What does this quote mean? “When men are full of envy they disparage everything, whether it be good or bad.This quote is based on the short story "The Necklace. The story, "The Necklace," ...

What does this quote mean? “When men are full of envy they disparage everything, whether it be good or bad.

This quote is based on the short story "The Necklace. The story, "The Necklace,"  explains how envy leads to the demise of the main character.

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In the story, The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant, envy is the downfall of the main character.  The quote literally means that when people are "full of envy" they disparage which means "to discredit or belittle" everything, whether or not it is good or bad. Even if something is good, discredit is heaped on so that it can no longer be an object of envy as the necklace itself was.  The disparagement cuts down the value of the object such as a necklace which is now no longer worthy of envy. Obviously, the "men" here is supposed to be the universal "men" which is to include women also. The sad ending of "The Necklace" when the woman finds out that she has spent her life to replace a worthless piece of fake jewelry also shows the reader that envy is not a good thing for anyone. 

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