13 September 2013
Madame Loisel and Madame Foister
“The Necklace”, by Guy de Maupassant, is set in 19th century France and is about a middle-class woman who is very greedy and ambitious. Mathilde Loisel, the story’s protagonist has a burning desire to become an aristocrat. However her husband is a government clerk. Her rich friend Madame Forestier, ends up destroying Mathilde’s life. Throughout the story, the diamond necklace is the centerpiece of the story and the author uses it to symbolize and represent many themes, the most important of which is the idea that appearances are deceiving.
In the story, the author uses the diamond necklace to represent many values. Two of the most obvious and direct are wealth and high social status. In the real world a necklace usually represents beauty, but in this case the diamond necklace represents more than that. Although Madame Loisel looks great with a new, beautiful dress worth four hundred francs, she needs the necklace because she has no jewels and thinks that it is humiliating to look poor in the middle of rich women. That can be an indication of the necklace representing great wealth as she selects the diamond necklace, “At first her eyes noted some bracelets. then a pearl necklace. then a Venetian cross in gold and gems. of marvelous workmanship”(Maupassant 31). The necklace can also be used to represent high social status. Besides to look rich, Madame Loisel also needs the necklace because she says the party will have many important and high class people and she doesn’t want to look out of place. Another piece of supporting evidence is that Madame Forestier probably always goes to parties with important people. To represent her social class, she thinks that she needs a “string of diamonds,” even if they were all imitation. Looking at the story directly, the diamond necklace