Mathilde's Greed In The Necklace By Guy De Maupassant

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Human nature causes people to desire more than what one already has. However, after desiring material items, people realize the foolishness in their greed. In “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant, Mathilde Loisel, who lives in France during the 1880s, attempts to transform her ordinary life into one of luxury. She attends a reception with her friend Madame Forestier's diamond necklace, but after losing it, she works to buy a new necklace, only to later discover the necklace she lost is fake. Through this experience, Mathilde learns to be content with what she has, and as a result, she realizes the flaws in her character.

A major theme Mathilde learns in this story is lusting after expensive and luxurious items does not bring long-term happiness.
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The narrator illustrates Mathilde’s quality of selfishness after her husband asks her how much money she would like for a dress by remarking, “She thought over it… going over her allowance... thinking also of the amount she could ask for without bringing immediate refusal” (222). This portrays Mathilde's greed because she knows she is asking for more money than she needs for a suitable dress. Later, readers discover Mathilde is careless. When she first finds out the necklace is missing, she and her husband have a conversation. Monsieur Loisel asks, “Are you sure you had it when leaving the dance…if you had lost it on the street, we'd have heard it drop. It must be in the cab… Didn't you notice it?” (225). Mathilde replies, “No” (225). Because she cannot recall where or when she loses her necklace, Mathilde can be described as careless or absent-minded. Finally, through this story we can see Mathilde's quality of dishonesty. When Mathilde returns the diamond necklace box with a different necklace inside it to Madame Forestier, she thinks to herself, “She didn't open the case...If she had noticed the substitution, what would she have thought? What would she have said? Would she have thought her a thief?” (227). Mathilde's dishonest behavior represents her fear of appearing ordinary in front of society, when in fact, taking Madame Forestier’s necklace to appear affluent is an act. Her actions, conversations, and thoughts let readers understand Mathilde's distinct
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