Mathilde’s situation is exacerbated by the fact that she is not a wealthy individual; thus, not a part of the social class that she seeks to be part. However, her situation and wealth does not impede her endeavor to be considered a wealthy individual based on how she dresses and addresses other individuals. Her life is based on the need to sustain an image of a wealthy and accomplished lady, resulting in a life of illusion whereby her real life does not correspond to her expectations and ambitions. She holds the belief that she is extremely beautiful and charming, which induces her desire to belong to the esteemed social cl

The author excels in utilization of imagery as basis for communication of the themes of deceptiveness associated with appearances. The author illustrates the extensive emphasis placed on social status amongst people in a group or community. In the text, the author illustrates the consequence of living beyond one’s means. For Madame Loisel, she pegs her happiness to material possessions and more so in gaining acceptance in a certain group that is made up of individuals drawn from wealthy backgrounds (Maupassant, Kelley, and Artinian 17).

The author takes note of the protagonist’s dreams that featured reception halls that were laden with fine silks, expensive furniture, curious, luxurious and scented sitting rooms to cater to affluent guests alike. Madame Loisel is described as an extremely beautiful individual, yet she is not content with her social status. The author utilizes imagery to suggest that she possesses beauty but does not live a life of beauty, as she is not content with what she has in her life. In addition, she is described as relatively attractive and charming, but is laden with unhappiness given that she holds the belief that she deserves more than she is getting in life.

In addition, the protagonist is portrayed as an individual who holds the belief that life is unjust because she is not able to afford a life of luxury. The loss of the necklace brings forth a new part of life, as she becomes indebted to pay off the necklace. The author succeeds by utilizing the necklace as means of illustrating the contrast between reality and fiction or appearances. The family endures hardship as they seek ways to pay off the diamond-laced necklace. Essentially, the necklace is sufficient to deliver comfort and high esteem to the protagonist during the ball, despite being nothing short of a combination of gilt and paste. Such is indicative that the reality of being wealthy and accruing a high social status is not important to the protagonist, rather than appearing wealthy (Maupassant, Kelley, and Artinian 23).

The author conjures images a selfish and greedy spouse in developing Madame Loisel’s character. The protagonist and her spouse lead a comfortable life, as they are capable of affording a servant, despite her wishes for several househelps. In addition, she has adequate food, but only dreams of delicate and luxurious meals. Her selfishness is marked by her insistence towards her husband to purchase her a ball gown and more so a necklace to accompany the attire. In addition, the author is keen on conjuring the image of differences in character when he contrasts Loisel’s character to that of her husband and her friend Madame Forestier. Her husband, is portrayed as an overly caring and generous man who foregoes his needs to purchase a firearm and going on a holiday such that he provides his wife with an expensive ball gown  (Maupassant, Kelley, and Artinian 29).

In addition, the contrast in character between the wife and husband is carefully portrayed as Monsieur scours the streets upon realizing that his wife has lost the expensive diamond laden necklace, despite having to wake up early to go to work the following morning. In addition, Madame Forestier readily provides her friend with the necessary assistance when she offers Loisel the necklace, without disclosing the jewelry is an imitation of real diamonds. The narrative presents a strong case of the role of imagery in providing the audience with different perspectives of reality, especially amongst the affluent.

Despite the necklace being made from a collection of diamond imitations, it is worth more than 500 francs, which is more than Loisel’s gown. The necklace is the main symbol used by the author to denote the different perspectives of reality led by the protagonist and other characters such as Madame Forestier. The necklace is evidently symbolic and a representation of the protagonist’s greed as it correlates with a reality that is not immediately achievable by the character. The necklace is described as expensive and beautiful, and is a representation of the protagonists’ desire to belong to a different social status, which is not a true reality.

The necklace correlates to the protagonist’s persona, in that despite being beautiful, it is not a genuine diamond necklace. In addition, it is evident that those who assume that the necklace is an expensive piece of jewelry are fooled. In addition, Madame Loisel seems like a lady from a wealthy and noble French family, which is not the case, as majority of her accessories have been acquired with much strain. Thus, she seeks to sustain an unrealistic image of her identity, to gain acceptance within the wealthy elite in the French society. Despite having acquired an immaculate appearance, it is also evident that such was achieved through scheming and manipulation (Roberts 17).

Her assumed status and wealth are all illusions, which are driven by a desire to sustain an unrealistic image to the rest of the world. In addition, the author is able to conjure an image of a woman who is seemingly unhappy with her social status as well as her identity as a middle-income status woman. The deceptiveness of her appearance may also suggest that she is a happy and accomplished woman, despite having a different reality from what she expects. The protagonist is evidently a manipulative individual as she is able to draw the attention of many who succumb to her charms due to the value placed on physical appearance, irrespective of such being representative of a true of untrue reality  (Roberts 26).

Mathilde feels that her charm and beauty are being wasted as a housewife, despite being married to an overly devoted husband. Upon leaving the ball, her short-lived reality comes to a halt, which is marked by the lack of a carriage to take her home as well as the loss of the presumed expensive jewelry. She “’rapidly descend[s] the staircase,” so as to avoid being noticed by the other guests given that she has already developed an identity as an affluent and wealthy woman (Maupassant, Kelley, and Artinian 36). She quickly resorts to using her “everyday” clothes to protect herself from the cold sweeping the streets.

Furthermore, the narrative is marked by false pretense and the failure by Madame Loisel to be truthful to her old friend Madame Forestier. Her failure to be truthful to Madame Forestier results in ten years of anguish and poverty given that her family works hard to repay the lost necklace with the belief that it was adorned with diamonds. The narrative conjures up images of a society that is engulfed by materialism and social class, which is primarily defined by the wealth held by an individual or family.

The author is effective in utilizing imagery to illustrate the incidence of social stratification with wealth and education being as the basis. The protagonist and her husband as well as others such as Madame Forestier are described and referred to by society based on their respective statuses in the society, which is correlated to the wealth and education levels. The interactions between the rich, middle income and poor classes are not common due to the division that is founded on wealth and income statuses. The protagonist has to scheme in order to acquire material possessions which will enable her to be accepted by the wealthy individuals, albeit for a limited period.


Works Cited

Maupassant, Guy , Gary Kelley, and Artine Artinian. The Necklace. Mankato: Creative Education, 1992. Print.

Roberts, Edgar V. Writing About Literature. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice Hall, 1999. Print.






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