Essay on Selfishness in The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

Essay on Selfishness in The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

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Selfishness in The Necklace by Maupassant

In Guy de Maupassant's, "The Necklace" all the characters in the story
exhibit similar behavior by showing that they think of themselves
rather than of others. A close look at the behavior of the characters
in "The Necklace" reveals more than a story about a spoiled selfish
woman, but what we see is a story about a whole society of selfish

In "The Necklace" a woman named Mathilde lives a depressed life
because she does not live the life style that she desires. She "was
one of those pretty and charming women, born, as if by an error of
destiny into a family of clerks and copyists. She had no dowry, no
prospects, no way of getting known, courted, loved, married by a rich
and distinguished man. She finally settled for a marriage with a minor
clerk in the Ministry of Education (Maupassant 5)." She was a very
simple person, but she did not have the money to dress with very
expensive clothes. Her husband did not have the social status or job
to give her the types of things she wanted like expensive clothes and
jewelry. She felt depressed every time she would go over to her
friend, Mrs. Forrestier's, house because she had a very nice home and
wore expensive clothing with very impressive jewelry. Her husband gets
invited to a party, but Mrs. Loisel really doesn't want to go because
she has nothing good to wear. Mr. Loisel agrees to give her 400 francs
to buy a "pretty" dress, but even after that she feels skeptical of
going because she has nothing to wear with the new dress. Mr. Loisel
convinces her to borrow some jewelry from her friend and she would
return it after the party. She says ...

... middle of paper ...

"modest, everyday wrap (Maupassant 8)." The group of women and men
were just as selfish as Mrs. Forrestier, the Chancellor, and Mr. and
Mrs. Loisel.

In conclusion, Guy de Maupassant's "The Necklace" does not only tell
the story of a spoiled selfish woman, it tells the story of a whole
society of selfish people. Besides Mathilde in the story, her husband,
Mrs. Forrestier, the Chancellor, and the groups of men and woman at
the party were all very selfish thinking about themselves and less
caring of others.

Works Cited

Maupassant, Guy de. "The Necklace" Literature: An Introduction to
Readingand Writing. 2nd ed. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts and Henry E. Jacobs.
New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 2003. 5-12. "The Necklace." (2004). 09 Nov. 2004 <

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