What is the setting for "The Necklace"?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Guy de Maupassant's story, "The Necklace" was originally published in the French newspaper La Gaulois, in February 1884. It is set in Paris, in the "contemporary" period of the late nineteenth century. Perhaps the most important element of its setting is socioeconomic. Mathilde Loisel is an aspiring member of the bourgeoisie, who was educated at a school with wealthier children. She aspires to be part of the upper bourgeois class, but due to her lack of dowry, she is married to a man who is a junior bureaucrat. That means that although his income is adequate for the necessities of life, it will not purchase the luxuries she desires. 

The first locale of the story is the Loisel apartment, which is plainly furnished, but adequate to their needs. We briefly see the luxurious home of Mathilde's school friend. The next place we encounter is the luxurious ballroom where Mathilde enjoys an evening of social success and the taxi cab they take back to their apartment. After the loss of the necklace, the couple moves to a cheaper apartment. The final scene is a chance encounter on the Champs-Elysees, a fashionable boulevard in Paris.

dwilsontexas | Student

The Necklace, a short story by Guy De Maupassant, was set in Paris in the late 1800's - probably early 1880's although that is not specifically told to the reader.  The story was first published in 1884.

Guy de Maupassant shares a keen insight into the social scene of Paris during this timeframe, which should help further define the setting of this story.