Dirt of Gold

May 18, 2010
By Anonymous

The short story “The Necklace” possesses the theme that you do not gain happiness through wealth and jewels. Genuine happiness is found by being truly loved by another individual. This theme ironically interacts with the characterization of the protagonist Mathilde. Her husband, M. Loisel, loves her so much, yet, Mathilde is unsatisfied with her life due to the fact that she isn’t wealthy. If she wasn’t so materialistic she would realize the extent of his love and live a fulfilling life. M. Loisel’s love for Mathilde is like a large diamond and she does not realize that it is lingering in her pocket at all times.

Despite the fact that Mathilde’s husband took many financial sacrifices for the sake of her contentment, she was unappreciative and only hungered for more worldly possessions. M. Loisel’s desire to use four hundred francs on himself is displayed in the following quote, “He had grown a little pale, because he was laying aside just that amount to buy a gun and treat himself to a little shooting next summer…” (609). His selfless action of giving Mathilde the money to buy a dress for the ball demonstrates his love for her. He also struggled very hard to get invitations to the ball and “Instead of being delighted, as her husband hoped, she threw the invitation on the table with disdain, murmuring” (608). Mathilde totally disregarded the kind act that her husband had accomplished solely for her because she thought that she wouldn’t have an elegant dress to wear. Although M. Loisel bought the dress for Mathilde, she still felt as if she didn’t meet the high standards of the wealthy people that were going to attend the ball. She stated “It annoys me not to have a single jewel, not a single stone, nothing to put on” (609). Her greed caused her to ask Mme. Forestier for the necklace which was what caused the whole conflict of the story. Even when Mathilde had lost the necklace, M. Loisel didn’t scold her. He simply went out and searched for it and “He went to Police Headquarters, to the newspaper offices, to offer a reward…” (611). While she stayed home and worried, he was out making an effort to find it. M. Loisel even took up two jobs to support the ten thousand dollar debt that Mathilde had put them in. He strived to make her happy and she only led to both of their miseries. By taking his love for granted, she was blind to the fact that she had a loving husband who could supply her all the happiness in the world.

M. Loisel’s love for Mathilde is shown through his charitable donations of his money. He only tried to please his wife. She simply didn’t recognize the effort he put into their relationship. By doing so, she was turning her cheek to a world of pleasure. The theme of this story is that authentic happiness is found by being truly loved by another being and this is the lesson that she learned by the end of the story. It is ironic that she only wanted possessions when she had a vast amount of love and support coming from her husband.

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