The Necklace Essay Research Paper Looks Can

The Necklace Essay, Research Paper

Looks Can be Deceiving

Madame Loisel is a greedy and selfish woman who forever changes her and her

husbands life through being greedy and bringing on financial ruin. When Mr. Loisel brings

home an invitation for them to attend and upper class party, he thought his wife will be

delighted. However, nothing seems to please her enough. When she borrows a diamond

necklace from her friend Mrs. Forestier, to wear to the ball, she has no idea how that

necklace will rearrange her values and change her and her husbands life forever. Her

greed and desire doesn t get her anywhere in life, it only causes her grief. She thought the

high class luxurious life was perfect and unblemished. But nothing, as Mme Loisel will

come to learn is as perfect as it may seem on the outside, looks can be very deceiving.

One decision based on desire and greed can dramatically change a life forever, and that s

just what the necklace did. The necklace represented everything Mme Loisel did and did

not desire.

Mme Loisel lived a very comfortable middle class life. She had everything she

needed to survive and more. She had a working husband who loved her very much, a

middle class apartment, and even a maid who did all of the house work for her. But what

she had could never be enough. She always wanted more. All these things, which

another woman of her station would not have noticed, tortured and angered her.

(Maupassant 31) Mme Loisel didn t live poorly. Her selfish and greedy ways only made

her feel as thought she did. To her husband, their middle class home was pleasant. But

she wanted more, she wanted jewels, silks, and men flaunting over her at all hours. …

she loved [and wanted] only those things. She felt that she was made for them

(Maupassant 32), and she wouldn t be happy until she got what she wanted. However,

Lange/ 2

even when she did get what she most desired, it never seemed enough, she always wanted


Mr. Loisel did everything in his power to please her. But nothing was ever

enough. She was selfish and always wanted more. She was not grateful for what she had

or what her husband did for her. This selfishness and ungratefulness leads up to the

downfall of her life. Examples of her ungratefulness include four incidents starting with the

evening when her husband brought her the invitation. She became upset and mumbled

What do you suppose I want with this. (Maupassant 33) She finally had the chance to

go to an upper class party which she so often dreamed of, but instead of being happy, she

wanted more. The party wasn t enough. She needed a dress.

The second incident of ungratefulness is when she must have a dress for the party.

Her husband bought her a four hundred franc dress, but on the day of the party, the dress

was no longer good enough.

The third incident is when she wanted jewels, something… to adorn [herself]

with. (Maupassant 33) Her dress was no longer good enough for the party and without

the jewels she would not go. Must having the jewels for the party is the third incident.

She asks her friend Mrs. Forister is she could borrow some jewels. Her friend consents

and shows Mme Loisel her collection of jewels.

The fourth incident is when Mme Loisel asks Mrs. Forister is she has anything else.

These jewels were not good enough for her. She finally choose a diamond necklace, the

best she could find. These fourth incident play a large role in Mme Loisel s fall. If she

had not always wanted bigger and better things she never would have borrowed the

necklace. These incidents show that nothing could ever really make Mme Loisel truly

happy. Even if she had all the luxuries she could ever dream of, she would still not be

satisfied and would long for more.


At the party Mme Loisel was …the prettiest of all, elegant, gracious, smiling, and

full of joy. (Maupassant 34) She had a great time at the ball, but when it was time to

leave, she once again felt like she wasn t good enough. Her husband wrapped around her

…modest garments of everyday wear, whose poverty clashed with the elegance of the ball

costume. She didn t want to be noticed with these rags because she fooled everyone at

ball into thinking she was one of them. Things look differently on the outside then they do

on the inside. If people would have looked a little closer, they would have realized that

she wasn t the real thing. She was only an imitation of a wealthy woman, in reality she

wasn t worth anything materially at all.

When Mme Loisel got home that night, she realized that she no longer had the

necklace. At this moment her and her husbands life would be changed forever. To pay

back the necklace Mr. Loisel … compromised his whole existence,…[he] risked his

signature, without even knowing whether he could make it good or not, and,.. [above all

he]… was harassed by anxiety for the future…. (Maupassant 36) They had to give up

everything they ever had and live like common folk. Mrs. Loisel now knew the horrible

life of necessity. (Maupassant 36)

Maupassant used the necklace to represent the best day of Mme Loisel s life and

also the worst days of her life. The necklace showed how looks can be deceiving. The

necklace fooled Mme Loisel just as she had fooled everyone at the party. She sparkled

and was the center of attention. Everyone believed she was wealthy and worth something,

but underneath that dress she was just a poor middle class woman. The necklace did the

same thing. On the outside, it shone, and sparkled and fooled her into thinking it was real,

on the inside the jewels …were not worth over five hundred francs! (Maupassant 38)

Things are not always as they seem. Mme Loisel would never have believed that Mrs.

Forestier had costume jewelry, she too also fooled Mme Loisel in to thinking wealth was

perfect. In reality nothing really is.


Mme Loisel would often think about life before she lost the necklace. How

would it have been if she had not lost that necklace? Who knows? Who knows? How

singular is life, and how full of changes! How small a thing will ruin or save one!

(Maupassant 37) Everyone at one point in their life has almost certainly asked themselves,

what would life be like today if I had done something differently. Its almost impossible to

imagine what our life would be like today if we had only done this or had not done that.

Its hard to tell because there are so many roads in life to be taken. Not all roads are the

right roads, but if one happens to go down the wrong road, it may teach a very valuable

lessons that will help them to make better decisions in the future. I am sure Mme Loisel

has learned her lesson. I am sure she is no longer greedy and selfish. I hope she is grateful

for what she has, and I hope she realizes that things are not always as perfect as they



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