Symbolism in The Necklace by Guy De Maupassant

A lady’s function in today’s society is one where she can much better herself through her career and who and whether she marries is her choice. In the Victorian world of Guy De Maupassant while writing The Necklace in the year nineteen eighty-five, the world is various. One of the most effective women in the world is a woman, but while she rules the British Empire, ladies are suppressed beyond their control. In the story Mathilde Loisel, the protagonist is doomed by her sex and her status during this time when she can do absolutely nothing about the circumstance.

It is this scenario that Maupassant uses significance to create a story that will notify the world for generations of how the function of women requires to be changed.

Mathilde Loisel is symbolic of the middle class lady married to a working partner during the Victorian Era. She is never going to increase above the life that she is trapped.

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It is frowned upon when a female had to work throughout this time duration. She was to wed young, since her life period was brief due to the absence of medical innovation and contraception. For that reason, it is very important to start early in life. Merely put, a middle class female is to take care of her house and household. So what happens to a lady who is not pleased to live, wed, offer birth, and die with few ownerships? She is destined accept the hand that fate has handed her, and that female is represented by Mathilde Loisel because she feels as though she were born into a class that she will never escape while she desires for riches that she will never ever have.

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She suffered constantly, feeling herself born for every single special and luxury. She struggled with the poorness of her house, from its mean walls, used chairs, and unsightly drapes. All these things, of which other ladies of her class would not even have actually understood, tormented and insulted her. (Maupassant).

The marriage of Mathilde and her partner who is a clerk to the Minister of Education, is symbolic of numerous of the marriages during the late nineteenth century. Females who have no dowry or connections possess the fate to marry a guy of the very same class in which she was born.

She had no marriage portion, no expectations, no means of getting known, understood, loved, and wedded by a man of wealth and distinction; and she let herself be married off to a little clerk in the Ministry of Education. Her tastes were simple because she had never been able to afford any other, but she was as unhappy as though she had married beneath her; for women have no caste or class, their beauty, grace, and charm serving them for birth or family, their natural delicacy, their instinctive elegance, their nimbleness of wit, are their only mark of rank, and put the slum girl on a level with the highest lady in the land. (Maupassant)

Mathilde has no hope of rising above her situation in life just as the women who she is a symbol. Her society chooses her husband instead of her own decision while love and a trusting relationship has nothing to do with the choice. She embodies these women who have no voice because of lack of education, rules of society, and the lack of a right to vote.

The most obvious symbol in the story The Necklace is the actual necklace. Mathilde is invited to attende an event with her husband hosted by the Minister of Education and his wife. This prompts a trip to a wealthy school friend to borrow jewelry. Mathilde is not satisfied with just any jewelry. Instead she must have the best that her friend has to offer.

Suddenly she discovered, in a black satin case, a superb diamond necklace; her heart began to beat covetously. Her hands trembled as she lifted it. She fastened it round her neck, upon her high dress, and remained in ecstasy at sight of herself. (Maupassant)

This diamond necklace is symbolic of the glittering things in life that money can buy. These possession is what Mathilde and people from all time periods are convinced will make them happy in life. However, this necklace destroys her life. It is lost and Mathilde spends the next ten years working to pay back her friend without telling her of the loss.

Just like the false hope that people are still causing people to destroy their lives with credit card debt, high mortgages, and automobiles that cost as much as a small house. Ruined marriages, relationships, and stress are as much a result of destructive materialism as the necklace is to Mathilde. In the end, it turns out that the necklace was actually made of paste and was practically worthless. Her life turns out to be a waste because she is to focus solely to pay for an item that has no value

The symbolism in The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant is relevant today just as in eighteen eighty-five. Women still find themselves snared into lives and marriages where they are miserable and they still chase the glittering things that are worthless in the end. The lesson to be learned through this story is timeless.

Works Cited
Mauppassant, Guy de. “The Necklace.” 1885. Short Stories. September 10, 2008
Symbolism in the Necklace. University of North Carolina. September 10, 2008

Cite this page

Symbolism in The Necklace by Guy De Maupassant. (2020, Mar 28). Retrieved from

Symbolism in The Necklace by Guy De Maupassant

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