The Necklace Questions and Answers
by Guy de Maupassant

The Necklace book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are three quotes from "The Necklace" that show Mathilde's selfishness?

One quote that demonstrates Mathilde's selfishness occurs after her husband gifts her his savings so that she can buy the expensive dress she desires. Instead of thanking him, Mathilde reaches for even more:

"I'm utterly miserable at not having any jewels, not a single stone, to wear," she replied. "I shall look absolutely no one. I would almost rather not go to the party."

Expert Answers info

Julianne Hansen, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)

bookM.A. from Clemson University

calendarEducator since 2019

write1,922 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Mathilde Loisel has always believed herself destined for things greater than her current circumstances. One quote that demonstrates her selfishness is found in the very beginning of the story:

She suffered endlessly, feeling herself born for every delicacy and luxury. She suffered from the poorness of her house, from its mean walls, worn chairs, and ugly curtains. All these things, of which other women of her class would not even have been aware, tormented and insulted her.

If you examine the verbs here (suffered is repeated) and the adjectives (poorness, mean, worn, ugly), you can see how Mathilde views her ultimately comfortable surroundings. She is fortunate enough to own a home and to furnish it rather well; yet, she believes that she deserves more. She compares herself to other women and their comparative wealth "torments" her. This...

(The entire section contains 434 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

check Approved by eNotes Editorial