The Necklace is a short story by Guy de Maupassant which tells a tale about Mathilde who grew up hoping that she could achieve a high social status. Mathilde imagined she would live a classy lifestyle with expensive Jewels and wedded to a wealthy rich man. “She suffered endlessly, feeling herself born for every delicacy and luxury” (Maupassant, and Kelley pg2). She married Loisel a lowly clerk in the ministry of education. Monsieur Loisel tried his best to make her happy in veil. She was dissatisfied by the state of the house she lived in, the curtains, the state of the wall and everything around her. One day her husband brought her an invitation to a Ministry of education party hoping to surprise her. However to his surprise she frowns claiming that she had no dress to wear. Her husband gets angry when he sees her displeasure. In an effort to make Mathilde happy, Monsieur Loisel uses the money he had saved for a rifle to purchase a fancy dress for her. To his dismay Mathilde is still not happy and gets furious. “How stupid you are!" exclaimed her husband. "Go and see Madame Forestier and ask her to lend you some jewels. You know her quite well enough for that." (Maupassant and Kelley pg5). Mathilde then becomes very happy and proceeds to lend the necklace. However, after the party Mathilde discovers that she has lost the necklace. Her husband assists her find the necklace but unfortunately it is not found. Eventually the two lend Thirty six thousand francs from friends in order to purchase a replacement to the lost Necklace. In order to settle the impending debts the two work for ten years. This forces Monsieur Loisel to carry out two jobs. One day Mathilde finds out that the necklace she lost was a fake one worth about five hundered francs and she had replaced it with an original one.
The character of Mathilde loisel changes dramatically as the story develops. At the start of the narrative Mathilde is obnoxious, self centered and rude. Straight from the start of the story the reader dislikes Madame Mathilde because she was a self centered lady who did not care about the level of income in the family but rather kept on dreaming about what she could have. “She had no clothes, no jewels, nothing. And these were the only things she loved” (Maupassant and Kelley pg2). She does not show the love for her husband despite his efforts to try to make her happy. Mathilde is also rude to her husband. When Loisel comes home with the party invitation, He explains to her that he went through a great deal of trouble to secure one but as the narrative progresses she asks "What do you want me to do with this?" (Maupassant and Kelley pg3). . Loisel further on explains why he secured the invite but she is too self-centered to appreciate his worthy efforts.
Madame Mathilde was also an ambitious and materialistic person. She knew she was a very charming lady who desired a good name and fame. From the start of the narrative we see how she fancied getting married to a rich person own numerous jewelries and clothes. “She imagined vast saloons hung with antique silks, exquisite pieces of furniture supporting priceless ornaments…….every other woman's envious longings” (Maupassant and Kelley pg2). She hoped that she would live a lavish lifestyle. She also refused to wear the coat that her husband carried to the party after it became chilly because the coat was not to standard. Throughout the entire narrative Madame Mathilde was happy at one instance. This was during the party when she seemed close to her ambitions. “She was the prettiest woman present, elegant, graceful, smiling, and quite above herself with happiness” (Maupassant and Kelley pg5).
Madame Mathilde was also greedy. Despite the family’s economic status, she craved for high end jewelries and clothes. She refuses to go for dinner with her husband simply because she does not have a fancy dress. When her husband manages to get one she still insists that she needs some jewelry. "I shall look absolutely no one. I would almost rather not go to the party." (Maupassant and Kelley p5).
Madame Mathilde was also oblivious and insensitive. She does not show love to her husband who is out to please her. When they attended the education party, she left her husband alone and went to dance with other men. “Since midnight her husband had been dozing in a deserted little room, in company of three other men whose wives were having a good time.” (Maupassant and Kelley p6). She was also oblivious to what life had offered her i.e. a loving husband
Madame Mathilde was Sociable and valued friendship. At the party she mingled and ecstatically danced with the rest of the people at the party. In the whole narrative this is the only time that she is truly happy. At the end of the story her character drastically changes after she lost the seemingly expensive necklace. She now had to toil and work hard. She now becomes ready to live a miserable life that she had detested previously. “Madame Loisel came to know the ghastly life of abject poverty. From the very first she played her part heroically” (Maupassant and Kelley p9). The loss of the necklace appears to have changed the fate of her marriage which was not going on very well. The story carries along with it a moral lesson that one should be satisfied with what he owns. Very ambitious people may end up being disappointed.