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The Elements of the Story of the Necklace

I. THE NECKLACE by Guy de Maupassant

II. SYNOPSIS /SUMMARY

A young woman named Mathilde Loisel is married to a little clerk of the Ministry of Public Instruction. They live a poor life, which Mathilde hates. One day, they are invited to a grand ball where the rich people will be. Mathilde buys a new gown from her husband’s savings intended to buy him a gun for shooting larks, for his hobby. To go with that very elegant gown, she borrows a diamond necklace from her friend Madame Forestier. At the ball, Mathilde is prettier than any woman there. When they arrive home after that ball, she discovers that the borrowed necklace is gone. She and her husband try to find it, but are not able to, so they buy another one exactly the same, for thirty-four thousand francs, from its original price of forty francs; such a very big amount of money for the couple. They use up Mathilde’s husband’s inheritance, borrowed from usurers, and they work odd jobs for ten years just to make up for that amount. After a decade, Mathilde sees Madame Forestier by chance, and after those years, finally confesses that the necklace she returned was a replacement. Madame Forestier is shocked, and tells her that the necklace she lent her was fake, worth at most five hundred francs.

III. SHORT STORY ELEMENTS

A. CHARACTERS

There are three main characters in this short story:

1. Mathilde Loisel, the wife
2. The little clerk of the Ministry of Public Instruction, the husband
3. Madame Forestier, the friend who lent Mathilde a diamond necklace

B. PLOT

a) Introduction
Mathilde, the main woman character in this short story, is being described as unhappy because of her and her husband’s being poor.

b) Rising Action
The complication starts when she and her husband are invited to a rich people’s ball. She buys a new gown, and to go with it, she borrows an elegant diamond necklace from her friend Madame Forestier.

c) Climax
The peak of this short story is when Mathilde discovers that she lost the diamond necklace.

 

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