The Meaning of the Necklace

The Meaning of The Necklace
In the short story, "The Necklace" by Guy De Maupassant, the necklace itself plays an essential part in the story. It's described as just a diamond necklace, but it also represents something much more meaningful. It's extravagant and glamorous, and so seemingly valuable. Despite its convincing outside, though, it turns out to be "false." In other words, it's all show, with no substance. That sounds like it could fit any number of other things, right?
For example, you could easily make the necklace be a symbol of "wealth" – flashy, but false, in the end. And, like "wealth," the necklace is the object of Mathilde's deepest desire. It's possible that the revelation of the fraudulent necklace at the end is meant to mirror the falseness of Mathilde's dream of wealth. Having that wealth isn't worth the trouble, just like the false necklace wasn't worth ten years of absolute poverty. Then again, wealth seems to have its advantages: it certainly does wonders for Madame Forestier's looks, for example, while poverty ruins Mathilde's.
The necklace can also be taken to mean appearance. Looks are a key part of the world of wealth, because money buys appeal. Mathilde's unsatisfied because of the way her tiny, shabby house looks, and the way her lack of money prevents her from charming the people she wants to charm with her natural loveliness. The necklace is glamorous, and it gives her the opportunity to be the woman she wants to be, for an evening. Beneath the extravagant exterior, though, the necklace isn't worth anything – it's a fake. In that respect, it parallels Mathilde's own situation at the party: though she manages to fool everyone there, she's not wealthy, or important. At the end of the evening, she's still just a clerk's wife in a fancy, expensive dress with some fake jewels that aren't even her own.
The fact that the necklace is a fake may have more than one moral meaning. You could take it to mean that wealth, or appearances, are...