In “The Necklace,” the theme can be described as materialism leads to loss because of the symbolism in the story that shows materialism makes Madame Loisel borrow what she doesn’t need, it doesn’t lead to satisfaction, and it costs more than money.
Materialism costs more than money. Madame Loisel borrows a lot of money to pay for the lost diamond necklace, and has to spend ten years earning that money back. At the end of the ten years, she “appeared an old woman…She became heavy, rough, harsh…Her hair untended, her skirts askew, her hands red, her voice shrill” (de Maupassant 233). More than losing all her money, she has lost the things she used to be very proud of: her appearance and her charm. Being materialistic and borrowing (then losing) the necklace ten years before lost her the good things that were in her life.
This is definitely a theme people still need! No matter how much or how little people have, they tend to want more, but don’t realize that they could be gambling with the good things in their lives too.