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What is the irony in the story "The Necklace"?

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jesschen | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 20, 2008 at 8:48 PM via web

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What is the irony in the story "The Necklace"?

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melrouslin | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 21, 2008 at 8:56 PM (Answer #1)

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In Guy de Maupussant's The Necklace a women becomes bored with her own life and covets the life of the wealthy. When finally given her chance to mingle among those she envies she feels inadequate in dress and appearance. She askes of her wealthy friend a favor, to borrow a piece of jewelry that would help her fit in. She chooses a beautiful diamond necklace. Unfortunatly the necklace is lost. This women works for years and years to buy an identical necklace, only to find out the one she borrowed was a fake.
The irony is found in the fact that borowing the necklace was what she hoped would help her into the life she coveted, yet it was also what put her into a life of poverty.

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linda-allen | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted November 20, 2008 at 10:38 PM (Answer #2)

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In the short story "The Necklace," Madame Loisel has lost the diamond necklace that she borrowed from Madame Forestier. In a panic, she and her husband scrape together enough money to buy a replacement. She had to work hard for many years to repay the loans, having to give up her wealthy lifestyle and scrimp and save for ten long years. When she happens to  meet Madame Forestier in the park after those hard years, Madame Loisel can't hold her tongue. She blames Forestier for her hardship, and explains what she had to do to replace the necklace.

The irony: the necklace was costume jewelry, worth very little money!

The irony in this story can be called situational irony. See the links below for more information. 

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starberryvie | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted October 17, 2012 at 4:32 AM (Answer #3)

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1) Madame Loisel gave up 10 years of her life just to tell a lie that she lost the necklace.

2) The necklace was fake, it's irony because Mme. Loisel had never expected to borrow a fake necklace from her rich friend, Mme. Fostier.

3) The necklace was supposed to make Mme. Loisel look rich but it actually made her poorer than before.

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