In the story The Necklace, the main character Mathilde is a middle class woman who believes that money, material things and beauty will bring happiness to ones life. But one necklace and a night to remember leaves Mathilde to live the life of a very unhappy woman.
Mathilde shows to be a woman who is very naïve because of her out looks on the way she believed life should be for a woman of her decent. Mathidle felt as if she should have been born into all the finer things in life and because she didnt have these luxuries she was some how determined to get her hands on something she beleived was worth value even if it was only for one night. She suffered ceaselessly, feeling herself born for all the delicacies and all the luxuries(130). With Mathidle being a naïve woman of poverty she does what ever it takes to get a taste of the upper class life on the night at the palace. Mathidle is given a necklace to borrow from a very close friend of hers named Mme Forestier.
When Mathidle sees the necklace she is very shocked on how beautiful it was. her heart began to beat with a immoderate desire. Her hands trembled as she took it(132). When Mathidle entered the doors of the palace she was one of the most beautiful women at the ball. Mathidle danced the night away experiencing what it felt like to liveGibson Page 2the life of a beautiful elegant woman who every one adored. She was prettier than them all, elegant, gracious, smiling, and crazy with joy. All the men looked at her..(132). As the night ends and Mathidle heads home she realizes that she has lost Mme Forestier s necklace and she is devastated. Her carelessness causes her to pay for her mistake with 10 years of her life.
Because of Matidle being a woman who believed Material things bring happiness, she must find some way to pay for the lost necklace that brought her that night of happiness. If it hadnt have been for Mathidles need for material things none of this madness would have occurred. Mathidle is taught a lesson in the story that having material things doesnt always bring happiness and joy to ones life. When Mathidle and her husband must pay for a replacement necklace with every penny they owned, plus loans from friends, it shows Mathidle that maybe her life wasnt so bad after all. After buying the replacement necklace, Mathidle must now become a working housewife so that she and her husband can make ends meet. She came to know the heavy housework meant and the odious cares of the kitchen(134). Mathidle often questions herself asking What would have happened if she had not lost the necklace?(134). But because Mathidle returned the necklace it showed that she was a dependable friend that would returned what she had borrowed no matter what the consequences were.
Mathidle shows to be a dependable friend who lives up to her word when she returns the necklace even when she was the one who had to suffer in long run. Mme Loisel took back the necklace..(134). Even though Mathidle did not return the original necklace it still shows that she had placed her friendship before her carelessness andGibson Page 3was responsible enough to take some type of action that would not destroy her friendship with Mme Forestier. When it all comes to an end and 10 years pass by Mathidle is once again acquainted with Mme Forestier. When Mathidle confesses to Mme Forestier about how the necklace was lost and how replacing it cost her 10 years of a miserable life Mme Forestier explains to Mathidlle that the necklace was only made of paste and was worth no more than five hundred Fancs.
So one necklace and a night to remember left Mathilde to live the life of a very unhappy woman who shows to be naïve, materialistic, but can also be a dependable friend. These qualities in Mathidle teach her a very stern lesson in life that fortune isnt always the key to happiness and telling the truth may not always be so bad.
Laurie, Majorie. The Necklace. Literature for Composition . Eds. Sylvan Barnett, etal.
New York. Pearson/Longman, 2005. 101-106.