Analysis of The Diamond Necklace

According to Marx, the moving force behind human history is its economic systems. People’s lives are determined by their economic circumstances. A society, he says, is shaped by its “forces of production,” the methods it uses to produce the material elements of life. In Guy de Maupassant’s short story “The Diamond Necklace,” we are given a blatant visual of a society that is unequally distributed in both its commodities and their ability to achieve them. Madame Loisel has no capital or skills to sell. She simply prides herself on her youth and beauty. Guy de Maupassant makes it evident that without a ‘back door’ into the circles where she can find a man with wealth and charm, she is doomed to stay grasping aimlessly onto the bottom of the middle class platform- a powerless situation with no way to move towards the elegant lifestyle she so desperately desires. The ‘diamond’ necklace itself can be considered propaganda as it symbolizes the lust Mme. Loisel has for this rich and extraordinary life. Mme. Loisel believes that the diamond necklace will reify her into someone who is worthy of attending such a ball. She believes the necklace can transform her and allow her to surpass the division of the classes that is ever so present.

The division of the bourgeoisie and proletariat in the society depicted in “The Diamond Necklace” is firmly stated and upheld. Mme. Loisel’s husband is a “petty clerk” and although she has an affluent friend from her days as a student, she has none of the accessories that would fit her to attend a ball such as the one her husband ‘received invitation to’. This is largely due to Mme. Loisel’s economic base. The economic base in “The Diamond Necklace” is significant to all characters depicted in the story. Mme. Loisel’s husband is a clerk whose employers have power over his professional life. Their social relationships with him also reflect that power. They lead different…