A Theme Of Perception In The Necklace By Guy De Maupassant

Society can sometimes pressure people to be someone they’re not in order to make them look great. Guy de Maupassant’s novel “The Necklace”, illustrates this. The story is about an attractive woman who doesn’t need anything but feels unsatisfied that she doesn’t possess the things other people do. Mathilde Liesel is the protagonist of the story. The theme of perception is a common thread throughout the story. Loisel believed the necklace would change people’s perception of her.

Maupassant opens the story with a list of objects Loisel would like but is unable to obtain. Losiel feels that they are her rightful possessions and wishes to possess them in order for her to be considered wealthy and beautiful. “She didn’t have any gowns, jewels, or jewelry. She loved that. She was born for it. She would have loved to be liked, to be envied and charmed, and to be desired. She feels that her lack of wealth or belonging to a particular social class makes it less important for her to have these things. Loisel tends to be materialistic. A party invitation from her husband is one way she proved this. Loisel receives the invitation and goes to buy expensive jewelry and a dress so she doesn’t appear poor to all the guests. She considers the things of others as something to be proud of. She views her husband and her home with suspicion. Because she doesn’t have the same things as her peers, she feels like an outsider. She had a friend at school who was wealthy and she didn’t want to see anymore as she was so disappointed when she returned home. Loisel’s way of looking at the world mirrors the way others see it. She compares what she has to others. Loisel dreamed of being wealthy and beautiful. When she finally gets the necklace, Loisel feels like the beautiful woman she has always longed to be. Her life fell apart after she lost the necklace. Reality is shown to be that power lies within you, not in objects. Madame Forestier is wealthy and doesn’t regard objects as such a powerful thing. Forestier, a wealthy woman, knows that these objects shouldn’t be a reason to be proud of. Forestier knows that objects can be perceived by people. Forestier is more likely to look at fake items than she is at real objects. Mathilde asked Forestier for her necklace, and she said yes. Forestier doesn’t value the necklace as much as Mathilde. Mathilde may not be as rich as some, but she considers these items to be the most valuable things in the world. Mathilde will do anything to make her appear better than she really is. She has made her world. Her world isn’t real, which is the problem. She could see her life as identical to the lives of the people she was with when she went to the party. Mathilde’s uncontrollable obsession with objects was what led to her demise. After she lost her necklace, she was forced to borrow money from Forestier for a replacement. Her beauty began to fade as she was constantly stressed and living in poverty. Mathilde actually gave her life to get a necklace, which was not worth the price. People are most likely to experience downfalls because of their ability to perceive objects. Some people see objects as something that makes them superior to others. Mathilde was one of these people. Mathilde considered the necklace a symbol of her wealth, which she believed would help others see that she wasn’t that poor. “The Necklace” should be one of the many books schools should have in libraries. This book will show children how to see objects through this kind of lens.


  • jessicawilson

    Jessica Wilson is a 33-year-old essay writer and blogger from the UK. She has been writing since she was a teenager and has always been interested in writing about personal experiences and thoughts. Jessica has written for a number of online magazines and websites and has also published a number of essays and short stories. Jessica currently works as a freelance writer.