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How does Madame Loisel change at the end of "The Necklace" from how she was before she...

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lizzi3 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 18, 2012 at 10:28 PM via web

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How does Madame Loisel change at the end of "The Necklace" from how she was before she lost the necklace?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 18, 2012 at 10:49 PM (Answer #1)

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Madame Loisel, from Guy du Maupassant's short story, "The Necklace," is a dynamic character (this means she undergoes dramatic change over the course of the story--unlike a static character who does not change).

In the beginning of the story, Madame Loisel is a person who is not accepting of her place in the soc ail structure of life. She believes that she should be a woman who lives a luxurious life, attending parties and wearing the best jewels and clothing.

Her tastes were simple because she had never been able to afford any other, but she was as unhappy as though she had married beneath her.

In trying to make his wife happy, M. Loisel is able to obtain an invitation to a party. Instead, of being happy, Madame Loisel states that she cannot go on the account that she has no dress or jewels. She is able to purchase a dress (from her husband's savings) and borrow a necklace from a friend. Unfortunately, she loses the necklace. In order to replace the necklace, she and her husband worked for ten years to pay off the multiple loans it took to purchase a replacement.

Over the ten years, Madame Loisel realized what it meant to be truly poor. Her mindset regarding poverty and what it meant to work changed. She, too, was required to work. In the end, Madame Loisel did not only change mentally, she also changed physically (from the demanding work she had to do).

Therefore, Madame Loisel changes dramatically over the course of the story. She no longer expects the life of the rich. She realizes that she did have a good life when looking back. One could assume that she would have taken back the night at the party if she would not have had to come to know real poverty.


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englishguru4 | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted May 28, 2013 at 4:37 AM (Answer #2)

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Mathilde was a very materialistic person at the beginning of the story and wanted to appear to be rich and sophisticated. By the end of the story she was no longer materialistic and no longer cared about appearances. She was simply happy to have her debt repaid.

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