“The Necklace” is a famous short story written by French writer Guy de Maupassant. It was first published in 1884 and has since become one of Maupassant’s most popular works. The story revolves around Madame Mathilde Loisel, a woman who is dissatisfied with her modest life and dreams of a more luxurious existence.
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The plot is set in motion when Mathilde’s husband secures an invitation for them to attend a high-society event. However, Mathilde is unhappy with her plain appearance and borrows an expensive necklace from a friend to enhance her look for the occasion. Tragically, she loses the necklace during the event, and instead of admitting the loss to her friend, she and her husband go into debt to replace it.
The story is known for its twist ending, where it is revealed that the original necklace Mathilde borrowed was actually a fake, and the years of hardship endured by the couple were unnecessary. “The Necklace” is often studied for its exploration of themes such as the consequences of vanity, the pursuit of social status, and the deceptiveness of appearances.
Summary of the necklace
“The Necklace” is a captivating short story by French writer Guy de Maupassant. The tale revolves around a woman named Madame Mathilde Loisel, who is not satisfied with her simple life and dreams of a more glamorous existence. The story is set in the late 19th century and starts with Mathilde’s husband bringing home an invitation to a fancy party. Instead of being thrilled, Mathilde is upset because she doesn’t have anything elegant to wear.
In her desperation, Mathilde borrows a beautiful necklace from her friend Madame Forestier to enhance her appearance at the event. However, tragedy strikes when, during the party, she loses the necklace. Fearing the wrath of her friend, Mathilde and her husband decide to replace the necklace, plunging themselves into debt.
The key lessons from “The Necklace” are:
The Dangers of Vanity: Mathilde’s discontent with her modest life and her desire to impress others with her appearance lead to a series of unfortunate events. The story highlights the pitfalls of vanity and the consequences of being overly concerned with outward appearances.
The Deceptiveness of Materialism: The necklace itself becomes a symbol of materialism. Mathilde and her husband sacrifice years of their lives and endure financial hardship to replace what turns out to be a fake necklace. The story underscores the emptiness of pursuing material wealth for the sake of social status.
Gratitude for What You Have: The story encourages readers to appreciate and be grateful for what they have rather than constantly longing for what they lack. Mathilde’s dissatisfaction with her life blinds her to the value of the simple joys she already possesses.
Theme of the Story
The main theme of “The Necklace” is that the pursuit of material wealth and social status can lead to profound consequences, and the true worth of a person is not determined by outward appearances or possessions. The story serves as a cautionary tale about the importance of appreciating and finding contentment in one’s current circumstances.
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- Summary and the Key lessons from the Story “The Necklace”