Symbolism of the Necklace

Topics: Guy de Maupassant, Short story, Gustave Flaubert Pages: 4 (1406 words) Published: May 12, 2013
Symbolism in “The Necklace” Reflect Upon Theme

Throughout life, hardships and misfortunes can lead to one’s self – improvement. Guy de Maupassant’s story “The Necklace” presents many symbols which illustrate the works major idea of greed. The protagonist, Mathilde Loisel is the wife of an insignificant clerk, who is unhappy with her life because of her social economic status. She dreams of wealth and is increasingly frustrated because of her desire to always want more. The most important symbol within the story is the necklace, which foremost is a representation of greed and materialism. The necklace is composed of fake diamonds, which epitomize the artificiality of Mathilde’s personality. Furthermore, considering the setting of the story, the attic flat, where Mrs. Loisel lives with her husband, is another play on the protagonists’ personality because it displays the true coarseness of her character. Finally, the shawl is another important symbol which exemplifies poverty and necessity in Mathilde’s life. The relevancy of greed is a significant theme, which is portrayed by the use of many symbols. The necklace, including the fake diamonds, the attic flat and Mathilde’s shawl collectively work together to display the idea of how it only takes a little thing to destroy you.

With an invitation to a fancy, high – class dinner at the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Loisel’s downfall begins. At the beginning of the story, the reader quickly learns of Mathilde’s selfish personality and her yearning for luxuries and items that are unattainable for her at the time. When she declares that she does not have a dress for the occasion her husband volunteers to pay for a new one, despite the fact that it will cost him his next summer’s vacation. However, even with the new gown, Mathilde seems sad, uneasy and anxious. To her husband she complains, “It’s awful, but I don’t have any jewels to wear, not a single gem, nothing to dress up my outfit. I’ll look like a beggar. I’d...
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