It would be characteristic of Maupassant to write a story in which he was expressing the idea that many people throw their lives away while chasing after meretricious things such as material possessions and the momentary pleasures of shining in the opinions of others. When Mathilde Loisel learns that the necklace was a fake, she realizes she has wasted a good part of her life for nothing but vanity. It is a tragic story. Her good-natured husband has suffered along with her. The story has resemblances to Flaubert's Madame Bovary, as well as to Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby and even Dreiser's An American Tragedy.