TheChanges in Mathilde`s Life and Attitudes in the “Necklace” by GuyDe Maupassant.
Maupassant’sstory “The Necklace” presents the life of a beautiful woman frompoor backgrounds named Mathilde and her husband, Loisel. Loiselworked in the Ministry of Education office as a clerk while his wifewas a homemaker. Although Loisel provides the best he can for hiswife Mathilde, her beauty clouds her perception of life to an extentshe fails to appreciate his efforts. Consequently, and in oneoccasion, she borrowed her friend Madame Forestier a necklace toattend a party. Mathilde enjoyed the party as the most beautifulattendant, especially the men’s stare. However, Mathilde realizedshe had lost the diamond necklace when she reached home (Maupassantand Mack 12). As a result, her life and attitude took a dramaticchange since the loss led herself and Loisel into a ten years life ofhard work and misery. In the story, the author developed a perfectplot through which he confirms that pride comes before a fall.
Mathilde’slife changed in several ways. First, we meet her at the beginning ofthe story “feeling born for both luxury and delicacy” due to herhigh expectations based on her extreme beauty. Additionally, herattitude towards material things made her feel in short of jewels,better house, and good life despite having a loving, caring andemployed husband. However, she lived a simple life at the end of thestory. Furthermore, she had grown old and without all her “pretty,graceful, elegant and ever smiling appearance” that aroused heradmirers (Maupassant and Mack 11). In reader’s point of view, thedramatic change in her life clearly reveals the theme ofunpredictable nature of things in life.
Second,Mathilde became hardworking than before after losing the necklace. Atthe beginning of the story, Mathilde remained at home fantasizingabout delicate food served in marvelous dishes, murmured gallantriesand other things she wished to have while her husband is at work.After losing the necklace, however, she worked hard to repay itforcing Loisel to work even at night. In the course of ten years, wesee her changing from a lazy wife to a hardworking one.
Fromthe story, we can conclude that Mathilde’s life and attitudechanged from static to dynamic. Evidently, we find her at thebeginning of the story discontented with the life she had. Accordingto her, beauty must come with treasures and beautiful home. Thus, shewished to achieve the beauty status, gain the popularity among menand have material wealth. However, we find her well adapted to simplelife the end of the story. In fact, wealth and physical appearancedid not matter anymore as she had grown to accept the aging.
However,although we can conclude that Mathilde’s life and attitude changed,there are few instances from the story that we learn how herbehaviors did not change even after ten years. For instance, herpride did not change. Evidently, she “smiled in proud and innocenthappiness” later in the story when she met Madame Forestier.Additionally, her materialistic attitude did not change as evident inher tone as she complained to Madame Forestier how hard it was to payfor the necklace for ten years.
Inaddition, unlike where people work hard to elevate their livelihood,their life remained poor as before. She was not only lacked clothesand jewels but also grew old and confused (Maupassant and Mack13-14). In a reader’s point of view, the fact that their hard workdid not have significant development in their lives brings the ideaof the power of material things and deceptiveness of matter.
Inbrief, it is disappointing and sad to know that the necklace thecouple paid in ten years was replacing a cheap imitation version.However, the author intended to show the true cost of pride in life.In addition, the plot and the setting of the story effectivelyaddressed different thematic concerns the author wanted tocommunicate to the audience.
Maupassant,Guy De, and Mack Lewis. "The Necklace." Scholastic Scope59.10 (2011): 10-15. AcademicSearch Premier.Web. 16 Sept. 2016.