To what extent is Madame Loisel’s life molded by the necklace and to what extent is her fate the result of her own personality?this is for a study guide and im not really sure about the answer or...

To what extent is Madame Loisel’s life molded by the necklace and to what extent is her fate the result of her own personality?

this is for a study guide and im not really sure about the answer or how i would answer it=D

Asked on by simplylex

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mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Like the necklace itself, Madame Loisel is "only paste," not genuine. Although she has attended the same school as Mme. Forestier, Mme Loisel does not have the polish of a lady.  She rudely asks Mme. Forestier, "Haven't you something else?" when her friend graciously asks her to select whatever she wants from the jewelry presented her. 

At the ball, she dances madly, "giving no thought to anything in ... the pride of her success..." Ignoring her husband, she revels in the elusive moment that is no more real than her necklace.  Later, after having lost the necklace, she gives little thought to the sacrifices that her husband makes;  Mme Loisel "played her part...with sudden heroism," too proud to apologize to her husband for her error.  Finally, when her debt is paid and she has replaced the necklace, Mme Loisel blames her friend for the loss of her looks:  "I've had ...misfortunes--and all on account of you."  Even in the end Mme. Loisel fails to recognize what is of real worth and what is not.  The irony of her proud and simple joy when she asks Mme Forestier "You never noticed [the difference in necklaces]?" cannot be missed by the reader.

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ms-mcgregor's profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Mme. Loisel's extreme desire to life a better life that she really can afford is mostly responsible for her problem. After being asked to the ball, she insists she must have better clothes and jewelry than her husband can afford so she borrows the necklace. Then, her inability to simply tell Madame Forestier that she lost the necklace results in years of hard work results in her losing the beauty she was so proud of. Had she told the truth in the first place, instead of trying to look like someone she was not, she would have discovered the jewels in the necklace were not real. Although Mme. Loisel is to be commended for all her hard work trying to pay off the debt caused by the necklace, her situation was a result of the choices she made herself.

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