"The Necklace," a short story by Guy de Maupassant, narrates the tale of a beautiful young woman whose life changes dramatically after she loses a necklace she borrows for a ball.These events occur in the story. Which of them is most likely to take place in the story's exposition?

  • She realizes that the lost necklace was fake.
  • She works hard to pay off the debt she incurs.
  • She regrets having borrowed the necklace.
  • She receives an invitation to the ball.

Expert Answers

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In the short story The Necklace, the only one of those choices that falls into the exposition is the last one: she finds out she has an invitation to the ball. The exposition is where the characters are introduced and the problem is established. In this story, the problem, in Mathilde's mind, is that she is going to be embarrassed at the ball because she feels she and her husband are poor. But are they? They have a nice home with ornate items, food, clothing and even a maid. The story is told from her point of view, which is why on first read they seem poor when, in actuality, they are doing fine. The husband even has a bunch of money saved up!

The other items all happen later in the story, and are part of the rising action, climax, and falling action.

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