Character Analysis of Madame Loisel in “The Necklace”
Ever had a time where a lot of used time and hard work turned out be utterly useless? The same situation happened to Madame Loisel in “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant. The story is about a woman who longed for a rich, luxurious life but lives a lesser and impecunious life. Madame Loisel and her husband are invited to a party by the Minister of Education but there is a complication. She does not have a dress to wear nor any jewels to wear. After buying a dress, she visits her friend, Madame Forestier, to ask if she can lend her something to wear. Loisel finds a necklaces that she adores but loses the necklace after the party and panics. They cannot find the necklace anywhere so they decide to replace the diamonds in it, while borrowing money and accumulating massive debt of which they must endure hard labor to pay off. Madame Loisel returns the new necklace and meets Forestier ten years later, only to find that the original necklace was an imitation and costs significantly less than what it took to pay for the replacement. After reading “The Necklace”, one can infer that Madame Loisel is insecure about her appearance, desperate to replace the necklace, and depressed about her life.
There are many examples throughout the story that can provide evidence that Madame Loisel is insecure about her appearance. For example, the story states, “She had no clothes, no jewels, nothing. And these were the only things she loved; she felt that she was made for them” (1). The quote from “The Necklace” supports the claim that Loisel is insecure about her appearance as it explains that she has nothing to wear. Therefore, Madame Loisel feels as if she must have them because she does not have any clothes or jewels. Those were the only things she has loved, so one can assume that she loves them because they will make her appear more attractive to others and that she does not have anything attractive to wear. One can say that Loisel is insecure about her appearance because she feels that wearing attractive things will also make her attractive. Another example from the story when the author writes, “She had longed so eagerly to charm, to be desired, to be wildly attractive and sought after” (1). Again, the quote means that Madame Loisel desires to be more attractive and charming than she already is because she feels that she is not attractive, otherwise she would not want to look more attractive.
In addition, this is seen once more in the story when the story states, “ ‘I’m utterly miserable at not having any jewels, not a single stone to wear,’ she replied. ‘I shall look absolutely no one. I would almost rather not go to the party” (2). Loisel says this after she has bought a dress but does not have any accessories to wear. She says that if she does not have anything else to wear, she will “look absolutely no one” (2) and “would almost rather not go to the party” (2). Madame Loisel says the quote because having no jewels will make her appear unattractive and look like no one. She is thinking that she is unattractive, so therefore, she is not confident in her appearance and is insecure.
In the story, there are numerous examples that support the claim that Madame Loisel is desperate to replace the necklace. One example is seen when her husband says to her the instructions that she follows, “You must write to your friend,” “and tell her that you’ve broken the clasp of her necklace and are getting it mended. This will give us time to look about us” (5). The quote explains that Loisel is desperate enough to find the necklace that she would lie to her friend to allow them more time to find it. Furthermore, the story states, “Loisel possessed eighteen thousand francs left to him by his father” (5). In order to replace the diamonds in the necklace, she and her husband are desperate enough to use the money that was left to him by his father. Trying to work to repay the debt, both of them had to live a poorer life and have hard labor. The author writes, “And this life lasted ten years” (6). The both of them are desperate enough to live a life of hard labor for ten years to repay the debt.
Madame Loisel’s actions in the beginning of “The Necklace” can support the claim that she is depressed about her life. An example from the quote that supports the claim is when the author writes, “She suffered endlessly, feeling herself born for every delicacy and luxury. She suffered from the poorness of her house, from its mean walls, worn chairs, and ugly curtains” (1). Loisel can be shown as depressed when the author writes this because she is suffering from not having all the luxurious items that she could have. Also, the story states, “All these things, of which other women in her class would not even have been aware, tormented and insulted her” (1). Again, not having the luxurious items that she longs for is making her suffer, and feeling more depressed about her poorer life. Another example would be when the author writes, “She would weep whole days, with grief, regret, despair, and misery” (1). Since weeping is a sign of sadness, and that Loisel would weep whole days because she does not have the luxurious life she desires, one can say that she is depressed as she is repeating an action that shows sadness.
Madame Loisel in “The Necklace” can be described as insecure about her appearance, desperate to replace the necklace she had lost, and is depressed about her life that she wants to change. She is insecure so she buys a dress and borrows a necklace and longs for a more luxurious life. Also, she is desperate enough to replace the necklace that she will live a poorer life of hard labor, to lie to her friend, and to use money that her husband’s father gave to him. Loisel is depressed, which is seen when she feels that she is suffering that she does not have luxurious items, she is tormented and insulted by them, and when she would weep for whole days. In conclusion, Madame Loisel is an insecure, desperate, and depressed woman whose life has changed after borrowing a necklace from her friend.