Guy De Maupassant
’s The Necklace Essay, Research Paper
I believe that Mathilde is materialistic and selfish. She took away happiness both from herself and her husband because “she burned with the desire to please, to be envied, to be attractive and sought after.” This desire led to her downfall and her husband;s misery. I am in no way able to show compassion for this lady.
The story starts out leading us to believe that Mathilde is a simple person without a lot of luxuries in her life. At this point I felt some pity for Mathilde. I thought that she was vasically a poor lady in an unhappy state of mind. But at the same time it was hard to feel sorry for her because she couldn’t accept happiness in her life due to the fact that she was always focusing on what she didn’t have. She was unable to recognize the good things her life had to offer until she no longer had them. Had she just been content with what she did have, this entire conflict could have been avoided. The grass isn’t alwaus greener on the other side.
When her husband came home with the dinner invitation is when I changed my perception of Mathilde. I wasn’t too pleased with her in the beginning of the story but now was when I started to hate her. She had it pretty good. She had a husband that loved her and was willing to do anything to please her. Even if it meant giving up something he had been saving up for, a shotgun, just so she could feel like Cinderella for one night and get a dress that suited her needs. She was unable to stop at a dress though: she needed to have jewelry. It could’t be just any jewelry either, it had to be a diamond necklace.
Mathilde was a success at the party, she was noticed and sought by all. She found happiness in vanity until she arrived at home and discovered the necklace was gone. Unable to find it when they retraced their steps, they were forced to replace the jewels instead of telling their friend the truth. For the next ten years Mathilde discovered the “horrible life of the needy.” She was forced to get rid of her maid, rent an atiic apartment, dress in cheap dresses, and fend for herself. Only then did she realize how good her life really had been.
So ten years later she sees her friend, whom she borrowed the necklace from and decides to tell her the truth. It was then that I had to laugh. The necklace was a fake! It serves her right. Had she just sat back and realized that life is what you make of it, not what it makes of you, all this could have been avoided. Mathilde was so caught up in status and vanity that she created her own downfall. The only person I am left to feel sorry for in this story is her husband for not standing up for himself and telling her no.