At a young age, I was taught the value of the dollar. When it comes to money I am a saver. I have always tried to save every penny, and when I had a little extra I would treat myself to something I had been wanting. I always tell myself, “Save your money, you never know when something you really need or would really like to have could come along.” When it comes to having a lot of money and a lot of possessions, I don’t really need all of it. Yes, every now and then it’s nice to go out and go shopping for new things. I’m a girl; most girls like to do that type of thing. Being materialistic does not mean you will always be happy. When you get something that you think you ought to have and you get it and after a while, its “wow” factor wears off. Then you aren’t as happy as you are when you got it. What are you doing then? Spend time with people that make you happy or pick up a new hobby that you are found of.
Having a certain status in society does not mean a thing to me now. When I was in middle school I decided I should try out for cheerleading because all of my “friends” were doing it. I thought the title of being a cheerleader would make people like me more and I would become “popular”. I always thought I had to dress to impress the people at my school to be better than them. I would shop at stores that the clothes were way too expensive and waste all the money that I had saved. It turned out that none of it mattered. I finally figured that out near the end of eighth grade. Having a good personality and being yourself is what will attract people, being yourself will help you find your true friends. Doing the things that YOU love and making YOURSELF happy is what matters most.
The comparison and the contrast between “The Gift of the Magi” and “The Necklace” are similar and different. In “The Gift of the Magi” is a story about a couple who will sacrifice their most valuable things for each other, to buy each other a Christmas present. And “The Necklace” is a story about a young woman who was blessed with physical beauty but wasn’t fortunate enough to be blessed with wealth. Her husband and she were invited to a formal event, ashamed of her clothing she demanded a proper dress but came to find she had no jewels. She asked a friend to borrow some and ended up borrowing a diamond necklace. When the event was over the necklace has disappeared and the couple had to equip the friend with another. Having to pay back the money landed the couple in serious debt for ten years. In the end the friend’s necklace wasn’t worth the amount it portrayed for it was a fake.
A difference in the two stories is the main characters, Della (The Gift of the Magi) and Mathilde Loisel (The Necklace). Della is a loving wife who works very hard to try and surprise her husband with a Christmas gift. When time is running out to earn more money she has to sell her lengthy valuable hair. She will do anything for her husband even giving up her beauty, knowing that her husband would possibly look at her differently. When Jim says, “I don’t think there’s anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less.” Della knows that possessing long hair or not her husbands’ feelings for her will always be the same. Mathilde is an ungrateful middle-class woman whose dream is to be accepted in a ‘high society’. She longs for wealth and to be admired by women and even men who aren’t her husband. She is a very materialistic person. The two women are also unlike each other in the way they treat their husbands. When Della is trying to figure out what to buy her husband for Christmas she thought, “Something fine and rare and sterling-something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.
The quote means that Della feels like the luckiest girl in the world to have Jim. It doesn’t matter to her if she possesses nothing else just as long as she has him by her side. It shows how madly in love she is with him. Mathilde thinks the exact opposite of her husband. Her feelings are made known when she states, “…she let herself be married off to a little clerk in the Ministry of Education.” She feels as if she could have gotten better but she let herself settle with him. Another way she shows how unthoughtful she is. When her husband comes home with an invitation to a formal event he expects her to be happy because she doesn’t get out often. But she acts completely differently than expected. When given the invitation she replies with, “what do you want me to do with this?” She is upset at the thought that she has nothing to wear to such an event and will be embarrassed and outcast for looking simple and poor. She insists her husband give her four hundred francs; he hesitates because he has been saving for a while to buy himself a gun. That shows how little Mathilde cares about what makes her husband happy. Why can’t Mathilde earn her own money and buy her own dress, or make alterations to her theatre dress? The similarity in the two stories is that they both have an ending with a twist.