What are some examples from "The Necklace" that support the prominent motif of the luxuries and privileged life of the upper class?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The most important example from this short story that can be used as an example of the privileged life of the upper class is the necklace. Remember that after Monsieur Loisel has agreed to part with the princely sum of 400 francs so that his wife can have an evening gown, she is still not satisfied. Note what she says to her husband:

It's embarrassing not have a jewel or a gem--nothing to wear on my dress. I'll look like a pauper. I'd almost rather not go to the party.

Social conventions and the culture of the day dictates that it is not enough to have a new evening gown to attend such a party. One must have expensive and beautiful jewellry as well. To Madame Loisel, who does not have the kind of money she would like, such jewellry can only be accessed through an old friend who has more money than her. The necklace can be seen as an example of the luxury of the upper classes through the rather offhanded way in which Madame Forestier treats her jewellry collection. She seems very vague about the jewellry that she does have and is more than willing to let her friend borrow the necklace. This is of course a clear indication that to her, who has money, such items are not valued in the same way as they are by Madame Loisel, who does not have money.


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