The Necklace: Summary/Central Idea/Character Analysis Essay

In the short story “The Necklace” the author Guy de Maupassant portrays a character named Mathilde Loisel who married a clerk and had delusions of being rich. One day her husband brings her an invitation to go to a formal party but refuses to go because she has no dress or jewelry. So her husband buys her a dress and she borrows a diamond necklace from her friend. At the party she amazes everyone like she dreamed it and in the end lost her friends diamond necklace.

She searches for it but comes up with nothing so her and her husband must buy a new one that put them in debt only to find out the necklace she replaced was an imitation. The central idea is that a sense of false pride, greed and envy can lead to a person’s destruction.

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The main character Mathilde Loisel is the perfect example of the central idea stated. She has a fair life, a roof over her head, loving husband, and food.

But because of her false pride she wants more than what she has. : “Aha! Scotch broth! What could be better?” she imagined delicate meals, gleaming silver, tapestries peopling the walls with folk of a past age” This sentence shows the yearning of a better life, but also gives hints to how she thinks. She converts the Scotch broth into a depiction of delicate meals, showing that her view of materialistic things can change everything.

In this sentence, “No . . . there’s nothing so humiliating as looking poor in the middle of a lot of rich women.” she really shows the false pride she has for herself, she wouldn’t dare go to a party with roses, she would prefer something more suitable to her way of thinking. Once she gets her jewelry she does an action that more than likely leads to her losing said jewelry. “She was conscious of this and was anxious to hurry away, so that she should not be noticed by the other women putting on their costly furs.” This prideful action resulted in the loss of her friends jewelry and her living her life worse than what she had.

The supporting character Mr. Loisel serves the function of really enhancing the way Mathilde is by being the opposite of her. Mathilde is miserable and wishes for a better life, while Mr. loisel is content and happy with his. He doesn’t act on selfish greedy thoughts, but acts only to please Mathilde,
and even gives up opportunity of getting a gun to by Mathilde a dress for one night. Mr. Loisel is the true polar opposite of Mathilde but ultimately ends up in debt because of his pursuit of her happiness.

Title The Necklace
Written by Guy De Maupassant
Type of Writing Short story
Genre Social criticism
Country France
First Published 1884
Main Topic Loss of an “expensive” thing and repaying for it
Setting Paris, France
Main Characters Madame Mathilde Loisel, her husband, Madame Jeanne Forestier

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