In "The Necklace," what does Madame Loisel's last conversation with her friend reveal about her character? At the end Madame Loisel says that she had spent ten years of hard work because...

In "The Necklace," what does Madame Loisel's last conversation with her friend reveal about her character?

At the end Madame Loisel says that she had spent ten years of hard work because of her friend. She still blames her for what happened.

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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"When Mme. Forestier asks if Mme. Loisel bought a diamond necklace to replace hers, Mme. Loisel replies, "Yes. You never noticed, then? They were quite alike."  Maupassant writes, "And she smiled with proud and simple joy."  This statement as well as Mme. Loisel's previous remark that she had a hard time all on account of Mme. Forestier indicate the perverse values of Mathilde Loisel.  To have admitted to her negligence would have been sensible and realistic, but Mme. Loisel refuses to humble herself, instead blaming Mme. Forestier; even in her admission of having lost the necklace, she takes a perverse pride since she was able to afford--albeit through years of hardship--the diamond necklace.  Clearly, Mme. Loisel has never learned that material things have less value than spiritual.  The story ends without her having apologized to her sacrificing husband or, at least, having acknowledged her husband's efforts along with hers.  No, she only uses "I" in her final conversation since she, like many people today, perceives all that happens to her subjectively.

pmiranda2857's profile pic

pmiranda2857 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Madame Loisel, from the beginning of the story is a shallow individual who does not have a clear perception about the meaning of life.  She puts so much emphasis on material wealth and how it can divide people, that she never communicates the loss of the necklace to Madame Forrester. 

She assumes that she will be rejected by this woman who has more money and position than her.  She fears Madame Forrester's reaction to the loss of the necklace, she feels terrible shame at having lost it.   

Instead of confronting the problem of the lost necklace honestly and openly with Madame Forrester, Madame Loisel and her poor husband struggle and suffer to replace the necklace, become enslaved by a loan that is difficult and nearly impossible to pay back.

If she still blames the woman for her ten years of hard work, it is because she was intimated by her social status, believing that rich people are better people than poor people or working people.

Madame Loisel may be jealous of Madame Forrester even at the end of the story, because by then she has also lost her physical beauty and delicate appearance to the harsh reality of years of back breaking labor.  In an effort to be honest and upstanding, trying to replace the necklace, Madame Loisel only proves how silly and shallow she really is, sacrificing her life for nothing.

sanoyjk's profile pic

sanoyjk | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

it shows that she is very happy on repaying her debt and is bold enough to talk about it to Madam Forrester

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