Guy de Maupassant’s short story The Necklace tells about a young lady, Madame Loisel, who is “unhappy all the time”. Despite living a perfectly acceptable life; she is not content and wants more. She would have “given anything to be popular, envied, attractive and in demand”, having materialistic hopes and dreams. She also believes that she is “intented for a life of refinement and luxury” as she is “one of those pretty, delightful girls who, apparently by some error of fate, get themselves born the daughters of minor civil servants”.
One evening, Mathilde’s husband arrives home with what he believes will be joyous information for his wife. The couple has been invited to a grand ball and party at the palace of the Ministry, and the invitation has been hard for Monsieur Loisel to procure. As the date of the ball approaches, Madame Loisel finds herself distraught at the thought of attending in her tattered impoverished garments. And so, her husband sacrificed his savings and told her to borrow a necklace from a wealthy friend in order to meet the need for the occasion. To their dismay, Madame Loisel lost the necklace on the night of the party after being the Belle of the ball. This catastrophic turn of events led them to working and suffering even more to replace the seemingly expensive jewelry, only to find out it was counterfeit after 10 years of hard labor.
Finally, after ten years of her lifestyles have handed this way, Mathilde Loisel succeeds in paying off the debt of thirty-six thousand francs. She goes for a walk in the Champs Elysees one Sunday and encounters Madame Forestier there. Since she has now paid off the debt, she decides to speak to her former friend, whom she hasn’t seen in all these years, and tell her the fact about the necklace.
Madame Forestier originally has no notion who Mathilde is. When she realizes the identity of Mathilde, Madame Forestier “utter[s] a cry”. Mathilde explains that she’s had to work ten years of strenuous labor to pay again loans she incurred for the loss of Madame Forestier’s original diamond necklace however that she is relieved that “at final it is ended”.
It is at this point that the painful blow is delivered: Madame Forestier takes Mathilde’s arms and explains that the necklace used to be “paste”, worth at most 5 hundred francs.
So the meaning of the Necklace De Maupassant is trying to say is how every person’s hopes and dreams come with a price. For Madam Loisel, the price for her hopes and dreams was 10 years of her life and her husband’s, as well as everything she owned.
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