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The Symbolism Of The Necklace Novel English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1086 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The short story “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant was a story of a woman named Madame Loisel who was rather unhappy throughout the story, some might even say ungrateful. Madame Loisel wasn’t satisfied until the moment she was able to go buy a dress for a function she was going to attend with her husband. Even then a couple days before the ball she still felt unsettled because she didn’t have any jewels to the point where she was considering not going to the event. Madame Loisel ended up getting jewels for the ball through a friend but little did she know this was going to change the next 10 years of her life. The necklace itself is the central symbol of the story and is what made Madame Loisel appreciate what she had prior to loosing the necklace. Madame Loisel was going to learn that not everything that glitters is gold.

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The main character Madame Loisel was a common woman living in the 19th century who wanted to live a lavish lifestyle. She surrounded herself with those that were more fortunate than her which made her miserable. “She had a rich friend, an old school friend whom she refused to visit, because she suffered so keenly when she returned home. She would weep whole days, with grief, regret, despair, and misery.” Madame Loisel symbolizes those women in that era that wanted more but couldn’t get it due to their rank in society. She wasn’t born into a rich family nor did she marry into one so she was destined to live poorly. That didn’t stop Madame Loisel from day dreaming about being wealthy but, when reality snapped back in she was again unhappy. Even though she didn’t have much Madame Loisel was well kept and very charming and her husband worked she didn’t work because that was looked down upon and she couldn’t possibly be frowned upon. The basic things such as having a place to live and a husband who loves her wasn’t enough for Madame Loisel she believed riches were key to her happiness.

One day Madame Losiel’s husband came home with an envelope that he thought was going to make his wife very happy. In the envelope was an invitation to a very important affair that he worked hard to get and of course Madame Loisel wasn’t pleased. She didn’t see the effort that her husband made to please her instead she was worried about her appearance and not having anything glamorous to wear to the affair. “Nothing. Only I haven’t a dress and so I can’t go to this party. Give your invitation to some friend of yours whose wife will be turned out better than I shall.” Here she made her husband feel guilty and he ended up giving her the money to buy a new dress. The money that he ended up giving her he was saving up to buy a new gun but to her a dress was more important. The dress represents beauty and riches in the eyes of Madame Loisel, even though she didn’t have it she felt like she could fool others by her appearance. Madame Loisel wasn’t ever satisfied; now that she had the dress she still wanted more. She told her husband she wasn’t going to the affair because she had no jewels and he suggested that she wear flowers and she said “No, there’s nothing as humiliating as looking poor in the middle of a lot of rich women.” At this point he was fed up with her told her she sounded stupid and suggested she go ask one of her wealthy friends to borrow some jewels. And that is exactly what she did.

Madame Loisel went to her friend’s house and asked to borrow some jewels as a favor and her friend was more than happy to help. Madame Forestier brought out her best jewels and told Madame Loisel to choose. Anyone in a predicament that Madame Loisel would’ve been grateful for such a friend and wouldn’t have been picky but, not Madame Loisel she wasn’t satisfied with what she saw it wasn’t expensive looking enough so she asked if she could look for something else. Madame Forestier told her to go ahead and look for whatever she liked. Madame Loisel found a necklace that caught her eye and she was ecstatic. Diamonds she thought to herself that would for sure have her look glamorous and wealthy. Madame was right about that she was a hit at the party all eyes were on her and she loved and embraced the attention. The necklace was a success and she felt great and like she fit in perfectly for one night. As the night came to an end Madame Loisel wanted to stick to her appearance and didn’t want to be seen wearing a normal coat while the other woman wore expensive furs so she ran outside with her husband to catch a cab. When they finally got home Madame Loisel had to admire herself one more time and realized the necklace was gone. This is the moment where she knew her life wasn’t ever going to be the same if she didn’t find the necklace. After all efforts the necklace couldn’t be recovered so Madame Loisel and her husband did what they thought was best and that was buying another necklace that looked exactly like the one she borrowed. It cost them more than they had saved up so they had to also borrow money that had to be repaid back. For 10 long years Madame Loisel and her husband worked to pay off their debt, forget about pride Madame Loisel did everything even scrubbed floors. As the years went on she aged and just wasn’t the same anymore, it made her realize that wealth wasn’t everything. That ONE night of glamour cost her 10 years of suffering and anguish. One day Madame Loisel saw her friend and confessed and told her what had happened and to her surprise she found out the necklace was a fake and didn’t even cost half of what they spent to replace it. The necklace represented Madame Losiel’s greed and never being happy enough. It also “fooled” Madame Loisel and others who looked at her and thought she was wealthy. Madame Loisel will forever question herself and ask “what would life be like if I had never borrowed the necklace.”

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The short story “The Necklace” is a great story that can prove that looks can be deceiving. The necklace in the story was a fake but seemed to fool everyone that looked at it. It represented how greedy Madame Loisel was and it taught her a lesson. That lesson was to be grateful for what you do have because not everything that glitters is gold.


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