April 4th, 2012
Guy de Maupassant captures the idea of Materialism, and what it means, throughout The Necklace, symbolizing this with a piece of jewelry. He makes you look at something so simple, as borrowing a necklace, in a way that makes you think, was it really worth it? What is it, to be rich? Why do some risk so much, for the pure sake of others judgment?
The story takes place in Paris, France in 1980, focussing around Mathilde Loisel and her husband Monsieur Loisel. There is no physical narrator of the story, the point of view is omniscient, meaning the narrator knows everything to the story. There is no judgment, or swaying to one side or the other. The story is told from all angles. This, I think, was a smart choice for Guy because it allows the reader to focus purely on the lesson in the story, and what is really behind it all. Mathilde Loisel, being the protagonist, is a very pretty woman, but unsatisfied with the life she has, causing the actual conflict in the story. She had no jewelry to wear to a fancy event, so she borrowed what she assumed was an incredibly expensive necklace, only to lose it by the end of the night, costing her and her husband their life savings and more to replace it. This results in them living the rest of their life in poverty, so what she had thought was so terrible before, looked like luxury now. To top things all off, at the end of the story, it is revealed that the necklace was nothing more than a piece of costume jewelry, virtually worthless. If the story were to be told from a different point of view, I think it would have taken away from the message Guy was attempting to get across. It could put harsh judgement on one of the characters, and could skew the meaning portrayed to the reader.
The meaning of the whole story, is to not take what you have for granted, because you could always be worse off. When Mathilde Loisel is given the opportunity to...