The Necklace

The Necklace

The Necklace is a tale that takes place in nineteenth-century Paris. Mathilde Loisel, the main character, was born into a middle-class household. She can only handle a modest standard of living thanks to her husband Monsieur Loisel, a clerk in the Ministry of Education. Monsieur comes home one evening overjoyed to tell his family they have been asked to a formal celebration hosted by the Ministry of Education. (Guy, 32). With this information, he intends to dazzle her, but instead of being impressed, Mathilde snaps at him because she has nothing to wear. He decides to give her the money he has been saving so she can buy a fancy dress. He also advices her to borrow jewelry from her rich friend Madame Forestier. They attend the party and Mathilde enjoys it. Unfortunately, after the party, Mathilde realizes that she lost the necklace she had borrowed.

Mathilde's Discontent

Mathilde is pretty and charming but dissatisfied because she cannot have the affluent lifestyle she desires. She spends lots of hours fantasizing of luxuries and is even jealous of her wealthy friend Madame Forestier (Guy, 31). She would like to be admired by people and that is why she put so much effort in her attire for the party. Monsieur Loisel loves his wife and tries his best to make her happy. He is content with the small pleasures of life. Additionally, he is selfless as he sacrifices so much for the happiness of his wife. Madame Forestier is portrayed as kind to her friend Mathilde.

A Change in Attitude

In the story, Mathilde is forced to change her attitude about life. Losing the necklace coerces her and her husband to find a way to replace it. The couple discover that a similar necklace costs 40,000 francs but are able to get it for 36,000 francs after selling everything they own and securing loans with high interest rates. They are forced to work very hard to survive and pay for the necklace. Monsieur has to work three jobs and Mathilde on the other hand does the heavy house chores. They dismiss their servant whom Mathilde thought was not good enough earlier. Their lifestyle becomes worse and the couple even moves to a smaller residence (Guy, 37). Her one night of fun and radiance costs them their happiness in the future due to her selfish desires and obsession with glamour.

The Illusion of Happiness

Initially, Mathilde feels that there was a mistake of destiny and that is why she could not get the elegant life she desired. That is the reason for her discontent. However, according to the story, she is happy at the night of the party (Guy, 34). Her new dress and borrowed necklace give her the sense of belonging to the social class of the wealthy that she has always wished for. She feels a deep satisfaction during this moment and even recalls it even after many years. Unfortunately, her joy is short lived and she and her husband spend ten years paying for the pleasure of that night.

Materialism and Greed

The actions of Mathilde reveal that she is materialistic. She wants expensive material possessions to live the glamorous life she desires. She is bored of middle class life. Further, Mathilde is greedy. She is dissatisfied by her husband's effort to cheer her up by getting an invitation to a formal party because she has no dress to wear. Her husband is selfless and sacrifices the money he has been saving to buy a gun so she can buy a fancy dress. Due to Mathilde's ungratefulness, that is still not enough as she still wants jewelry to match the dress. She refuses to buy flowers which were quite cheap and borrows a necklace from her wealthy friend (Guy, 33). The necklace turns out to be a seal of their destiny since they pay for it for ten years of their lives only to realize that the original necklace was an imitation worth only 500 francs.

Work Cited

De Maupassant, Guy. The necklace and other short stories. Courier Corporation, 2012.

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