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The Necklace and the Life of Mathilde

Mathilde has a suitable dress she wears to theater but that is not good enough for her. Instead, she insults what she finds her husband's inability to treat her how she feels she deserves to be treated, 'Give your card to some colleague whose wife has a better outfit than I' (De Maupassant 2).

Mathilde's husband agrees to provide her 400 francs so she can buy a new dress for the affair at the palace of the Ministry. However, true to her proud and selfish nature, once she gets the hard-earned dress Mathilde is still miserable. She tells her husband after sulking for three days, 'It annoys me not to have a jewel, not a single stone, to put on I would almost rather not go to this party' (De Maupassant 2). The only thing that seems to make Mathilde happy is when she is being treated to lavish material items that she and her husband cannot afford. She borrows a diamond necklace from her generous and compassionate friend Mme Forester. When Mme Forester agrees to loan her the necklace, it is one of the few times we see Mathilde happy, 'She sprang to her friend's neck, kissed her with ardor, and then escape with the treasure' (De Maupassant 3).

During the event at the palace of the Ministry, Mathilde is stunning in her dearly purchased dress and her borrowed jewels. We are told she is 'intoxicated with pleasure, thinking of nothing, in the triumph of her beauty' (De Maupassant 3). She spends the evening at the ball in 'a sort of cloud of happiness' (De Maupassant 3). Mathilde returns to her proud and self-centered ways shortly though. It is cold out and her husband wraps her in garments that do not live up to the elegance of her dress or the ball. She wants to flee because she believes she will look her station to others at the ball. Because of this, she runs off and they suffer in cold until they can find a cab. We are told 'they went up their own stairs sadly. For her it was finished' (De Maupassant 4). Despite all of his...

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The Necklace and the Life of Mathilde. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:04, August 17, 2017, from
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