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The Necklace

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‘The Necklace’ is a Short Story that is set in Paris in the late 1800's. At the time in the late 1800s the social classes were upper class, middle class and lower class. The plot is about a young housewife, Mrs. Loisel, and her husband, Mr. Loisel. Mrs. Loisel always complains about the middle lower class life she has and dreams of a much more glamorous wealthy lifestyle in the upper class. Mr. Loisel is a good man and is satisfied with his life and he is often confused by his wife’s frustration and dissatisfaction. One day her husband buys them both invitations to a ball meant for people of a much higher wealth and social status than they are. Mrs. Loisel is distressed because she does not have a glamorous outfit. Mrs. Loisel loses a necklace she borrowed and suffered ten years of labor to repay the price.

When I first started reading about Mrs. Loisel and her issues caused from losing the necklace and how she had to spend ten years of her life to pay for the price, I felt sorry for her. Now that I've finished the whole story and thought about it, looking back, I just think that she is greedy and focused on the small things in life. Mrs. Loisel was extremely dramatic about not being happy with what she had and always set her mind on the luxurious side of life that she could never possibly achieve. This story by Guy de Maupassant reminded me that we should be grateful for what we have in life and not be so jealous of what others have.

One segment in the Short Story made me really upset with how Mrs. Loisel begged her husband for a new dress and jewelry, with the knowledge that it would be very difficult to afford. Guy de Maupassant narrates a discussion between Mrs. Loisel and her husband where she says, “Nothing. Only I haven't a dress and so I can't go to this party. Give your invitation to some friend of yours whose wife will be turned out better than I shall.” Maupassant carries on and writes of the husband’s heartbreak and how he offers to buy her a new dress with the money he especially saved up for himself. This part really upset me because it was very clear that the husband was eager to take his wife to the ball where he knew she would have fun at and take a break from her usual, daily routines and jobs. Despite all the love and effort, Mr. Loisel put in for her, she was so ungrateful for the invitation because she wanted a new dress to go to the event. To me, this was the starting point of Mrs. Loisel showing her true emotions of envy towards those of a higher class than she.

I can relate to this because it reminded me about when I saw a mother in a carpark gifting her son a toy car and ice-cream and the little boy just shouted to his mother, “That’s not the car model I wanted, and I hate mint ice-cream!”. The little boy was so ungrateful for his mother and didn’t think of how his mother would’ve felt. The mother obviously loved her son because even just the thought and love she put in to buy her son the ice-cream and toy was generous and loving. As I watched the son cry from selfishness and greediness and his mother trying to apologise I realised that people should really be more grateful for what they get and not be so greedy and that it’s the thought and love that matters; just like Mrs Loisel should have just been happy to spend a night out with her husband. If she would have simply appreciated the gesture of her husband, the entire problem of losing the necklace wouldn’t have happened and she wouldn’t have wasted ten years of her life on something worthless.

Personally, I’m not a jealous person. I know what I have in life along with what I want, and no, my life isn’t perfect and glamorous and full of wealth, but still I don’t get to the point where I have the feeling of need to spend all of my money and hard work for something so superficial such as a new dress or a necklace like Mrs. Loisel did. I think life is too short to be focused on the small, materialistic things, especially when there are a lot more many bigger problems in the world. For example, instead of being selfish and buying a new jewel for myself I could do something for others, like donate to charity or help out the even more unfortunate. So I can look back and feel good about myself and know that I did a good deed in my life instead of looking back and



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