From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Necklace

The Necklace

  

by Guy de Maupassant

The Necklace Theme of Pride

You can read "The Necklace" as a story about greed, but you can also read it as a story about pride. Mathilde Loisel is a proud woman. She feels far above the humble circumstances (and the husband) she's forced to live with by her common birth. In fact, her current situation disgusts her. She's a vain one too, completely caught up in her own beauty. It could be that it is also pride that prevents Mathilde and her husband from admitting they've lost an expensive necklace. After the loss of the necklace makes Mathilde poor, and her beauty fades, she may learn a pride of a different sort: pride in her own work and endurance.

Questions About Pride

  1. What signs are there at the beginning of the story that Mathilde is a proud woman? In what way is she proud? Of what is she proud?
  2. Is it pride which prevents the Loisels from telling Mme. Forestier they've lost her necklace? If so, whose pride is it? Or is it something else?
  3. Does Mathilde's experience of poverty humble her? Does it make her proud in a different way?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

It's M. Loisel's pride that is responsible for the tragedy at the end of the story.

It is not pride, but the Loisels' sense of honor, which is responsible for the tragedy at the end of the story.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement