Maupassant; The Necklace
The values people choose can have adverse effects on their later lives such that they might end up either building or destructing a person’s life. When false values are adopted then the consequences might end up being detrimental in the lives of people. When positive values are adopted on the other side, good tidings are received from them. This asserts that, the way people look at themselves should not be based on what they possess but should be based on their contentment with what they have in life (Cain, 2003). Many people believe that possession of beauty will enhance their social standing but if the beauty does not contain any reality in it, it is just vanity. The enhancement of beauty if one can ill afford it might be one of the best examples of how people can adopt false values, which will turn out to be detrimental for them. The Necklace is a story that shows how the adoption of false values can lead to victimization. In this story, though Madame Loisel might have possessed an appearance of beauty, this beauty did not possess reality. She was beautiful but was never content with life and made such choices that led to the enhancement of her beauty for one day but the diminishing of her beauty after that day. Because research shows that victimization is due to fate it should be due to free will on the other side.
Madame Loisel had been born in poor background but she always felt as if she was above all other people in the society. Instead of accepting the fact that she would never be rich thus, she should embrace her life the way it was through being content with what she had, she always dreamt of riches and would seize any opportunity of showing her superiority in the society. Regardless of her being married to a poor clerk, she used to force him to buy the good things in life, which they could ill afford to quench her craving for riches (Maupassant, 2003). When provided with something, she always found something else that was not provided to her leading to discontentment. Instead of engaging in house work like other women of her class, she employed a servant who based on the salary that her husband received, they could ill afford. Instead of appreciating the fact that they could afford shelter and food unlike the beggars, she always perceived her house as being shabby. She even stopped visiting one of her friends because she was rich.
After her every visit to her friend’s house, she was left with a bad taste in her mouth because she could not afford the riches that her friend had. Victimization can be experienced not only in the hands of other people it can be experienced also in the hands of the individual who is undergoing victimization. The choices that this individual makes can lead to victimization in both contexts meaning that the person can end up being a victim of himself due to fate or due to freewill. In the case of Madame Loisel, she always felt victimized by poverty, which she did not have any control over thus this shows that she was a victim of fate but on the other side if she would have embraced her social standing she would have been more content (Maupassant, 2003). Her comparing her situation with other people’s situations made her feel the brunt of her poverty, which she would not have felt if she were content with what she had. This bringing out the fact that she felt that she was being victimized by poverty but she was a victim of her own free will in this case because of the false values and choices she adopted.
Her husband works very hard at the Ministry of Education as a clerk in order to provide for his wife who is not content with anything. He makes so many sacrifices for the happiness of his wife but what he receives from her are always complaints and discontentment. On one occasion, he obtains an invitation to the Ministers party, which he believes will make his wife happy, as she always wanted to be associated with the rich. He had struggled to get the invitation card and he expected his efforts to be appreciated by his wife after arriving home with it. On the contrary, after obtaining the information contained in the card his wife was not happy she even started to cry. When asked the reason for crying she asserted that she did not have anything to wear for the dinner. When her husband suggested that she wear the dress she goes to the theatre with, she refuses saying that it would bring out the poverty that they lived in which was ironical because in real life they were poor (Maupassant, 2003). When asked how much money she would need for the dress, she names a figure that makes her husband sacrifice the money that he had saved for a riffle. She buys the dress but a few days before the dinner she is not happy and when asked what her problem was she says that she would need some jewelry to go with the dress.
Her husband as the good helper suggests that she buys flowers to accessorize the dress but she asserts that it would make her look poor. That is when he suggests to her to go and borrow jewelry from her friend Madame Forestier. She is ready to go and borrow the jewelry so that she can look good and rich in the dinner. This brings out her greed and discontentment at the expense of her husband (Maupassant, 2004). In this, case her husband is victimized by her desires. He is a victim of fate because he did not choose to be poor but fate brought poverty to him. He cannot be able to provide for his wife’s desires thus he had to suffer at the end of the day. He did not realize that he was going to give up the money he had saved, to buy his wife a dress for attending the dinner that he had struggled for them to be invited. Thus, he ended up being a victim of fate. On the other hand, he knew what type of a woman his wife was before he got married to her so if he had wanted to avoid being victimized later in life, he would have refrained from marrying her. This means that he faced freewill victimization in this case.
After Madame Loisel borrowed the necklace from her friend, she managed to go to dinner and enjoyed herself so much. Many people at the dinner seemed to be so rich and mingling with them, she was able to forget her poverty for the day. Looks can be deceiving because even those people in the party thought that she was a rich person because of the way she was dressed. This shows that she might have thought that they were rich too but maybe they were putting up an appearance like her. She was introduced to many people to the party, as she was the prettiest woman there (Maupassant, 2003). Her husband on the other hand went to sleep earlier and left her enjoying the party until when the time to leave came. Her insecurity came back at this time because she did not have furs like some of the women had, to wrap herself in, after the dinner she only possessed a wrap that brought out her poverty. To hide from this, she refused her husband from calling a cub because she would be noticed by the other women. In the process of looking for a carriage to take them home she lost, the diamond necklace lent to her. They searched for it everywhere but it could not be found.
The only option they had in this case was for them to find a replacement for the necklace, which would cost them every single penny they had. They had to borrow money to pay for the new replacement and after returning it, they started to give up some of the luxuries they had enjoyed before because of the repayment of the debt they had. The repayment took ten years and at the end of those years, Madame Loisel had aged so much that most of her earlier beauty had disappeared (Maupassant, 2004). In this case, the debt had victimized her in so many ways because she had to learn to do housework, as they could not afford to pay a servant. She had to recline to a state of abject poverty, something she was never willing to identify with. After ten years, she had been converted to the woman of the status that she had loathed before. She was a victim of freewill in this case because if she had not been so greedy as to borrow the necklace she would not have faced the tribulations she faced after loosing it. Not agreeing to take a cub was another mistake she would have avoided and thus she would not have lost the necklace but her pride would not have allowed her to do that. Being victimized by the debt in this case was something that she chose.
On the other hand she did not know that the necklace was a fake when she decided to replace it thus she went though the debt victimization for no apparent reason thus victimization in this case could have been through fate. Her husband after subjecting himself into debt had to work two jobs each day to offset the debt. He did not choose to incur debt but he was forced into it. His wife who was the cause of everything on the other hand did not work to cover the debt she just forced her husband to undergo the torture of working two jobs, yet this would have been avoided in the first place (Hawthorne, 2008). The husband had faced enough victimization in the hands of his wife. His victimization was due to freewill because he would not have suggested that his wife borrow the necklace from her friend. He would have forced her to accessorize the dress with flowers thus avoiding paying for things that he did not lose himself. On the other hand, he would have forced his wife to take a cub after the dinner but he did not, leading to the loss of the necklace that forced them into debt. If he had never struggled to let them, be invited into the party then he would not have ended up paying uncalled for debts.
All this shows that, though he would not have thought of it, his victimization was based on his freewill. On the other hand, he did not realize that all that happened would happen. His only goal was to make his wife happy that is why he struggled through all means to help her forget about her poverty on the day of the dinner only to end up with an uncalled for debt that took ten years to be repaid. On the other hand, he was in the dark about the fakeness of the necklace thus he entered into the debt as a way of ensuring that his wife was not victimized for losing the necklace (Esenwein, 2008). If he had realized from the beginning that the necklace was a fake, he would not have entered into debt but would have easily paid for it thus avoiding victimizing debts. He would have chosen to leave the burden of the debt to his wife but because he knew her status, he had to let her bully him into getting two jobs in order to facilitate the paying of the debt. The victimization that he faced from the debt in this case was based on fate because it was caused by such factors that were beyond his control. He would not have avoided the debt in any way but had to pay it to save them from the wrath of his wife’s friend.
The values people choose can have adverse effects on their later lives such that they might end up either building or destructing a person’s life. When false values are adopted then the consequences might end up being detrimental in the lives of people. When positive values are adopted on, the other side good tidings are received from them. Many people believe that possession of beauty will enhance their social standing but if the beauty does not contain any reality in it, it is just vanity. The Necklace is such a story that shows how the adoption of false values can lead to victimization. In this story, though Madame Loisel might have possessed an appearance of beauty, this beauty did not possess reality. The victimization faced by Madame Loisel and her husband due to the loss of the necklace was both based on fate and freewill. It was based on fate because the factors leading to the victimization was beyond their control such that they could not opt out of the victimization (Hawthorne, 2008). On the other hand, it was based on freewill because of the choices that they made. It was also based on the false values that they adopted which could have been avoided at the end of the day. The realization that the necklace was a fake at the end of the story raises so many questions that were not answered by the author of the story. The story has brought out the double-sided aspect of victimization thus giving a satisfactory reaction to the statement that because research shows that victimization is due to fate, it can be due to free will on the other side.
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Esenwein, Berg. The Art of Story-Writing. London: Read Books, 2008. Print.
Hawthorne, Julian. Library of the World’s Best Mystery and Detective Stories. Charleston: BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2008. Print.
Maupassant, Guy. The Necklace. Charleston: The Creative Company, 2004. Print.
Maupassant, Guy. The Necklace and other Tales. New York: Modern Library, 2003. Print.