In what way are the borrowed necklace and Madame Loisel's dreams of life in high society the same in "The Necklace"?

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bree1228 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the short story "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant, the dreams of Madame Loisel to be a member of wealthy society turn out to be just like the borrowed necklace: they are both misrepresentations of reality. Madame Loisel is married to a clerk, who makes an average amount of money, and can never fulfill her dreams of fitting in with high society.  She decides to borrow the necklace from her friend in order to appear wealthier than she is at a party.  It is not enough that her husband secured the invites to this party.  Madame Loisel complains that she has nothing to wear, nor does she have any expensive jewels to adorn herself with.

The necklace that Madame Loisel borrows is lost on the evening of the party. Madame Loisel does not discover this until she spends all of her time and money trying to replace the necklace.  The fact that the necklace is fake is symbolic of Madame Loisel's lofty aspirations to be included in wealthy society. She will never accomplish this goal because of her station in life.  The necklace represents her unrealistic expectations of life because the necklace, which appears to be made of diamonds, is only made of paste. What appears to the naked eye to be sparkly and expensive is only a piece of junk. Madame Loisel places false value on the necklace, just as she purposefully misrepresents herself at the party as more wealthy than she really is. The lesson is that things are not always how they look. Madame Loisel's efforts to fit in with the wealthy class and the fake necklace are the same. They are just copies of the real thing. This shows that Madame Loisel should have been grateful for what she already had.

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The Necklace

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