The Necklace


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The Necklace | Study Guide

He is admired by book-lovers all over the world. Once you have read a story of his, you will be hooked for life. A woman is invited to a ballroom party. In fact, her husband, a clerk, has gone through great trouble to get the invitation card as only the rich and the famous have been invited. However, the woman is not happy. On being asked as to why she felt unhappy, she replies that she has no dress t A caricature of Guy de Maupassant. On being asked as to why she felt unhappy, she replies that she has no dress to wear on the occasion. Her husband tells her that he had saved francs to buy a hunting rifle.

But he sacrifices for her sake and gives her the money, asking her to buy herself the dress that she liked best. He advises her to get a rose necklace which she could buy for a few francs. However, she wants to wear something expensive around her neck with such a beautiful dress. When her husband tells her that she could borrow one from a close friend, she is delighted and does exactly that.

Soon she returns with a diamond necklace. A sketch of ballroom dancing along with an extract from "The Necklace". On the day of the ballroom party, she looks ravishing and becomes the cynosure of all eyes. All the men want to dance with her. She feels ecstatic. Time flies away and it is time to return home. The couple walks some distance to catch a cab. On reaching home, the wife discovers that the necklace is missing; it has been lost somewhere. How the missing necklace changes the couple's life is the gist of the story.

The short story teaches us a moral that we should be satisfied with whatever we have and not be greedy to attain something which is out of our reach. Desires need to be controlled at times. If you don't, it might end up ruining your entire life. An unwanted desire can fill your life with misery, turning you old at jet-speed. View all 13 comments. Dec 02, Razan rated it really liked it Shelves: short-stories-novellas , classics , read-for-school. View 2 comments. Jul 15, Steven Godin rated it really liked it Shelves: france , short-stories. He writes about ordinary people, but he paints their lives in colors that are rich with adultery, marriage, prostitution, murder, and war.

During his lifetime, he created nearly stories, and in my opinion a far greater writer of the short story than the novel.

The Necklace

Mathilde Loisel - a woman seemingly "fated" to her status in life. She is selfish and self-involved, tortured and angry that she can't purchase the jewels and clothing that she desires. Maupassant writes, "She suffered ceaselessly, feeling herself born for all the delicacies and all the luxuries. Wishing to appear wealthy to the other women at a ball, she borrowed a diamond necklace from a wealthy friend, after having a great time, she descends into poverty.

I don't want to give anything else away here, but will add the ending hit me like a tom of bricks, the final line is read and the world of that story comes crashing down around us. A classic short-story jewel in the crown. Dec 17, Jessaka rated it liked it. The Marsh book was first read by my friend Julie when we were in Mexico. She found it in our hotel room. She gave it to me to read. Said it was good. I looked at the list of characters, told her who the murdered was, and she gave me a strange look.

I read the book and was right. Well, this story was captivating.

Who knows I may try other short stories, at least by him, but maybe not because I have 2, plus books on my kindle, not to say how many I own as paperback and hardback, and I am sure that I will not be alive to finish them all, mainly because I keep getting new books. What can I say? This story was about a woman who wanted to be wealthy; she wanted rich friends. I understood the perfect. I hate clutter, and I consider myself a decorator in the way of Country Living Magazine, but my style is not English Country, nothing fancy.

I have a husband that finds clutter okay. I gave up. He has his own cluttered corner, a room with a desk and my lovely back porch with wicker furniture also has room for his tools. Easier to get to than to walk out to his shop. But now this is where this woman and I part ways. Her husband got tickets to go to a ball, one with the wealthy people. Maybe only the rich go to balls. He was a clerk. I think she married beneath what she desired, but she probably had no choice. Anyway, she so wanted to go to the ball, but she needed a dress, an expensive one.

He gave her the money for it, the money he was saving for a gun to go hunting with a friend.

Nice guy who deserved a better wife, because she gladly took the money. I hate parties.

Revisited: Sloane Crosley Rereads Maupassant’s “The Necklace”

I would even hate to give one. I dated a few doctors and lawyers while in college, and I finally realized that these men would expect me to have parties. Plus, the ones I dated were boring. I had one doctor buy me a dress to go to one of his parties. We were going to marry, so it was okay. Stupid me.


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I hated the party. We broke up soon after, but for other reasons. That was good. But I will say one thing. I did like the food. My friends and I crashed a party in Berkeley, just said that we were friends of Mary. Everyone knows a Mary. We ate the food and left. They may have danced and socialized. Maybe it is that I hate going out at night, always have. Maybe it is because they dance all night or the talk is boring. The conversations are boring. I hate small talk. I can listen and eat. So this stupid woman goes to the party, but not before she borrows a diamond necklace.

Who in their right mind would borrow an expensive necklace? My jewelry is all hippie jewelry or some hippied type that I bought at a store. Why would anyone wear anything different? And I would never let anyone borrow any of it. You cannot replace Telegraph Avenue jewelry from Berkeley.

Street artists sold their jewelry on Telegraph Avenue. And who wants an expensive dress? I never got over my hippie days. Never got over my growing years of wearing jeans and cowboy boots. My dresses are tie dyed and loose, and I seldom wear them. But now if you are going to say that I just fear rich people, well, not true.

I have some wealthy friends, but some are earthy. One of my friends was married to a rich doctor, divorced, and her daughter married a Rockefeller, but she wears khakis. I once took a course in college where they analyzed a book. It took the joy out of reading. View all 3 comments. Jun 06, Rym rated it liked it Shelves: classics , short-stories. Actual rating: 3. It was first published in the French newspaper Le Gaulois in The Necklace tells the story of Madame Mathilde Loisel — a beautiful woman— who has always expressed her dissatisfaction with her social stratum.

Tropes used by the story:

This latter has always perceived the fact that she was born into a lower-middle-class family as being an "accident of fate Actual rating: 3. But she's cooped up in the house all day with nothing to do, and her days are marked with boredom beyond belief. Her only way out of dealing with it is to live in a fantasy world of glamour, wealth, and beautiful people. Does that situation really seem all that far-removed from today? In many ways, the figure of the dissatisfied housewife is just as relevant now as it was then.

Just like Maupassant's contemporaries, we're still fascinated by it, perhaps because we're troubled by it. Why else would a show actually called Desperate Housewives be so popular? And can't we all relate in some way to Mathilde's desire to live a more exciting, glamorous life, even if we can only do it in daydreams? You also won't find a more perfect encapsulation in story form of an experience we can certainly all relate to: the "if I hadn't lost that one thing! That's right, if you think losing something once ruined your day, just wait until you see what happens to Mathilde.

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It's painful to read about, yes, but sometimes it's good to have a reminder of just how badly chance can ruin your life. Finally, if you like interesting plots and crafty endings with a twist, they don't get much more classic than this one. Plus the story's just five pages. And like we said earlier, it's kind of like Madame Bovary writ small. She left about four o'clock in the morning. Since midnight her husband had been dozing in a deserted little room, in company with three other men whose wives were having a good time.

The Necklace

He threw over her shoulders the garments he had brought for them to go home in, modest everyday clothes, whose poverty clashed with the beauty of the ball-dress. She was conscious of this and was anxious to hurry away, so that she should not be noticed by the other women putting on their costly furs. But she did not listen to him and rapidly descended-the staircase. When they were out in the street they could not find a cab; they began to look for one, shouting at the drivers whom they saw passing in the distance. They walked down towards the Seine, desperate and shivering. At last they found on the quay one of those old nightprowling carriages which are only to be seen in Paris after dark, as though they were ashamed of their shabbiness in the daylight.

It brought them to their door in the Rue des Martyrs, and sadly they walked up to their own apartment. It was the end, for her. As for him, he was thinking that he must be at the office at ten. She took off the garments in which she had wrapped her shoulders, so as to see herself in all her glory before the mirror. But suddenly she uttered a cry. The necklace was no longer round her neck! They searched in the folds of her dress, in the folds of the coat, in the pockets, everywhere.

They could not find it. They stared at one another, dumbfounded. At last Loisel put on his clothes again. And he went out. She remained in her evening clothes, lacking strength to get into bed, huddled on a chair, without volition or power of thought. He went to the police station, to the newspapers, to offer a reward, to the cab companies, everywhere that a ray of hope impelled him. She waited all day long, in the same state of bewilderment at this fearful catastrophe. Loisel came home at night, his face lined and pale; he had discovered nothing.

That will give us time to look about us. Next day they took the box which had held the necklace and went to the jewellers whose name was inside.

“The Necklace”

He consulted his books. Then they went from jeweller to jeweller, searching for another necklace like the first, consulting their memories, both ill with remorse and anguish of mind. In a shop at the Palais-Royal they found a string of diamonds which seemed to them exactly like the one they were looking for. It was worth forty thousand francs. They were allowed to have it for thirty-six thousand. They begged the jeweller not tO sell it for three days. And they arranged matters on the understanding that it would be taken back for thirty-four thousand francs, if the first one were found before the end of February.

Loisel possessed eighteen thousand francs left to him by his father. He intended to borrow the rest. He did borrow it, getting a thousand from one man, five hundred from another, five louis here, three louis there. He gave notes of hand, entered into ruinous agreements, did business with usurers and the whole tribe of money-lenders. He mortgaged the whole remaining years of his existence, risked his signature without even knowing it he could honour it, and, appalled at the agonising face of the future, at the black misery about to fall upon him, at the prospect of every possible physical privation and moral torture, he went to get the new necklace and put down upon the jeweller's counter thirty-six thousand francs.

When Madame Loisel took back the necklace to Madame Forestier, the latter said to her in a chilly voice:. She did not, as her friend had feared, open the case. If she had noticed the substitution, what would she have thought? What would she have said? Would she not have taken her for a thief? M adame Loisel came to know the ghastly life of abject poverty. From the very first she played her part heroically. This fearful debt must be paid off.

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