What Is The Theme Of The Necklace?

Updated 30 September, 2023
The major themes of The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant include greed and desire, jealousy, self-destruction, and the trickiness of appearances.
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In his story, Maupassant establishes that Madame Loisel cares more about the way that others depict her than her true joys. This is done at the very beginning of the story: “She was one of those pretty, delightful girls” is the first description we get of her and it only includes adjectives that exclusively show how she impacts others and not at all what her personality is like. The words “She had no dowry, no expectations, no means of meeting some rich, important man who would understand, love, and marry her”, establish that she plainly has a desire to marry a man with material or financial riches who she might not care for because of how it would affect the way people perceive her. This is the example of the theme of greed and desire for wealth in The Necklace.
Madame Loisel chose to self-destructively preserve her friend’s image of her. After losing the necklace, Madame Loisel decided to buy a replica and give it back as if it hadn’t even been worn. This, consecutively, forces her into a situation of extreme labour and paying the debt for ten years. Her fear of losing the image of herself, that she had painted in front of others is represented by the writer, after Madame Loisel had handed over the new necklace, rhetorically questioning “what would she have thought? What would she have said? Would she not have concluded she was a thief?”
Finally, the trickiness of appearances is highlighted by Madame Forestier's necklace, which has gave off an impression of being made of precious stones yet is really made of outfit gems. The way that it originates from Madame Forestier's adornments box , gives it the wealth and worth, had Monsieur Loisel proposed that Mathilde wear face gems. The way that Madame Forestier in Mathilde's view, of class and riches, has a jewelry made of phony gems recommends that even the wealthiest individuals from society profess to have more riches than they really have. The two ladies were deluded by appearances, Madame Forestier doesn't disclose to Mathilde that the precious stones are phony, and Mathilde doesn't tell Madame Forestier that she has supplanted the jewelry.

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