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Mathilde’s Downfall in The Necklace Story

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Jealousy and Envy are among the greatest sins out of the seven sins, which led to the downfall of the society. The story by Maupassant “The Necklace” is about a woman who held jealousy and envy throughout the story. Mathilde Loisel, the protagonist, felt that she has been living a lie all her life, she thinks that she deserves more than what has been offered to her. Mathilde was born in a middle-class family, but her desires for the upper-class has never been greater. Thinking that her beauty could help her to achieve the same lifestyle that she imagined, she tries to fit into the wealth’s by appearance, dreaming that she would be the brightest among all. However, after the ball which she attended with her husband, she lost the necklace that she borrowed from her friend. Which leads to her downfall with the debt that she and her husband owes to replace the necklace that she lost. There were several times that her husbands want Mathilde to tell the owner that she lost the necklace and hope for a forgiveness, but she insists not make that decision. Mathilde had her pride run all over herself and replace the necklace with suffering that comes along.

Jealousy becomes one Mathilde’s downfall throughout the story. Her jealousy for the upper-class has overcome her consciousness for what she already has. “She had a rich friend, an old school friend whom she refused to visit because she suffered so keenly when she returned home. She would weep whole days, with grief, regret, despair, and misery.” (Guy de Maupassant, Page 2). Mathilde lacks the self-awareness of seeking what she already has. She should let herself be in despair and misery whenever she thinks about how she ’s not in a upper-class family. When her husband brought home the new that they were invited to the ball, she refuses to go due to her lack of appearance. She tells her husband that she wanted a nice dress to wear at the ball, and she borrowed her rich friend’s necklace to cover her jealousy for good dressers that appears for the ball. She wants to make everyone else jealous of her appearance and proven that she ’s the prettiest among all who attended.

Mathilde’s envy for the wealth has become the greatest of them all. She envies her friend Forestier and anyone else who has more than what she had. She felt like she deserves to have everything in her grasp to fulfill the emptiness of her desire. “She had no clothes, no jewels, nothing. And these were the only things she loved; she felt that she was made for them. She had longed so eagerly to charm, to be desired, to be wildly attractive and sought after.” (Guy de Maupassant, Page 2). She felt like she deserves these things, she imagines how these symbolize herself as she shines upon others. Whatever she currently owns, can not compare to the things that she doesn’t have. Her enviousness comes from the obsession of what she doesn’t have, but others do. When her husband brings back the news of an invitation to the ball, she was not pleased, because she said she has nothing to wear. She was not satisfied until she got money from her husband to buy a new dress and borrowed a necklace from her rich friend. As she enters the ball, everyone has their attention at Mathilde, she was beautiful among all the ladies that attended. She ’s enjoying herself at the ball, dancing with other men instead of her husband, making herself feel like the queen of the evening with her appearance. But Mathilde knew, her wealth and class are simply just an illusion, but that night, that moment is what she truly wants as a part of her daily living.

Shortly after the ball, Mathilde realizes that she lost the necklace that she borrowed from Forestier. The first thought that came up in her mind was to replace the necklace unnoticed, her pride overcomes her conscious by buying time to “return” the necklace at a later date. “You must write to your friend,” he said, “ and tell her that you’ve broken the clasp of her necklace and are getting it mended. That will give us time o look about us” (Guy de Maupassant, Page 7). Instead of telling the truth to her friend, she lied and let her and her husband go into debt and buy a new one to replace the one she lost. They commit themselves to ten years of debt and suffering due to her pride, the same pride that gotten her into her dilemma. As days go by during that ten years, she convinces herself that she’s a good person, and hopes that her friend does not find out about the necklace that she and her husband replaced with a new one. After that ten years of suffering, when Forestier asked about how Mathilde has been, Mathilde told her the truth about the incidence where she lost the necklace that she borrowed and lost, and replace with a new one which brought her to her downfall. Forestier replied Mathilde with the truth about the necklace was just a fake and it ’s only worth a small amount of money. The decision she made caused her to have an unhappy life, and deceive herself to correct her own mistake at the moment when she lost the necklace. That ’s when Mathilde realizes the decision she made caused her to have an unhappy life, and deceive herself to correct her own mistake at the moment when she lost the necklace.

The story of The Necklace tells us concludes reasons and causes to Mathilde’s downfall. Mathilde’s jealousy, envy, and pride deceive her to her foolishness which leads her to her ten years of suffering from her husband. Although that she ’s willing to blame Madame Forestier for her problem, but the one to blame is Mathilde herself. The sins that Mathilde carries will only cast a shadow over herself, overwhelming the true happiness of being grateful for what she already has. Desires from mind will only lead to a disaster or unfortunate events that will lead to a downfall on themselves. Her delusional self did not only lead to her downfall of her life but also a change. A change of receiving a message to change herself for the cause that she made from the past. Things are not always as good as they seem to be, there is always a hidden truth behind them, that might lead to unfortunates.

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Mathilde’s Downfall in the Necklace Story. (2019, August 08). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 31, 2023, from
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