The meaning of Moupassant’s “The Necklace” is that one should not fall into the trap of wishing for better things and not recognizing what one has to be thankful for. Moupassant uses the main character, Mme. Loisel, to illustrate this point as she struggles with her self-image and her desire to always be better in the eyes of others, especially the upper class and the rich.
At once it is easy to notice the authorial distance in the story. The very first sentence is, “She was one of those pretty and charming girls who are sometimes, as if by mistake of destiny, born in a family of clerks.” In this way the author keeps the reader from becoming sympathetic with Mme. Loisel. This supports the thesis, because if the reader were to become sympathetic with Mme. Loisel’s struggle with her self-image, the reader would not see her actions in the story as clear mistakes.
At first, Moupassant has Mme. Loisel always feeling bad for herself for not being married into a better, more highly regarded family. The husband is shown to be a good man, always trying to please his wife, but to no avail. This becomes clear when the husband comes home one evening with an invitation to a very select event that he thinks will make her happy. Instead, Mme. Loisel is unappreciative and frets about how she has nothing proper to wear to such a thing. Again and again the author shows us the husband’s love and sacrifice for his wife, who is never fully satisfied.
Mme. Loisel’s struggle with her self image is apparent during this part of the story. At last, she has a nice dress and a fine necklace and has a grand time at the event. This is the end of her first struggle with self-image. Then, when the necklace is lost, she begins a new struggle with her self image to save her self from being seen as a thief. She and her husband go through great lengths to buy a replacement necklace and are forced to sacrifice many of their previous comforts. After ten years of...