Explain why Mme Loisel leaves in a hurry after the ball.

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Mathilde has an attractive new gown and is wearing what she thinks is an expensive diamond necklace, but she has old and cheap-looking "wraps" to put on when she is finally ready to go home. By "wraps" the author means short garments that only cover the shoulders and upper part of the woman's body. We might call such a garment a "stole." Mathilde has had a grand success at the ball. She has been admired by all the men and envied by all the women. She is anxious to get away quickly because she doesn't want the women to see that she is really a poor Cinderella who can't afford the kind of wraps all the other women will be putting on.

Of all living things, women dread women most of all, and of all women the clever and beautiful.
                                                                                       Theodore Dreiser, The Titan

Her husband is anxious to get away too. It is already four o'clock in the morning, and he has to be at work at the Ministry of Education at ten.

He threw over her shoulders the garments he had brought for them to go home in, modest everyday clothes, whose poverty clashed with the beauty of the ball-dress. She was conscious of this and was anxious to hurry away, so that she should not be noticed by the other women putting on their costly furs.

This is where the clasp of the necklace probably comes undone, although the necklace itself might not fall off under the wraps for some time. If they both hadn't been in such a hurry to get away, the necklace might never have been lost. Mathilde has to put on those wraps because it is bitterly cold outside. The invitation specifies that the date is January the 18th.

 

 

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