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A Theme of Perception in The Necklace by Guy De Maupassant

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Society sometimes puts pressure on people to be something they are not, so that they be seen as this wonderful person. One book that shows this is “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant. The story is about a woman who is beautiful and has all the things that she needs, but is still unsatisfied because she doesn’t have things that other people have. Mathilde Loisel is the woman in the story that it’s about. One of the most constant theme that is throughout the story is the perception of objects. Loisel believed that if she had the necklace than it will change the way people looked at her.

Maupassant starts the story off by telling us the objects that Loisel desired but doesn’t have. Losiel feels like she deserves to have those objects and wants to have them so that she can be looked as a beautiful and wealthy person if she does. “She had no gowns, no jewels, nothing. And she loved nothing but that. She felt made for that. She would have liked so much to please, to be envied, to be charming, to be sought after”. She also feels like because she isn’t wealthy or apart of that social class than that means she worthy to have those things. Loisel is very materialistic. One way to prove that is when her husband got an invitation to a party. When Loisel gets the invite she goes out to get an expensive dress and jewelry so that she doesn’t look poor to everyone at the party. She looks at others people things as being something good to have. While she looks at her husband and home as something that people will belittle her for. She feels like an outsider because she didn’t have the things that her counterparts have. “She had a friend, a former schoolmate at the convent, who was rich, and whom she did not like to go to see any more because she felt so sad when she came home”. The way Loisel looks at the world is like how others like her do, which is comparing the things that she doesn’t have to what others do have. Loisel dreams of having wealth and beauty. Finally when does she get the necklace, she feels like the woman she always wanted to be which is envied and charming. Then when she loses the necklace her life began to fall into shambles. This is where reality is pointed out to show that the power is within yourself not the objects. On the other hand, her wealthy friend Madame Forestier doesn’t hold object as this powerful thing. Being that Forestier is wealthy she knows that these objects aren’t what people should be proud of. She also knows that people has the power in perceiving what the object holds. Forestier probably looks at fake objects as she would look at objects that were real. That is why when Mathilde asked Forestier to borrow her necklace she agreed because she doesn’t hold the necklace in such high regard. While, because Mathilde isn’t as wealthy as others she looks at these objects as being the most important things to have in the world. Mathilde does everything to make herself look like something that she is not. In a sense, she has created her own world in her mind. The thing that is a problem is that her world is not real. When she went to that party, she could saw her life as being the same as the people that were there. Mathilde uncontrollable obsession to objects is what caused her downfall. When she lost the necklace she had to spent the next decade in paying loans to replace the necklace that she had borrowed from Forestier. Which then caused her beauty to fade because she was stressed out and going through poverty. In reality, Mathilde sacrificed her life for a necklace that at in the end wasn’t even worth it.

The power of perception in objects is probably the most important thing that causes most people to have downfalls. Some people look at objects as something that verifies them as being greater than others. That is what happened to Mathilde. She valued the necklace as something that will show people around her that she isn’t this poor person, but in reality she really is. “The Necklace” is probably one of many books that schools should have in their libraries to show children what it looks like to have this type of perception in objects. 

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A Theme Of Perception In The Necklace By Guy De Maupassant. (2021, November 22). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 8, 2021, from
“A Theme Of Perception In The Necklace By Guy De Maupassant.” GradesFixer, 22 Nov. 2021,
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