Materialism In The Necklace, By Guy Maupassant

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Philosophers have contemplated if aspiring for material wealth is contradictory to moral life. Guy Maupassant explores this concept of materialism in his short story, The Necklace. Set in Paris in the late 1800’s, the story focuses on Monsieur and Madame Loisel. The latter is unhappy as hse finds life to be inadequate and empty of the luxuries she deserves. The Loisels revcieve an invitation to a ball. Concerned with what others will think of her, she borrows a diamond necklace from a friend of a higher class. Madame Loisel loses the necklace at the ball and must replace it, leading to her descent into years of real hardship. Maupassant’s character Madame Loisel illustrates the evils of acquisition and the consequences of it being the sole …show more content…
Her selfish ways prevent her from enjoying her relationships with her husband and her friend. Visiting her friend of a higher class was a reminder of what she did not have and she always left her rich friend’s home holding hands with a green-eyed monster, only returning home to weep. (Maupassant 6). Before needing to borrow jewels, she had stopped going to see her Madame Forester completely because of her self-pity. This gives us the impression that Madame Loisel is not as concerned with her friend and their friendship as she is with what personal profit or pleasure she receives from the relationship. Madame Loisel’s churlish reaction when her husband presents the invitation additionally shows how self-absorbed she is. She cries, focusing only upon her lack of something to wear. She gives no consideration to the way this will make her husband feel. “He was disconsolate” (Maupassant 22). She is unconcerned with her dejected husband and in fact, seems to deviously manipulate him to further her avaricious agenda; a new dress. Moreover, she has no regard for what her husband may be giving up in order to be able to purchase the dress. Monsieur Loisel places her happiness above his own and does not tell her of his sacrificed shooting trip (Maupassant 27) His generosity and kindness only further highlight how selfish Madame Loisel really is. When the necklace is lost, it is her husband who spends the evening until early morning out searching, going to the police and newspapers while she stays at home “overwhelmed, on a chair, without a fire, without a thought” (Maupassant 79). She gives no thought to her husbands lost sleep and stress while she lounges, waiting. Then, when it is decided that they must replace the necklace, Monsieur Loisel handles the situation magnanimously. He gives up his inheritance and takes out loans not knowing if he will be able to repay them (Maupassant 93). If she

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