The Necklace By Guy de Maupassant
Characters • Protagonist – • MathildeLoisel • Antagonist – • life • Minor flat characters – • Mr. Loisel • Jeanne Forestier
Setting • Paris, France • around 1885
Plot • Mr. Loisel was a clerk for the Department of Education. • His wife thought she should have been born rich. • When invited to a ball, she did not want to go because she felt she had nothing to wear. • She told her husband that she needed 400 francs to buy a new dress.
Plot con’t. • Her husband had saved 400 francs to buy himself a gun, but he gave the money to her. • After the dress was made, Mathilde had a new reason not to go to the ball: she had no jewelry. • First, her husband told her to buy flowers, but that was not good enough. • Then, he told her to borrow jewelry from a rich school friend Madam Forestier. • Matilde borrowed a beautiful diamond necklace.
Plot con’t. • Mathilde had a wonderful time at the ball, but her joy turned to despair when she realized that she had lost the necklace. • Although they searched everywhere, they did not find it. • Mathilde told her friend that the clasp had broken, and she needed time to get it repaired. • Now they searched the city for a matching necklace. • The one they found cost thirty-six thousand francs.
Plot con’t. • Mr. and Mrs. Loisel sold what they had and borrowed money to pay for the necklace. • They lived lives of wretched poverty until they day that the necklace was finally paid for. • Meeting her school friend, Mathilde told her of all her suffering and the loss of the original necklace. • Her friend Jeanne was shocked because the necklace was an imitation that cost only 500 francs.
Irony • Situational irony – what happens is the opposite of what you expect. • The reader does not expect the necklace to be a fake.
Theme • Be content with what you have.
Tone • Sad
Quiz • What was Mr. Loisel’s job? • How much money did Mrs. Loisel say she needed for a new dress? • For what purchase had Mr. Loisel saved this much money? • What excuse did Mrs. Loisel give her friend for not returning the necklace? • What is the irony of the story? • What is the theme of the story?