Guy de Maupassant’s use of symbolism in The Necklace is a potent literary tactic. The jewelry, Madame Loisel’s wraps, and her outfit are the most significant symbolic things. Detailed response: Madame Loisel, the story’s primary heroine, is a lady who is dissatisfied with her social status. She is married to a clerk in the ministry. The family lives well and even has a servant. Yet, Madame Loisel is nonetheless dissatisfied with “the poverty of her dwelling.” She asks a friend to lend her some jewels for a party. She sees a necklace and immediately falls in love with it and how it looks on her. The necklace represents riches, which is the main character’s persistent target of desire. That demonstrates her lack of social standing. It embodies all Madame Loisel wishes for and desires in her life. Her hands “trembled” when she first touched it. This indicates how much she aspires to be affluent and acquire luxury stuff. As she loses the jewelry, it represents her failure to become affluent and live a luxurious life.
The necklace has several connotations, one of which is Madame Loisel’s attractiveness. It just concerns her physical appearance, not her personality or personal attributes. The phony necklace depicts the main character’s shallowness at the start of the novel. Madame Loisel’s attractiveness starts to deteriorate once she loses the necklace. It ultimately makes her a better person. Madame Loisel’s regular existence is symbolized by the wraps her husband purchased for her to wear after the celebration. This is what she is attempting to hide from the others. The wraps are simple but high-quality clothes that may give some warmth and protection from the elements. Similarly, Madame Loisel’s lifestyle is simple and pleasant rather than extravagant.
But, when contrasted to the other ladies at the party who are wearing furs, the wraps represent the main character’s social standing. Madame Loisel is concerned about what others could think about her. She resolves to reveal herself since she is afraid that the rich audience would think she is destitute. This indicates her wish not to let others know what her genuine existence is. She wants to persuade others that she is more valuable. Her spouse bought the wraps, which adds to the perception that they represent the lifestyle he offers. Madame Loisel’s narcissism is shown by the attire she selects for the celebration. It symbolizes her obsession with appearances and her physical attractiveness. This is evident at the moment when she puts on the jewelry and outfit. As she stares in the mirror, she is “lost in rapture at her reflection.” She purchased the garment using money her husband had intended to spend on a gun. This demonstrates how the outfit depicts Madame Loisel’s disregard for the needs of others and fixation with her own ego.