top-rated free essay

The Necklace

By sabinef Oct 12, 2008 821 Words
The Necklace
By Guy De Maupassant
Critical Analysis

In The Necklace, by Guy De Maupassant uses materialism, conflict and character to show how some people are never satisfied with what they have and always wanting more no matter at what cost. The story focuses on two main characters, Mathilde a very materialistic person and her husband, a clerk who is not wealthy by any means but makes enough money to get by. Mathilde is a very selfish person in the story and abuses the love that her husband has for her to try to satisfy her selfish needs. Her husband is a simple clerk who enjoys the simpler things in life.

Mathilde believes she was born in to the wrong class. Her middle class marriage was not up to her standards. Her wardrobe was too simple in her opinion and this was not satisfactory in her eyes. Mathilde did not posses any good jewelry unlike her old school friend Madame Forester. One night her husband brought home an invitation for a dinner at The Ministry of Public. Instead of being exited and looking forward with spending an evening with her husband and in a high society environment in which she believes she belongs. Her only concern is her appearance and what other people might think about her. This is reflected by the author where Loisel states, “What’s the matter? What’s the matter?” The only response from Mathilde is, “Nothing. Only I have no dress and there for I can’t go to the ball. Give your card to some colleague whose wife is better equipped than I.” This is a reflection of how materialistic Mathilde is and how she sees

her self in comparison to her friend Madame Forester and her own surroundings.
Another critical element in this story is Mathilde’s conflict with in her self. After loosing Madame Foresters diamond necklace and Loisel’s unsuccessful attempt to find it. Mathilde is faced with the realization to admit to Madame Forester that she had lost the diamond necklace or to listen to Loisels advice and stall. By lying and deceiving Madame Forester to protect her integrity and friendship. Mathilde made the decision to take Loisel’s advice to stall and the author describes it by, “You must write to your friend,” that you have broken the clasp of her necklace and that you are having it mended. That will give us time to turn round.” Another description of Mathilde internal conflict is the loss of her self. The deceit of the necklace triggered a chain reaction which caused her to loose her only asset which was her beauty. By having to let all the help go she had to do the housework. This made her hands age and her beauty fade. Madame Forester sees her ten years later and does not recognize and states, “Oh, my poor Mathilde! How you are changed!”

Mathilde can be characterized as unkind cold hearted selfish woman, whose arrogance leads to her downfall. Mathilde shows no compassion towards her loving husband whose mission in life is to make her happy. Any attempt her husband makes to make her happy, she turns around and wants more. Her husband Loisel gave her money to buy a dress. When the day of the ball neared she sad again, Loisel enquired why and

she answered: “It annoys me not to have a single jewel, not a single stone, nothing to put on. I shall look like distress.” Nothing seems ever good enough for her. This kind of character one can argue is the character of an unhappy person with low self esteem. She does not believe in herself enough to see that appearance in clothing and jewelry does not make a person.

“The Necklace” by Guy De Maupassant is a fascinating story with an ironic twist. Mathilde selfish ways and loss of the necklace leads her to a point in life which she most feared. Scrounging for money to repay the borrowed necklace she has to do housework and reduce the type of clothes she wears. Her selfish behavior does not only affect her but also drags the one person down with her, Loisel who always loved her unconditionally. All this because the dress her husband bought her was not good enough. After ten years she comes to find out that the borrowed necklace was not a real diamond necklace. The irony behind this fact will lead the reader to think and reflect on their own life and maybe give a second thought if a material item is necessary. This story also tells us to face the truth and not to lie instead face the consequences. A lie that might seem an easy way out may have worse consequences than facing the truth.

Work Cited

De Maupassant, Guy. “The Necklace.” The Story and Its Writer. Ann Charters.
Boston, MA: Stratford Publishing Services, 2007. Page 838-844.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • the necklace

    ... Instructors Name English 102 October 31, 2013 Guy de Maupassant: The Necklace This short story is centered on Mathilde Loisel, a charming and beautiful young woman who was born in a less fortunate economic status. She met a young man from the Ministry of Education who would provide her with a very modest lifestyle. She was v...

    Read More
  • The Necklace

    ...Analyzing Guy de Maupassant’s Story Guy de Maupassant’s full name is Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant. He is a short story writer, novelist, journalist, poet, dramatist, and travel writer. One of his short stories is The Necklace. In any literary work it is necessary to have characters, whether it is major or minor, round or flat. Cha...

    Read More
  • The Necklace

    ...The Necklace theme and narrative elements in a short story Robert Rois English 125 July 9, 2012 Katherine Ness Santana The Necklace theme and narrative elements in a short story The story of The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant was written during the realism period. The reason why the story was done during the realism period because peo...

    Read More
  • The Necklace

    ...Question ‘The Necklace” is a popular story. Discuss the features that make the necklace a popular story. “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant is a well-known short story around the world. It was first published in the Paris newspaper Le Gaulois on February 17, 1884. "The Necklace” features a young, beautiful woman in a social si...

    Read More
  • The Necklace

    ...How does Maupassant represent the female character in "The Necklace?" "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant portrays the female character in a number of different ways. This is a short story about a woman, and because of her vanity, ruins her life at the end. The author gets this idea across by using a variety of symbols and language techniques...

    Read More
  • The Necklace

    ...see how this byword applies to Guy de Maupassant's short story "The Necklace." Its protagonist, Mathilde Loisel, longing for a lavish lifestyle rather than her middle class way of life, falls under the spell of an priceless diamond. Dealing with her fate, some of Mathilde's strong character traits soon become apparent. Examining these attribu...

    Read More
  • The Necklace

    ...The Necklace: Mathilde’s Materialistic and Selfish Strive to a Happy Life The Necklace is a short story by Guy de Maupassant. It begins with a explanation of Madame Mathilde Loisel. Though she is young and pretty, she and her husband are not well off financially. Her husband is only a clerk in the ministry of education. Mathilde is a very w...

    Read More
  • The Necklace

    ...the hunting rifle he's spent months saving up for so Mathilde can buy a dress for the ball. And when she loses the necklace, he's the one who goes all over the city searching for it. Most importantly, M. Loisel spends his life's savings replacing it. So M. Loisel seems like the simple, happy, good guy in the story, a foil for his perpetually di...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.