Ideas in “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant Report (Assessment)

August 5, 2022 by Essay Writer

The Theme of “The Necklace“ and Lessons for the Readers

The main theme of the story The Necklace is how appearance is deceiving. This is what the author expects the readers to learn from the story. Mathilde gets the opportunity to appear as someone she is not (Roberts 4). Her life is full of illusion where she keeps on picturing herself as belonging to a different class where she is the most beautiful and admirable woman and only mingling with other rich women. For the first time, her illusions appeared as true at the party.

She is generally admired by everyone but only for a few hours. However, deep inside her seemingly right appearance at the party is the reality about how she got to that state: borrowing a necklace that she perceives as expensive and making her husband uncomfortably buying her an expensive dress “Very well. I will give you four hundred francs. But try and get a nice dress with the money” (Maupassant 97).

The necklace is the second that brings out the deceptive nature of appearance (Antonya). When she first laid her eyes on the necklace, it appeared to her as a real diamond however at the end she comes to realize that it was only an imitation: costing much less than what she and her husband went through replacing the necklace with a real one.

There is no problem in trying to aspire for a greater station in life. It is such hope and aspiration that keeps people gradually progress from a step to another. But Mathilde failed to realize that she needed to appreciate her present state and work out her to her aspiration while considering the reality that surrounds her. She could as well try to get a cheap necklace to match her expensive dress and still look presentable for the ball.

From the story, it is apparent that in the French social system, fashion is something that is deeply valued by every woman, and from this perspective, it was really important for Mathilde to ensure that she does look special at the ball (Rudden 56).

French Social System as Depicted in the Short Story

The necklace is the main symbolic item used in the story to bring out various aspects of the characters and the main theme of the story. Mathilda, who is also the main character, lives in denial of the state of situations surrounding. Even though she is charming and beautiful she expected that she would be married to a wealthy handsome man, but she marries a simple clerk who earns very little.

She is constantly unhappy because she cannot attain an image that she has been longing for. Just as the diamond necklace was an imitation, so she did manage to create a deceiving image of herself at the party. She was the attraction for the night and all the men at the party admired her, but in reality that was just an acquired image for a short period.

The necklace also symbolized wealth. In addition to looking beautiful, Mathilda also wanted to look wealthy among her friends. She, therefore, picked the diamond necklace because she knew that it was the most expensive of all jewels. Even though the necklace was not entirely diamond, it appeared as a real and expensive diamond which would make her also seem rich and expensive amid her friends. Just the same way that the necklace deceived her that it is a real diamond, she also managed to deceive everyone at the party that she is wealthy and beautiful.

Lastly, in the society of the setting of the story, a diamond was a precious stone that symbolized the commitment between a wife and a husband. This commitment is evident in the relationship between Mathilde and her husband. The extent to which the husband sticks to her no matter what shows how committed he is to his wife. First, he goes out of his way so that he could get two tickets to the party. Then he unwillingly decides to buy her an expensive dress so that she could be happy. In the end, he sacrificed his all life, happiness, and inheritance to replace the necklace.

Works Cited

Antonaya, Maria Luisa. Maupassant’s Diamond Necklace. 2007. Web.

Maupassant, Guy De. “The Necklace” The Short Story: An Introduction To Short Fiction. Ed. J. Dennielle True. New York: Pearson, 2011. 98-105.

Roberts, Edgar. Writing Themes About Literature. New York: Prentice Hall, 1991.

Rudden, Liam. “Mathilda Makes it to the stage” Edinburgh Evening News. 2008: 56.

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