In "The Necklace," what is the symbolism of the necklace itself?

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In Guy de Maupassant's story, the necklace symbolizes Mathilde's disappointment with her middle-class life. Mathilde longs for expensive items and a lifestyle that her husband cannot afford. Her husband brings home the invitation to the ball to make Mathilde happy; however, this backfires, and she is filled with displeasure. She has nothing to wear and no accessories that she feels are appropriate for the occasion. So begins her disappointment.

Though her friend Madame Forestier allows Mathilde to borrow the beautiful necklace, it can be argued that this creates a further sense of disappointment—after all, borrowing fine jewelry is the only way Mathilde can access the wealthy life she so desires. Mathilde will get a taste of the affluent life only while wearing the necklace, but when the ball ends and she returns the necklace, she will inevitably be left feeling sad and disappointed to return to her mediocre life.

The necklace continues as a symbol of disappointment because, upon losing...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 680 words.)

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