Short Story Review: The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant

Matilda Loisel is a pretty young woman who marries a clerk from the Ministry of Public Instruction.  Although she has never been accustomed to living in luxury and having the finer things in life, she longs for them.  Furthermore, even though she doesn’t live in poverty, she cannot see the merit in what she and her husband have.  So she spends her time lamenting the things she doesn’t have and what she believes she is missing out on.

One day her husband returns home from work, excited, with a surprise for his wife: an invitation to an evening reception hosted by the Ministry.  And, he explains, invitations are hard to come by.  Who could have guessed where such a well-intentioned act could lead?

The Necklace is an interesting moral tale, with an even more interesting main character.  At the beginning, I found that I did not like Matilda Loisel and felt really sorry for her husband.  However, by the end my opinion of her had changed, to the point that I actually felt sorry for her as well.

An entertaining, thought-provoking cautionary tale, that I highly recommend to fans of short fiction.