It’s depressing how human behaviour doesn’t evolve. Well at least that’s what it feels like after reading the desolate short story, ‘The Necklace’. This plot has the flavour of a Kanye & Kim vignette (but not April 2018 moral philosopher Kanye). Not least because it involves jewellery in Paris. Whilst I did not grow up poor, I grew up in a materially precarious environment. Nothing was taken for granted and luxuries were speculative and mostly realised through bank loans. The longest relationship I’ve ever had is with debt. Why? Because I also wanted what I didn’t have. I wanted to live in a city I was not born in and then in a country I was not born in. I had an idea of the life I should be living, and whilst it didn’t involve jewellery or designer handbags, I had a sharp sense of entitlement. ‘The Necklace’ highlights how odious an trait entitlement is and how recklessly we can mistake imprisonment for escape.
Collected in The Necklace & Other Tales, 2003. Can be read online here