Discussion Topic

The success and outcome of Mathilde Loisel in "The Necklace."

Summary:

In "The Necklace," Mathilde Loisel's outcome is marked by hardship and regret. After losing a borrowed necklace, she and her husband endure a decade of poverty to repay the debt, only to discover that the necklace was a cheap imitation. This revelation highlights the futility of her materialistic desires and the heavy price of vanity.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Was Mathilde Loisel successful in "The Necklace"?

Many people exert themselves to achieve admiration through learning to do something impressive, such as becoming successful businessmen, inventors, artists, actors, musicians, daredevils, or whatever. We Mathilde Loisel's chief ambition in life was to be adequately admired for her beauty, grace, and charm. For one night she finds perfect satisfaction of that ambition.

She danced with rapture, with passion, intoxicated by pleasure, forgetting all in the triumph of her beauty, in the glory of her success, in a sort of cloud of happiness comprised of all this homage, admiration, these awakened desires and of that sense of triumph which is so sweet to woman's heart.

If she hadn't lost the borrowed necklace she might have been satisfied with her one night of being Cinderella. But our ambitions often lead us into troubles and disappointment.

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

In "The Necklace," is Mathilde successful?

In "The Necklace," Mathilde Loisel learns a lesson on success the hard way. She begins the story with a negative attitude. She feels she was born for the finer things in life. She desires luxuries and expensive jewels. Although she has so much to be grateful for, she sulks and complains about not having a rich lifestyle. 

Truly, Madame Loisel has a husband who loves her. She has a maid and lives a middle-class lifestyle. Still, she complains and grumbles and lives a depressed life. Even when her husband brings home an invitation to a fancy ball, she is upset because she has no fine jewels to wear to the ball.

At this point, Madame Loisel should have been thankful for the things she has in life. However, she feels she is unsuccessful. She does not appreciate the blessings that she has. 

After losing the necklace, Madame Loisel has to borrow money to replace the necklace. She becomes acquainted with hard work. She has to scrub floors. She ages tremendously:

Madame Loisel looked old now. She had become like all the other strong, hard, coarse women of poor households. Her hair was badly done, her skirts were awry, her hands were red. She spoke in a shrill voice, and the water slopped all over the floor when she scrubbed it.

Now, Madame Loisel has learned a valuable lesson. She finds enjoyment in simple things such as a walk outdoors. On one of her walks, she runs into Madame Forestier. She tells Madame Forestier the truth about replacing the necklace. Madame Forestier reveals that the necklace she borrowed was a fake. But it doesn't matter because Madame Loisel has become "decently content." She has learned to be content and accept life with all its hardship. She is successful in the end. She now understands what is really important in life. She no longer has to rely on others for her sense of being "decently content." 

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Last Updated on