The Necklace by Guy De Maupassant
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“The Necklace” by Guy De Maupassant tells of Mathilde Loisel who “by error of destiny” was born poor and winds up marrying a clerk. Mr. Loisel surprises Mathilde with an opportunity to taste the luxurious life for an evening and she unexpectedly bursts into tears because she has nothing to wear. Mr. Loisel agrees to buy her a gown and suggests that she borrow jewelry from her wealthy friend. The evening turns out to be a dream come true until the Loisels arrive home to find that the borrowed necklace is no longer around Mathildes neck. The Loisels secretly replace the necklace with an expensive duplicate that takes them ten long, hard years to pay off. Shortly after the loan is paid off, Mathilde runs into her rich friend and confesses her secret. Mathilde is distraught to find that the necklace was not the expensive gem she believed; but a faux. The central idea of this story is that when you desperately seek a life not destined for you, you end up sacrificing your own happiness.
Mathilde Loisel is an unappreciative, materialistic, vain woman who lives life depressed about the simplicity of her surroundings, so she spends much of her time daydreaming about the glamorous life she was born for. “She suffered constantly, feeling herself destined for all delicacies and luxuries.” Mathildes husband, Mr. Loisel, is a respectable man who prefers a simple life. He loves his wife very much; her happiness is his primary concern. In her desperate attempt to appear anything but simple, Mathilde borrows a diamond necklace from her wealthy friend to wear to a formal banquet. When the necklace turns up missing, Mathilde replaces it and dooms herself as well as her husband into ten years of misfortune. In the end, Mathilde finds that the hardships of her and her husband were all in vain.
The conflict in the story occurs when the Loisels return home from the banquet, only to find that the borrowed necklace is missing. Resolution isnt presented until the end of the story when Mathilde awkwardly realizes that the unnecessary suffering her and her husband have done over the past ten years was caused by her materialism and vanity. The main conflict is important to understand in this story because had Mathilde been content with the simple life she leads, her and her husband would not have had to go through the suffering that they had been dealt for so long in order to pay off the debt she created by losing the necklace. Finally, Mathilde realizes the internal conflict lives within her dreamscape lifestyle and the simplistic reality she occupies.
The story takes place in Paris, France. The time is unknown, however, social rank is of great importance.