Diamond Necklace

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"Maupassant uses the symbol of the necklace to represent various stations in Victorian society. However, this theme may be lost to readers that are not versed in Victorian culture. In the story, the necklace is more than an object of desire. It symbolizes something that is out of reach for the heroine of the story. It is used to explain the pitfalls of what can happen when desire overrides all other elements of one's life. However, the necklace also has another meaning that is often overlooked. "One will recall that there are two necklaces in the story. The first one is the more expensive one. It represents the true upper class of society, those that can truly afford to possess such an object. Madame Forestier feels comfortable allowing Madame Loisel to borrow the necklace. She is not afraid to let go of it. This suggests that her life savings are not tied up in it. She does not guard it so carefully that she is unwilling to let it out of her sight. She is comfortable taking a small risk with it. "However, Madame Forestier is less than amicable when the necklace is returned a week late. This indicates that although, she was not devastated by the loss of the necklace, it still held a considerable value to her. Her reactions indicate that it was still an uncomfortable loss and held some value in her life. To the wealthy, class of Victorian France, their finery was s symbol of not only their wealth, but their power in society as well. This necklace was important to Madame Forestier as a symbol of her station in French society. We do not know how many pieces such as this that she owned, but this may have been an important piece to her."
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