Maupassant doesn’t end the irony there... Mathilde and Loisel work to pay off their debt for ten years. They “dismissed their servant; they changed their lodgings; they rented a garret under the roof”(52) all for that one night of fantasy. One evening after the debts had finally been paid, Mathilde ran into Madame Forestier. She confesses to Madame Forestier that she had lost the original diamond necklace and replaced it with an identical one. In response, Madame Forestier says “Why, my necklace was paste. It was worth at most five hundred francs!” (53) In the end, all the time and money wasted away on nothing. With this ironic ending, Maupassant shows us that in pursuit of wealth, it is easy to forget what one already has to appreciate. This situation is also ironic for the fact that the only asset Mathilde valued about herself was her beauty, which she lost while working to pay off the debt from the necklace. Mathilde borrowed the necklace in order to be seen as fancy and have her beauty taken at full value, but that necklace, in turn, caused her to look old and “strong and hard and rough.”(52) Because Mathilde was unwilling to accept or appreciate the life she was given, she lost even the moderate beauty and wealth that she had before losing the diamond necklace.
Lee 5 Many people lead lives such as Mathilde’s, with the troubles and fears as symbolized by the fake diamond necklace. Mathilde’s longing to belong in a higher social class causes her to lose touch with reality. It is the nature of human beings to not only want what we can’t have, but want the best; greed and lust are emotions we are all engineered with. Unfortunately, people rarely realize that they have are chasing the wrong things in life until it is already too late. The things in life people should value the most should not have a price tag. True happiness and satisfaction comes from finding pleasure from living in the moment and not fantasies. Works Cited
Lee 6 Maupassant, Guy de. "The Necklace." Literature: A Pocket Anthology. 6th ed. Ed. R. S. Gwynn. Boston: Pearson, 2015. 46-53.
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