An Analysis of Values in The Necklace, a Short Story by Guy de Maupassant

All over the world peoples values are different. Some are good, some are bad. Values are very different, like in Guy de Maupassants’ story “The Necklace” Values are very important. This story is about Mme Losiel and how she dreams of being rich, famous, and glamorous. She believes that her beauty and charm make her worthy of greater things. Her husband gets her tickets to a ball and she borrows a necklace. She loses it and she works ten years to pay her back for it and the necklace turns out to be fake. In “The Necklace” Guy de Maupassant uses literary devices to show that people come before material items.

Symbolism is one of the many literary devices used to show how Madame Losiel wants everything in the story. The necklace symbolizes everything she wants in her life, she wants to be rich, famous, and glamorous. The author says she grieves incessantly because she is not. She is sick of eating the same old thing, and her husband is content with the same thing. Like when she is at the table dreaming about a 5 star meal and her husband is happy with the stew they have. Her husband gave her tickets to a ball and instead of being excited she is upset because she does not have anything to wear. She gets the necklace from a friend because she thinks its more glamorous then what she has. It just goes to show that she gets everything she wants, like when her husband gives her 400 franc to buy a new dress that he was saving for him to buy a new gun.

The values of Madame Losiel and her husband juxtapose. She wants everything richness, fame, glamour, he just wants her to be happy. Like when he gets her an invite to the ball, she feels poor and says “No…. theres nothing more humiliating than to look poor among a lot of rich women.” She feels like people will not like her, and reject her because she is not as rich as all of them. She feels poor while he is happy with his life, like when she is having dinner and she dreams of having a 5 course meal and her husband is happy with the stew they are having. She wants all expensive stuff and he is okay going without. She wants a new dress for the ball so she takes the money for his new gun to buy a new dress.

The author uses situational irony to show theme. She has borrowed the necklace which she didn’t realize would ruin her life, basically because she loses her looks and money because she did not see it coming. She wasted 10 years of her life trying to work off the necklace money and she didn’t even have to. it’s a different outcome then expected is situational irony.

Guy de Maupassants story “The Necklace” uses many literary devices to show the theme, that people come before material items. Maupassant uses situational irony, symbolism, and juxtaposition to show the theme. People have many different values, they change depending on the person and place. It all depends because people think differently.

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