“The Necklace”, a Short Story by Guy Maupassant
The Necklace, a short story by Guy Maupassant, is about a woman who spends and wastes her life trying to repay something that was not even real. The author presents the main themes, greediness and selfishness, through the character of Mathilde, and how these, in many occasions, lead to unhappiness. Mathilde had a right to be a little envious, everyone does, but the lengths that she took to achieve the “luxurious” lifestyle were extreme and did her more harm than good. Behind all of the struggles portrayed to the reader there is a very valuable lesson to live by, and that is that life is too short to be focused on little, materialistic things, especially when there are problems of greater importance in the world.
At first, after reading about Mathilde and her troubles of losing the necklace and wasting her life away to pay for it, I felt sorry for her. Now, looking back, I just feel anger towards her for being greedy and focused on insignificant things. This story reminded me that we should be grateful for what we have in life and not be so envious of others. Knowing that it would be difficult to afford one, Mathilde begged her husband for a new dress. I became really upset because clearly her husband was eager to take her to an event where he knew that she would have fun and take a break from her daily routines.
However, she was ungrateful for the invitation because she wanted a new dress to go to the event. To me, this was the starting point of Mathilde showing her true emotions of envy towards those of a higher class. If she would have simply appreciated the gesture of her husband, the entire event of losing the necklace wouldn’t have happened and she wouldn’t have wasted ten years of her life on something imitated and worthless. People need to remember what their life’s purpose is on this earth and realize that everything happens for a reason. Not everyone is supposed to be rich and not everyone is supposed to be poor. If I had to feel sorrow for anyone in this short story, it would be for Mathilde’s husband who had to put up with her complaints. That man gave his all to make his wife happy and she was never satisfied with what she had. Even though it was his wife the one who committed the mistake, he was still there along her side, helping to recover what she had done.
In conclusion, Mathilde was so caught up in living the luxurious life that she forgot who she was and what she had in life. She had the basic needs to survive and a loving, caring husband who clearly was willing to do anything for her. When people become selfish and greedy, they end up losing more then they negotiate for, and that was clear after Mathilde wasted ten years of her life trying to pay for something that wasn’t even real. People should not take what they have for granted, instead they should be happy with the people that they have in their life and not focus so much on their possessions. As Gandhi once said, “earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greeds.” This perfectly sums up the moral of the story, The Necklace.
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