"The Necklace" By Shirley Jackson.

Essay by jakedolanHigh School, 11th gradeA+, November 2003

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Two main themes in "The Necklace" are honesty and materialism. The entire conflict arises out of the lack of honesty and materialistic needs of both characters.

The first honesty conflict occurs when Mathilde is asks for money for a dress. She doesn't simply ask for the money to buy for an adequate dress, she asks for the maximum amount of money that she knows her husband could possibly afford as a clerk. Since it is more than likely she didn't know that he was saving that money to use to buy a gun, he was being dishonest as well. Both her and her husband are guilty of lying in this story although at first glance it appears only as if the woman is the one lying. However, upon close examination it is actually the man who first lies about the necklace and tells Mathilde to write to Madame Forestier, to falsely tell her that the catch was broken.

If he had simply told Mathilde to tell the truth all of the conflict would have been easily avoided. They both however share this sense of pride in pretending that they are of the upper ranks in society.

This woman is obviously very materialistic. All day long she dreams about "Oriental tapestries" and "great reception Halls". "She grieved incessantly, feeling that she had been born for all the little niceties and luxuries of living." She is envious of everyone that has money and everything that symbolizes money. She is only concerned with how people think of her and she wants to give the impression that she is a wealthy woman. She borrows the piece of jewelry that LOOKS most expensive even though it is not. She wants to appear to be as rich as she possibly can. With being rich comes a...