In "The Necklace" how are the things that Madame Loisel values different from what her husband values?

Expert Answers
mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Madame Loisel values materialistic possessions, the idea of being admired and loved for being beautiful and having beautiful things.  Because of this, "Mathilde suffered ceaselessly, feeling herself born to enjoy all delicacies and all luxuries."   Her husband is a bit more realistic about their circumstances, and has his priorities more in the realm of reality. While she scoffs at their meals and the simplicity of the diningware, he "uncovered the soup tureen and declared with a delighted air, 'Ah, the good soup! I don't know anything better than that'".  He is grateful for and values what they have, and feels that it is enough.  Of her nice theater dress he states, "It looks very well to me" while she weeps at its plainness.  After whining about the dress, she whines about how "It annoys me not to have a single piece of jewelry".  Her husband, more simple and pragmatic states that ""You might wear natural flowers...They're very stylish at this time of year."  He values a practical approach to fulfilling desires.  In all of these examples we see a selfish, materialistc woman and a practical, pleasant husband.

In the end though, it is Madame Loisel's materialistic desires that ends up shaping and fashioning their entire existence; she drags her husband along in the difficult quest to pay for the necklace, which just goes to show how greed is a hungry animal that impacts everyone around it.

Read the study guide:
The Necklace

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question