The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant
Introduction The short story raises a number of issues as poverty, love and commitment, just to mention a few. The three themes are displayed clearly throughout a story of a poor couple - Madame Loisel and her husband who lead a modest lifestyle. The husband gets tickets for the two to attend a party at the ministry of education. His wife, however, gets sad and complains that she does not have anything to wear for the party. He gives her some money he had previously saved to buy a dress for the party. On the day of the party, Madame Loisel gets upset that she does not have any jewels to wear. Her husband later suggests that she borrows one from a friend. She does later borrow a necklace which gets lost after the party. For the whole ten years the couple undergoes hard times trying to make money to clear debts incurred from buying a new necklace to replace the lost one. After ten years they come to find out the necklace that got lost was a counterfeit and they have been working all along to pay for an original one. The three points, poverty, love and commitment among many others are brought up clearly in the story, as illustrated below.
Poverty as a theme is clearly displayed in the story. The family is said to be living in a poor home. The very fact that the family had to work hard to pay the debt in a sum of thirty-six thousand francs, only worth someone’s necklace, proves that the family was poor. It is also shown that Madame Loisel came from a poor family before getting married, as it is said that her taste was simply because she could not afford any other. Poverty is also clearly illustrated by the fact that Madame Loisel’s house had nothing new and everything she had was old. Love is illustrated clearly in the short story.
We come to realize that Madame Loisel’s husband loves her dearly. Just by the fact that he can give her money from his long-term savings to buy a gun, so she can get herself a dress for the party proves that. He shows great love and commitment by borrowing money, so as to clear debts incurred from the payment of the necklace his wife borrowed and lost. He also waits for his wife all night and covers her with warm clothing, even though she did not want it and takes her home amidst great trouble. Madame Loisel also loves her friend. This is shown by the fact that she does not want to disappoint her friend after she lost her necklace and makes her family go through tough times trying to recover money they borrowed to pay for the diamond necklace. Commitment is displayed in the story; Madame Loisel’s husband had to work for ten years, so as to pay his wife’s debts incurred from paying for the lost necklace, which shows his great commitment for the family. Madame Loisel had to buy a substitute necklace for her friend also shows that she had a great commitment for their friendship and never wanted to disappoint her friend. Madame Loisel’s husband takes a step to get the couple an invitation for a party at the ministry also shows that he is committed to making his wife happy even though he is poor, he also goes on to go out of his means to make sure she has a new dress for the party. This shows he is committed to making his wife happy.