In the story "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant, where does Mathilde live?

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liesljohnson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mathilde lives in Paris, in a relatively modest apartment, where the walls are "bare" and the chairs are "shabby."

You might say that, in Mathilde's imagination, she lives in an opulent mansion where she is attended to by many servants and presented with expensive, fancy meals. But the truth of her situation is that she's not a member of the aristocracy; she's married to a clerk, and they share that very basic and somewhat rundown apartment.

Though her home is important to the story, so is her city, Paris. How did I know she lives in Paris even though the text doesn't exactly say so?

Well, if you notice how people address each other with French titles, you know that they're somewhere in France. And when you see that there's a fancy ball going on, with plenty of aristocratic attendees, Paris becomes a good guess for the exact city. The narrator finally confirms this toward the middle of the story:

"At last they found on the quay one of those ancient night cabs which, as though they were ashamed to show their shabbiness during the day, are never seen round Paris until after dark."

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The Necklace

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