What Is the Theme of the Short Story “The Necklace”?

The theme of Guy de Maupassant’s short story “The Necklace” is that appearances are deceiving and the desire to be someone else often causes a person to lose the chance of happiness in the present moment. The main character in this story, Mathilde Loisel, wanted so badly to be rich that she ended up losing everything she had.

Madame Loisel has all she needs and lives quite comfortably. She has a loving husband who wants her to be happy. Yet, she fails to appreciate what she has because she feels she deserves more. Her husband has a good job, but it is not prestigious enough to suit her, so she complains bitterly. Her husband manages to get the couple invited to a ball, and Madame Loisel is thrilled. Her husband gives her the money he saved to buy a gun to buy a gown, and she borrows a beautiful necklace from a friend. She is the belle of the ball. For one night, she feels she has what she deserves: beauty, prestige and attention. Arriving home, she discovers she has lost the necklace. After looking everywhere for it, she realizes she must replace it. She works for 10 years to pay off the debt to the jeweler, during which time she loses her youth, her beauty and any semblance of class. When she finally decides to tell her friend everything, the friend has a confession of her own: the necklace was a fake. Madame Loisel lost everything for a fake necklace. The necklace she had thought so valuable was not, and the things she thought so important in life robbed her of happiness.