The downfall of Madame Loisel in Maupassant's 'The Necklace'

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 1996

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Jealousy and envy are among the greatest of sins and have been the down fall of many. Maupassant's 'The Necklace' is the story of a woman who is overcome with jealousy and envy. Mathilde Loisel feels she has been cheated by life from all of the wonderful things it has to offer. The reader learns how these qualities in Mme. Loisel come back to haunt her for many years as the story unfolds with an ironic ending.

Mathilde Loisel, as the main character of the story, is truly believable. She is described as 'one of those pretty and charming girls who are sometimes, born into a family of clerks'(900). The author describes how she suffers from her lifestyle of being middle-class. There is a stereotypical 'rich man, poor man' quality as Mme. Loisel longs for the material things that her old schoolmate Mme. Forester has. The physical appearance of the characters as well as their actions, thought, and emotions are very detailed throughout the story.

The main character's life, as well as her husband's, takes a dramatic turn and the author describes the physical and emotional changes in great detail.

The story's title does not signify the theme however, the theme of the story is reiterated throughout the story. 'She had no dresses, no jewels, nothing. And she loved nothing but that; she felt made for that. She would so have liked to please, to be envied, to be charming, to be sought after'(900). Mme. Loisel was envious of her friend and anyone else who had more than what she had. She felt that she deserved these things.

The plot grows completely out of the personalities of the characters. As the story opens, Mme. Loisel's husband comes home with an invitation to a ball at the palace.