The Necklace Theme

What is the moral lesson of "The Necklace?"

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William Delaney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would say that the moral lesson of "The Necklace " is that deception is often a mistake which has bad results for the deceiver. Mathilde wishes to deceive the people attending the ball by making them think she has a higher social status than is actually the case. The borrowed necklace helps her to do this. Men want to dance with her, not only because she is young and beautiful, but because they think she must be a member of the aristocracy. But her worst mistake is trying to deceive Mme. Forestier by telling her she is having the clasp repaired and then substituting a real diamond necklace for the one she borrowed without knowing it was a fake. Many readers have expressed the feeling that Mathilde should have simply told the plain truth, that she lost the borrowed necklace. Mark Twain once said: "When in doubt, tell the truth." There are many similar wise sayings, such as "Honesty is the best policy." And "Honesty is the best policy" might stand as the moral for Maupassant's story....

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Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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