from her proper station.
In “The Necklace,” Mathilde’s internal struggle is with herself. She mentally battled with the physical and financial limitations placed on her, but more with her own soul. She was unhappy with her place in life and could not accept the simplicity of her station, believing it to be truly beneath her. “All those things… tortured her and made her angry. “ Her husband’s blatant acceptance of their place only fueled her frustrations further.
The moral of Guy de Maupassant’s story “The Necklace” seems to be suggested by the line, “What would have happened if Mathilde had not lost the necklace?” If Mathilde had not lost the necklace, or in fact, even asked to borrow the necklace, she and Mr. Loisel would not of been in debt ten long years. Because Mathilde had to borrow the necklace to make herself and others like her better her and Mr. Loisel’s economic situation had become worse than it already was. I think that the moral of the story is that people need to be happy with what they have and not be so greedy.