Socio Economic Life in “The Necklace” by Guy De Maupassant
Socio economic life in our society “The Necklace” is a short story by Guy de Maupassant, which depict the societal perception about the influence of poverty and the expectation of the ladies. The ladies believe they have a class, a social class, which they belong. This is majorly based on their beauty/prettiness. Unfortunately, for some this is not usually the case and with all the major expectation of a hefty dowry price, popularity, being loved and getting married at a lavish wedding, it does not occur always. The men give their very best trying to please their wife to make up for their expectation. This usually doesn’t end up well as most couples end up in financial constraints before finally accepting their destiny. We can clearly see a theme of poverty being set up by the author.
Loisel, married to a little clerk at the ministry of public instruction, is often unhappy at what fete has brought to her life, she can’t dress smartly, afford fancy jewelries and all the luxuries and delicacies she feel she should have.
The husband, worked effortlessly hard to secure an invitation at the company’s palace, this is a dream opportunity since very few of his colleagues can be accorded such a privilege. But, the state of poverty alienates the wife from attending social functions with her husband since she does not have neat clothes to match those of other wives from better off families. This leads to the husband using his savings amount to buy Loisel a neat dress, before they realize they must have some jewelry too. The plan is to borrow jewelry from a friend. This works perfectly until after they are from the party. On the day of the ball Loisel was remarkably prettier, glittering and elegant. For a moment she outmatched all the ladies in the building and all the attention was drawn to her, even the attaches wanted to waltz with her. This is all that matter to her, the kind of lifestyle she had craved for her entire life.
After a hectic journey back home they realize they no longer have the diamond necklace. And they must pay back. Since they had used all the money they had to buy a neat dress, they are forced to dismiss their servant and live in a sub-standard house in order to raise the debt. It takes them ten years of their lives; she used to wash the dishes, dirty linens and shirts whereas the husband had to make some copies for the tradesman account in the evening and copy manuscript at night.
“She came to know what heavy housework and the odious care of the kitchen,. She washed the dishes using her greasy nails on the pots and pans.” Loisel had finally accepted her place as a housewife.
In conclusion the author tries to inform the society of the experience of the poor living condition who cannot afford the basic needs and how they are forced to cope with such situation in today’s world. The high social demand standards and the lavish and luxurious life of couples that leads to economic hardship are portrayed here; “at the end of ten years, they had paid everything, everything,. with the rates of usury, and the accumulation of the compound interest” the society expects the couple to match their standards regardless of their abilities. The couples end up spending ten years of their lives repaying the lost borrowed necklace. This is relevant in today’s society where people have to take loans from banks, which at times they default and end up paying at very high interest rates.