The short story,
The Necklace was written in late 1800s by Guy de Maupassant a French author. This
short story shows the readers the gap between appearance and reality and also
it shows that the society is driven by materialism. Maupassant uses characters
to bring out these. Mathilde Loisel is the protagonist in the short story. Monsieur
Loisel and Madam Forestier are also minor characters in the story.      

            Mathilde is a pretty and charming
girl born into a “family of artisans.” She has got a good home and a loving
husband, but she is not satisfied with them. She is unable to accept her life
conditions. She has a great desire for wealth. She is a girl who needs
expensive things for her life. Mathilde is a rounded character in the short
story because many physical as well as so many other qualities of her are
brought by the author for the readers. She is a complex and a dynamic character
in the short story. She is not the girl who was in the beginning of the short
story. She had to undergo into a conflict in her life, she learnt a lot by
undergoing into problems which came into her life. She learns what really the
life is at last. Feelings and emotions have changed her from worse to better
through her sufferings. “Feeling herself born to enjoy all delicacies and all
luxuries…” This line shows that even though she does not have a lot of money,
she desires for materialistic things. 
Her greed for wealth is shown here. She is driven by false values.

            There are several example quotations
which we can come across in the short story to depict her character. “She let
herself be married off to a little clerk in the Ministry of Education.” This
line shows that Mathilde does not value her husband and also she does not
respect him. Mathilde does not give any gratitude to her husband for his
sacrifices on behalf of her. She is not satisfied with her marriage. She dreams
of being rich. That is her goal. “Which other women of her class would not even
have been aware.” This shows her pride and greed. She thinks that she needs and
deserves more in her life. This feeling brings misery to her life. She is so
arrogant too, when her husband asked to wear flowers as jewellery she was not
convinced of it. “No….there’s nothing so humiliating as looking poor in the
middle of a lot of rich women.” The above line proves how arrogant she is.

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            Mathilde Loisel was happy at one
point in the story, it is the place where she goes to the party and enjoys. “She
danced madly, ecstatically, drunk with pleasure, with no thought for anything,
in the triumph of her beauty, in the pride of her success, in a cloud of
happiness made up of this universal homage and admiration, of the desires she
had aroused, of the completeness of a victory so dear to her feminine heart.” This
quotation is from the middle of the short story. This is the place where
Mathilde feels happy. The dress which she bought and the jewellery which she
borrowed made her happy. She feels content when she is looking like a wealthy
woman. When she loses the necklace she does not reveal the truth for Madame
Forestier this also shows her pride. She does not want to reveal the truth. Mathilde
is in an illusion. She feels that she should be in that place in the society. She
is not a down to earth woman. Her greed and deception made her life ruin.

            After the tragic things which
happened to her she learned to work hard and to be proud of it, and also she
learnt humility. She was in a fantasy world earlier but in the end she becomes
humble by her experiences at the end.

            Monsieur Loisel is the husband of
Mathilde. This brings all miseries for his life. He is a loving husband for
Mathilde. Throughout the story we see how humble, loving, kind and
understanding he is. He is a clerk for Ministry of Education. He is a flat
character in the short story. As in Mathilde’s character the writer does not
give much information of this character. He is also a static character because
Monsieur Loisel remains the same at the end of the story as in the beginning.

            When Monsieur Loisel brings the
invitation for his wife, instead of being happy she got angry with her husband.
“Instead of being delighted, as her husband hoped, she flung the invitation
petulantly across the table.” His motive was to please his wife. Though how
rude Mathilde was her husband had patience to bear up all these behaviours of
hers. It was not even easy to get the invitation. Instead of getting angry with
his wife he talked with her in a very calm and kind manner. He is always ready
to undergo anything for Mathilde, but he does not understand who the real
Mathilde is and what does she wants. He is content with small things in his

            Even when the necklace was lost he
does not blame for his wife even from a single word. His kind-heartedness is
shown here. He gives all his saved money for Mathilde to buy a dress for the
party. This show how affectionate he is towards his wife whereas Mathilde does
not even value him from a single word. At the party when Mathilde dances whole
night Monsieur Loisel does not blame her he lets her to enjoy. It is very rare
to find out a good husband like this but it is pathetic to see how Mathilde
treats him.

            When Mathilde loses her necklace Mr.
Loisel starts finding it everywhere in streets. He gets ready to work hard and
get another one. This innate goodness leads to his downfall in life. He does
not complain of anything. He does so much of sacrifices throughout the story on
behalf of his wife. All the above points prove that he is a white character. He
is an excellent husband who tolerates and sacrifices things.

            Madame Forestier is the friend of
Mathilde Loisel in the story. Mathilde goes near her to borrow a jewellery to
wear for the party. She is a wealthy woman, Mathilde is jealous of it. When
Mathilde goes to her home and asks for jewellery she says to select by herself
this shows that she is a trustworthy woman. As well as she trusts her friend
Mathilde too. That is the reason why she behaves so. “Oh my poor Mathilde! But mine
was imitation. It was worth at the very most five hundred francs!…” This line
said by Madame Forestier shows that she is a truthful lady. She could have keep
her mouth shut and say yes that it was a diamond necklace but she revealed the
truth without any hesitation. Unlike Mathilde she is not a lady with vanity or
pride. The readers do not see many lines of her. From the minor parts we can
understand that she is totally the opposite of Mathilde. Madame Forestier is
also a good character like Monsieur Loisel.

            In a nutshell we can say that
Mathilde is a black character in the short story whereas Monsieur Loisel and
Madam Forestier are white characters. Mathilde is rude and harsh. She does not
think of her husbamd but Mr. Loisel always thinks of her betterment. Madam
forestier also helps Mathilde as she can. She is a generous woman. Using these
three characters Guy de Maupassant conveys a good advice for the society. It is
to get away from pride and to be humble and truthful, because pride can lead to
downfall of a person. These three characters are different from one another.



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