What Is Symbolism In The Necklace

720 Words3 Pages
“The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant
Analytical essay (symbols)

The class system has been around for centuries, it is probably embedded in our society forever. And Guy de Maupassant’s short story “The Necklace” explores the idea of that system dictating our lives. Maupassant’s story explores the negative influence of the class system on people through the use of a symbol, the “diamond” necklace. By analysing how the necklace influences different character and the ironic reveal at the end of the story, it will be evident that the class system does harm some.

“The Necklace” is centred around Mathilde, a woman from an artisan family, who believes to be worth more than she is simply based on her appearance. Perhaps it’s the fault of the times she lived in, the class system, or her own;
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Throughout the story Maupassant’s heroine would rather live in her imaginary world, than suffer from the “poorness of her house.” She acts as if “she had married beneath her” and even when her husband is trying to bring joy into her life, Mathilde is ungrateful. Even when the opportunity to appear in high society presents itself, she is reluctant to agree. From the beginning Mathilde is worried about how others will perceive her. She always wants to appear wealthier than she really is. To achieve that illusion during the ball, she must borrow a diamond necklace from a friend, Madame Forestier. At first the necklace represents the luxury the heroine desires, the world she strives to live in. However, as the story progresses the necklace turns into a burden, something she must work for and pay for with the beauty she is so proud of. Mathilde always looks back at that seemingly wonderful night at the ball. That night represents everything the heroine desires, and it turns into a safe haven from her now difficult life. At the end it is revealed
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