The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

In ‘The Necklace’ by Guy de Maupassant, the main character, Mathilde, fails to realise that happiness comes from within. Mathilde borrows a necklace from her friend in order to go to a fancy ball with her husband. She manages to lose her necklace, with disastrous consequences. Mathilde needed to appreciate what she had and learn that people are charmed by personality.

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In order to be happy, people have to learn to appreciate what they have. Madame Loisel had a good life. She had a loving husband and a servant to help her run the house. However she was not happy. She yearned for a privileged life. It was only when she lost everything and came to know the life of “abject poverty,” did she realise, “how little is needed to ruin or save.”

People aren’t necessarily impressed by appearance or possessions, but rather personality. When her husband gave her the invite to the ball, Mathilde upset. She had no clothes or jewels to wear to such an affair. She thought that the guests at the ball would not be charmed by her ordinary clothes. However, when she reached the ball all of the guests were enchanted by her happiness! “She was the prettiest woman at present, graceful, smiling and quite above herself with happiness.”

Remembering and celebrating happy memories is all you need to be happy. When Mathilde came home from the ball, she was upset, disappointed and sad. It was over. She would never see such riches again. What Mathilde forgot to do though, was to celebrate those happy memories she held from that spectacular night, but sadly it ended to soon for Mathilde, “…and sadly they walked up to their own apartment. It was the end, for her.” Later in her life when she was reduced to a life of poverty, Mathilde realised and cherished the importance of happy memories, “…she…thought of that evening long ago…”

Mathilde had a loving husband, a comfortable home and a wonderful servant to help her. Yet all she was interested in was possessions. This had the effect of not appreciating what she had, forgetting to celebrate good times and not focussing on what is important, your inner self.

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