This is a summary and analysis of The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant. This channel discusses and reviews books, novels, and short stories through drawing…poorly.
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This is a story about a plain woman who lives in France who thinks she deserves better in life. She wants to be beautiful, powerful, and respected by everyone (Don’t we all?). But she is sad that she will never achieve this because she married a poor clerk.
One day her husband says that they are invited to a banquet with the high social crowd. She gets upset because she has nothing to wear. Her husband had been saving money for a new gun, but gives all of it to her for a new dress.
As the date of the event approaches, she realizes that she needs jewelry. She doesn’t have any so she asks her friend if she can borrow a beautiful necklace. She wears it to the banquet, everyone loves her, and she has finally found happiness.
After they return home, she realizes that she has lost the priceless necklace. They try to search for it, but decide that they must replace it instead. After buying a few extra days with the necklace, the couple borrows money from anyone that they know in order to buy a replacement.
They do, in fact, give the friend the new necklace, but are left in so much debt that it takes them ten years to pay it back. The woman has to scrub floors and her husband has to work several jobs. During this time, the woman grows tired and has aged considerably.
Then one day, the woman sees her friend, but her friend doesn’t recognize her. The woman explains that she has had to work off the debt from the necklace that she had borrowed. The friend then explains that the original necklace was a fake.
While this story takes place in a different country and time, the parallels are still applicable today. So many people are driven by comparing themselves to what others have. If only I had that car, or house, or shoes, then I’d be happy.
Avoiding materialism is the obvious message of this story. However, looking a little further, we see how this story is about trading beauty for material things. The woman sacrificed her youth and marriage just for a necklace. It’s tragic.
Remember to always get a price check on things because before you know it, you’ll be 50 years old and wondering why you are working part-time at McDonald’s.
Music by WingoWinston from newgrounds.com.