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Literary Analysis Essay on The Necklace by Guy De Maupassant

3 pages
790 words
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
Literature review
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The story is about a middle-class girl called Mathilde who desperately wished she were rich like her friends. She was a gorgeous and charming woman from the family of clerks. She desired to be wealthy hence spent all her life dreaming and despairing for a marvelous life filled with feasts, fancy furniture, and strings of wealthy men to seduce," (De Maupassant, 2015). Her hopes were cut short by her parents decision to marry her to M. Loisel a clerk in the Department of Education. Since then she lived a miserable and tormented life in her simple room with mean walls, ugly curtains, and worn chairs. Mathilde is the kind of woman who wants a classy life without working. She sits all day long in her little home dreaming of beautiful, wealthy life yet she does not work to help her husband build such kind of life.

Mathilde was never satisfied and grateful for the sacrifices done by his poor husband. All she desired to have good clothes, jewels and nothing else. She wanted to be like her rich friends who enjoyed the glory of all these fancy things. She separated from all her friends and refused to visit them since she never had beautiful jewelry, clothes, and hair like them.

The dream of a beautiful life was cut short within one night. It all happened one evening when her husband came home with invitation card for her to join in the companys night party. Instead of been happy for the great opportunity, she threw the card away and started weeping. She later explained to Loisel that she had no dress to wear during the party which will be full of wealthy elegant women. "Nothing. Only I haven't a dress, and so I can't go to this party. "No . . . there's nothing as humiliating as looking poor in the middle of a lot of rich women," (De Maupassant, 2015).

As the party day neared she wasnt happy since she had no jewelry to put on, "I'm utterly miserable at not having any jewels, not a single stone, to wear, (De Maupassant, 2015). After consultation with Loisel, she decided to borrow one from her friend Madam Forestier. She chose a superb diamond necklace which matched very well with her dress. That night she was a success and the prettiest and beautiful woman present. All the Under-Secretaries of State were eager to waltz with her. The Minister noticed her. She had the fun of her life dancing madly, drinking and arousing her feminine victory.

Back at their home, she realized the diamond necklace was no longer in her neck. Loisel searched for it the entire day without success. Later they agreed to look for a similar chain to repay madam Forestier. The necklaces were worth forty thousand francs at Palais- Royal. Loisel took all the eighteen francs as left to him by his father and borrowed the rest from his friends and from the company to be repaid in ten years (De Maupassant 2015).

Since then their lives became worse, and poverty struck the family. They no longer afforded to hire a house help thus Mathilde had to do all the laundry. All her dreams of wealthy life were shuttered, and she had to toil the entire life especially for those ten years they were to repay the debt. Her body shape and beauty vanished, and she looked aged and worn out. That when she started regretting and cursing the night that ruined her life." What would have happened if she had never lost those jewels Who knows? Who knows? How strange life is, how fickle! How little is needed to ruin or to save," (De Maupassant, 2015)?

As the story ends, Mathilde reveals the truth about the lost necklace to Mrs. Forestier. She explained how they had toiled for ten years trying to repay the debt. She was shocked to learn that her friends diamond was fake just a replica of the original costing around five hundred francs "Oh, my poor Mathilde! But mine was imitation. It was worth at the very most five hundred francs!.. " (De Maupassant, 2015).The moral lesson learned from this story is to be happy, satisfied and grateful for what we have in life. Mathildes unsatisfied life and desire for wealthy life landed her in deeper poverty. She later learned that sacrifice and hard work yields all the wealth and fabulous life she dreamt of. Consequently, it is always good, to be honest, and truthful. If she had revealed the truth to her friend that night about the diamond, she could not have undergone such hardship and suffering of losing her beauty, dignity and youth life.


De Maupassant, G. (2015). The Necklace and Other Stories: Maupassant for Modern Times. WW Norton & Company.


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