Is it wise enough to borrow expensive things from others? What does "The Necklace" have to say about this?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is possible to argue that Mathilde Loisel's borrowing of jewellery from her friend in "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant caused the subsequent penury of Mathilde and her husband as they struggled to replace the necklace she lost. On the other hand, the point of the story is not so much that it is unwise to borrow expensive things but that it is unwise to long for material objects and outward signs of wealth. Mathilde didn't actually need a new dress or an expensive necklace for the party. Had she dressed in something she already possessed rather than aspiring to be admired for her looks, the ensuing problems would not have occurred. 

Another point that the story makes is that her obsession with appearances and with social climbing gets in the way of her developing real friendships. Had she been less concerned with social climbing, she could have been more honest with her friend and avoided the financial problems.

Thus the problem is not so much borrowing expensive things from friends, but rather (1) desiring material objects to validate one's sense of self-worth and (2) valuing people for their possessions and social status rather than for themselves.

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The Necklace

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