“The Necklace” Guy de Maupassant (pages 608-615)
VOCABULARY • déclassé – (adj.) lowered in social status • resplendent: (adj.) shining brightly
SETTING • 1884 Paris, France • Loisel’s apartment • party at the Ministry of Education’s mansion
SUMMARY • Madame Loisel is in her apartment dreaming of a better life. She is unhappy and dissatisfied with her social status and mediocre surroundings. Mme & Msr. Loisel receive an invitation to an exquisite party. What do you think will happen?
POINT OF VIEW • 3rd person limited point of view • The author only focuses on Mme. Loisel’s thoughts and feelings.
TONE • Tone is the writer’s attitude toward the subject of the story. • How do you think the author feels about the main character and what happens to him/her? unsympathetic • Write one sentence that best describes the tone of the story.
CHARACTERS • Identify the main and minor characters in the story and identify them as dynamic or static characters and round or flat characters • Madame Loisel - selfish, charming, spoiled, daydreamer; beautiful, middle class • →→ages quickly, rough looking, poor • round and dynamic • Monsieur Loisel- kind, generous, loyal hard-working, wants to please wife; clerk for Ministry of Education, middle class • no evidence of change • round and static • Madame Forestier - generous; wealthy • flat and static
CONFLICT • Identify AND explainthe central conflict, as well as, any of the minor conflicts from the story. Determine whether or not the conflict is external or internal • CENTRAL CONFLICT - Mme. Loisel vs. herself: her excessive pride, materialism and shallowness cause her emotional torture as she feels she’s been deprived of luxuries. • internal • Minor Conflicts: • Mme. Loisel loses the Necklace – external • Mme. Loisel vs. M. Loisel; different values (although he is tolerant of her behavior and wants to please her) - external
THEME • 1. People should be happy with what they have. • 2. It is always best to be honest. • 3. You may pay a terrible price for greed and desire.
SYMBOLS • Necklace = • greed/desire for what one cannot have • differences in social classes • dishonesty • Mme. L’s ‘fakeness’ or want of material things • Dress = • M. Loisel sacrifice for his wife
QUESTIONS • Do you feel sorry for Mathilde? Why or why not? • As the story begins, why is Madame Loisel so unhappy with her life? Do you think the author wants readers to sympathize with her unhappiness at this time? Why or why not? • How does Madame Loisel’s husband respond to her disappointment over the invitation? How is Madame Loisel different from her husband? • Why is Madame Loisel so happy when her husband suggests that she go to see her wealthy friend, Madame Forestier?
QUESTIONS (cont) • What symbolic meaning does the necklace have for Madame Loisel when she wears it? • How does Madame Loisel change over the ten years she works to pay off the cost of the necklace? What actually causes her to change? • How is the end of the story ironic or surprising? • Do you think people who value material possessions too much are likely to face hardship in life? Why or why not?