What is the moral to the story "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant? What sayings sum up the story?

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mercut1469 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Guy de Maupassant's short story "The Necklace" is about a young woman, Madame Loisel, who daydreams about wealth, social status and luxury. When she is able to live her preferred life for one night at a fancy ball, adorned with a new dress and a seemingly expensive necklace, she is truly happy. With the loss of the necklace, a symbol of wealth and material status, her life is forever changed as she is thrown into poverty. In the end, we learn the necklace was actually worthless, proving her original mindset wrong. 

A saying that sums up the moral of the story might be: Be satisfied and grateful for the things you have rather than striving for things that may appear better but often are not.

In the beginning of the story, while Madame Loisel is daydreaming, the reader learns she lives comfortably. After all, she has a maid. She also has a husband who is obviously devoted to her. Realizing she is bored, he tries to brighten her life by bringing home an invitation to the fancy ball and he even uses some of his savings to buy her a new dress. She doesn't appreciate what she already has and foolishly loses the necklace as she hurries away from the ball. The loss of the necklace causes her to lose her youth, her beauty and her dignity. Her life would have been better had she been satisfied with what she already had.