Narcissism A critical analysis in the story The Necklace

Narcissism A critical analysis in the story The Necklace





Narcissism: A critical analysis in the story The Necklace


When it comes to social classes, it is necessary to appreciate current personal status. This is grounded on the perception that material wealth does not define the character; for instance, wisdom but they are just add-endives to luxuries. In any case, man makes his life significant to by being positive and selfless. This essay will attempt prove how narcissism is primarily responsible in nurturing prolonged years of pain. The essay will discuss Guy Demaupassant short story The necklace. The paper is structured into two main parts, the literature concept and the opinion analysis. The literature concept close examines the plot, characterization and the central theme of narcissism. The second section examines my opinion on the text. Primarily, this is a responsive section that seeks to give attributes on what could have been done. The paper will heavily relate the importance of the necklace to plot development.

Literature Concept


The necklace short story by Guy Demaupassant tells a predicament of Madam Mathilde Loisel and her husband. Madam Mathilde socially altered herself, and these alterations led to herself believe that she belonged to a high social position. Monsieur Loisel, a lowly paid clerk, is integrated in the story by his constant effort to provide lavish material things to his wife. After securing an invitation to the Ministry of Education party, Monsieur Loisel finds himself in a dilemma to convince his wife to attend the party. Madam Mathilde declines to attend the party claiming she did not have something good to wear. As a result, Monsieur Loisel offers her 400 francs ‘money reserved to buy a hunting rifle’ to buy a dress for his wife. However, her need for material possession does not rest until she borrows a necklace to cream the dressing. This is after Madam Mathilde rejection of his husband offer that she should buy roses to cream the dress. Mathilde borrows Madam Forestre for her fanciest piece of ornament, a fine looking piece of diamond necklace. After the party, Mathilde realizes the necklace was missing. This prompts her desire to look elegant, and as a result, she decided to replace it with a similar one costing 36,000 francs. Loisel family never had sufficient saving for such a large material investment. As a consequence, the family indulgence with aid from loans shark to repay the ornaments is incidental. This marks the beginning of a long financial struggle for the Loisels. After the reparation, Madam Mathilde pounces on Madam Forestre. Apparently, Madam Forestre barely recognizes the degenerated state of Madam Mathilde. After catching up with events of the last decade, Madam Mathilde learns that the original necklace was an imitation costing less than one thousand francs.


Mathilde Loisel

A newly wed lady who was born in the family of clerks is married to a clerk. Mathilde conviction of that her current state in life is a mistake of destiny prompts her constant revolt of her social and economic situation. The audience learns from the story that her revolt challenges her present state of affairs, a comfortable home and loving husband. Mathilde material greed is a constant ground for pain and turmoil. The audience learns from the text that Mathilde cannot visit her wealthy friend Forestre because of jealousy. Mathilde constantly denounces destiny, referring to it as a mistake.

Monsieur Loisel

It is clear from the story that Monsieur Loisel is loving, compassionate, and had a strong sense of emotional flare-up as well as constant dis-contention. Also, an eminent character of Monsieur Loisel is his determination to please his wife. Primarily, Monsieur Loisel is supportive his wife materialistic driven agenda. On several occasions, he bails out her material urge without rumination of the financial repercussions associated with it. Monsieur Loisel sacrifices his hunt gun dream to buy one night dress for his wife. Also, it is coherent to note that Monsieur Loisel is sacrificial, protective. When his wife looses the necklace, Monsieur Loise commits himself to a series of reparations hoping this will quench his urge to please her. Finally, it is prudent to note that Monsieur Loise character is gullible. This is based on the knowledge that she agrees to live the life of his wife uncontrollable urge for materials without a second thought.

Theme of Narcissism

In a close reading of Guy Demaupassant short story, one will not fail to notice the overriding theme of social pride and greed. Scholarly, Mathilde character can be defined as one grounded on excessive self-regard. Primarily, it is self regard that leads to the development of unrighteous character. Also, Mathilde suffers superiority complex. This character lead to the development of defense mechanism, and it is chiefly responsible for the development of psychic complexities that can exist within the same individual. Mathilde ultimately believes she is superior compared to others. In any case, she believes right to material possessions is inherent. Core concerns of her personhood are centered on the image and vanity. The innate character attempts to prove its righteousness to the society surrounding it. Whether good or bad that is not part of questioning, to this effect, Mathilde suffers feelings of inadequacy both in character and materials. So to it, Mathilde believes that her life is significant since her beauty and charm make her worthy of materials. The acquisition of Madame Forestier Necklace acts the dramatic turn of events. The necklace is responsible in exposing Mathilde characters. However, it is prudent to note that the author applied the element of emotional consciousness to implement the theme of materials in the story. Emotionally, Mathilde, due to her beauty and charm, muses herself as a martyr. She constantly refers herself with Rue des Martyrs, and in any case, she feels that the life she lives is unbecoming, impractical and inhumane for her personality. As a result, Mathilde hires a necklace to attend a party. Later, Mathilde discovers the necklace is lost, and she has to repay it with 36,000 francs. This not only cost her ten years of reparation but relegates her social prestige adversely.


What is the moral of the story?

Scholarly, it is prudent to note that the material affiliation to the necklace attempts to expose the peril of personal narcissism. Materially derived egotism is primarily responsible of drenching Mathilde family to quench her desires. For instance, Mathilde engineered the decision to spend the family spending on a dinner gown. This perception is immoral and disastrous for a growing family. We learn from the story that Mathilde came from a class of clerks. So, there is no justification that Mathilde was not in a position to live a comfortable life, a life that accesses amenities; for example, food and clothing. However, Mathilde affection to material possession was constraining collective efforts of the family. The extract tells us that Mathilde could not focus anything beyond the ball and the ‘greatest night of her life’. The moral-dramatic concept is failure to concede defeat. Mathilde losses the necklace, yet her narcissism could not permit her to admit the loss of the necklace to the owner. This not only subjects the Loisels to year of repayment, but as well painful knowledge that the repatriated necklace was not worth. The moral lesson generated here is beauty does not guarantee wisdom. In any case, application of beauty for material quest is righteous, barbaric and deconstructive. This not only exposes an individual to the harshness of the society, but as well entangles relatives and friends of the victim to the wrath of narcissism.

Is the course of action righteous?

Still on the concept of morality, it is inherently barbaric to commence a repayment of an item which is not worth than the estimated value. However, it is prudent to establish in this discussion that the couple choice for repayment had positive and negatives. Firstly, it is gullible to repay a friend an item whose does not have a valid receipt. Nonetheless, this is contested by the assumption that couple prevailed on the need to tame Mathilde character. Morally, it is righteous to tame Mathilde character. This is based on the postulation that Mathilde character was unbecoming for the social income. Nevertheless, Madam Forestre does not demand a payment because they need an actual financial repayment, but the desire to protect their class exceeded the friendship they shared with Mathilde. This can be debated on the notion that the perceived rich in the society are not that rich, and in any case, these are just deconstructive social affiliations. According to the story, Mathilde life is robbed without apology or notice. Just as an example, the Loisel family dismisses the maid, Mathilde cannot apply the laundry, and in any case, she takes blue-collar jobs to raise sufficient money to repay the loan sharks. The repayment of the money cannot be converted fully the real money pay, but a repayment of how Mathilde applied beauty to work out her life. Consequently, I would join the couple desire to demand a repayment based on the knowledge family needs came first compared to social affiliations. Mathilde had traditionally sacrificed her family to quench her inherent material demand. In any event, the repayment of the necklace acts as a life synthesizer on the need to work constructively to achieve a given social foundation in life.

What other choices were open to them and why were these not chosen?

There were broad choices to be pursued when the necklace got lost. However, this would deter the development of the plot significantly. In any case, the message that Guy Demaupassant wants the audience to learn is blended in the necklace getting lost. Primarily, the couple could have reconsidered searching for the necklace a viable option. This alternative could have required attending party members to act collectively in reallocating the lost necklace. Secondly, there was an alternative of forgiving Mathilde from paying the necklace. As a friend, losing a necklace was normal; therefore, it was constructive to move forward with a spirit of reconciliation. Thirdly, Madam Forestier could have settled the matter humanly. She was obliged to clarify the real value of the necklace, and inversely demand the equivalent amount. However, according to the extract the real value of the necklace is exaggerated. Clarifying the real value of the necklace could have saved Loisel family from ten years of misery. Nonetheless, the central theme of the story could not have been established. As a result, the repayment acts to fulfill the central theme of the story. To affirm the importance of the repayment, one should look closely on the results of the repayment. Mathilde a lavish minded individual has been structured to work hard to meet demands of the repayment. As a result, Mathilde perception of a lavish life is restructured to those with consideration of working to achieve a good life, a life without extreme poverty or extreme wealth. This discussion contests the conjecture that Mathilde ten years is wasted. The underlying reason is that Mathilde perception is changed. In any case, the repayment acts as rejuvenating learning period. After ten, years Mathilde perception is restructured to believe that she can achieve much of she worked for it.


This essay has attempted to close examine the theme of narcissism and how it is primarily responsible in subjecting a material lady into years of financial bondage. The paper has borrowed deeply on Guy Demaupassant short story. The necklace presents how narcissism works. To accomplish the educative analysis, I have presented my opinion; what should have been done and the moral story behind the story. The paper has as well close examined the importance of the necklace to the plot.

Work Cited

Maupassant, Guy. The Necklace and Other Short Stories. Courier Dover Publications, 1992. Print.