Why is Madame Losiel disconnected from her life at the beginning of "The Necklace"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In Guy de Maupassant's short story "The Necklace" Madame Loisel is disconnected from a life which she finds common and mundane. Although she is "pretty and charming" she is restrained by the rigid class system of 19th century France. She longs for a different life. She wants all the comforts and trappings of the very wealthy. She is simply not satisfied with her middle class existence.

She's not poor. After all, she has her own maid, a hard working husband, and seemingly very few cares. Yet it is not enough. She spends her time daydreaming about all the things her middle class husband cannot afford. De Maupassant writes:

She would dream of silent chambers, draped with Oriental tapestries and lighted by tall bronze floor lamps, and of two handsome butlers in knee breeches, who, drowsy from the heavy warmth cast by the central stove, dozed in large overstuffed armchairs. 

One of the ultimate morals of the story is to be careful what you wish. When Madame Loisel's dream comes true and she does live the life of a wealthy woman for one beautiful evening and it ends up costing her that comfortable middle class life as she is plunged into poverty because of the loss of the necklace.  

 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial