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
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,
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