Essay about Themes and Elements

Submitted By Beachlover0301
Words: 769
Pages: 4

Mademoiselle Mathilde Loisel longed to be rich and glamorous "She suffered from the poverty of her dwelling, from the worn walls, the abraded chairs, the ugliness of the stuffs" (Clugston, 2010). Mathilde had a friend named Jeanne, who was wealthy, but because Mathilde longed to have material items like her friend, she stopped visiting Jeanne because it made her cry all day from "chagrin, from regret, from despair, and from distress" (Thurber). In "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant, the theme of the story is envy. An element that contributes to the theme is Mathilde's husband. When Mathilde's husband garners an invitation for them to a high society event, he hopes his wife will be happy, but she is not because all she can think about is that she has nothing worthy to wear. Although her husband wanted to use his reserve of 400 francs to purchase a new gun and to go on a hunting trip, he selflessly gave the money to his wife so she could purchase a new dress to wear to the party. As the party grew near, Mathilde was still not happy because she didn't own any jewels. Her husband told her to visit her friend Jeanne and borrow some jewelry. Mathilde thought that was a grand idea and she did just that. After looking through Jeanne's jewelry, Mathilde couldn't find the right piece for the event and asked her friend if she had anything else. When Jeanne showed her a diamond necklace, Mathilde thought it was perfect and asked to borrow it. Another contribution to the theme is the necklace. When Mathilde and her husband go to the party, Mathilde has a fabulous time. "She was the prettiest of them all, elegant, gracious, smiling, and mad with joy" (Thurber) and she loved all of the attention. After her and her husband arrive home early the next morning, Mathilde realizes she no longer has the necklace, she lost it. They both become frantic and her husband leaves to follow the path they took home in search of the necklace. With no luck he returns home and they decide what they need to do. Without informing Jeanne of what happened, and only sending a note that they necklace will be returned in a few days, they visit many jewelry stores looking for an exact match. Finally they find one that they can purchase to replace the lost necklace, but it costs thirty-six thousand francs. As they didn't have all of the money needed, Mathilde's husband borrows the rest of the money needed from everyone and anyone he can. Afterwards, they are forced to live as the poor and work multiple jobs to pay off all of the debt. In other works of Guy de Maupassant, his stories have characters who should be happy with what they have instead of dreaming of riches. As stated in "The Perception of Envy" (Silver and Sabini, 1978), envy affects life in a negative way "in which someone's possessions, attributes, and attainments have diminished