What happens in the story "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant?

In "The Necklace," Mathilde Loisel yearns to live a rich and extravagant life. One night, she borrows a friend's diamond necklace so that she can attend a fancy event with her husband. She loses the necklace, feels compelled to replace it, and spends the next ten years working herself to the bone to pay it off. Ultimately, she learns that the necklace was costume jewelry and not worth a tenth of what the replacement cost.

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In Guy de Maupassant's short story "The Necklace," an entitled woman named Mathilde Loisel is married to a humble clerk who works at the Ministry of Public Instruction, and she is dissatisfied with her middle-class lifestyle.

Mathilde is extremely superficial and desperately wishes to experience life as...

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In Guy de Maupassant's short story "The Necklace," an entitled woman named Mathilde Loisel is married to a humble clerk who works at the Ministry of Public Instruction, and she is dissatisfied with her middle-class lifestyle.

Mathilde is extremely superficial and desperately wishes to experience life as a wealthy aristocratic. She constantly daydreams of residing in palatial estates, socializing with other wealthy women, and wearing expensive clothing with stunning jewelry. One day, Monsieur Loisel shows his wife an exclusive invitation to a ball at the Ministry and is astonished when she refuses to go. Mathilde insists that she has nothing pretty to wear, and Monsieur Loisel ends up giving her four hundred francs to purchase a nice dress.

Mathilde remains upset because she does not have any jewelry to wear but ends up borrowing an attractive diamond necklace from her friend Madame Forestier. Mathilde and her husband then attend the ball and have a magnificent time. However, Mathilde loses Madame Forestier's necklace, and her husband spends all night looking for it. After a week of searching for the necklace, Monsieur Loisel spends his life savings and takes out numerous loans to purchase a similar diamond necklace for thirty-six thousand francs. Mathilde then returns the new diamond necklace to Madame Forestier and spends the next ten years living in poverty and endlessly working to pay off the debts.

The couple is forced to move into a smaller residence, and Mathilde loses her beauty over the ten arduous years. Eventually, the couple manages to pay off the necklace, and Mathilde randomly sees Madame Forestier one day. Initially, Madame Forestier does not recognize Mathilde but learns the truth about her necklace. When Mathilde confesses that she has sacrificed ten years of her life to pay off the necklace, Madame Forestier informs her that the necklace she lost was simply a cheap imitation.

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In this short story, a woman called Mathilde Loisel laments that she was not born rich and that she could not marry into a rich family. She feels herself to be quite an object of pity, because she is beautiful and charming and longs to move up in high society, but she married a government employee who cannot offer her the life she yearns for.

One day, her husband comes home with an invitation to a fancy party with some government bigwigs, expecting her to be excited. Instead, however, Mme. Loisel gets really upset, because she has nothing to wear to such an event. He promises her the money he’s been saving for himself so that she can purchase a new dress. Still, she is unhappy because she has no jewels to wear, so she borrows some from an affluent friend, Mme. Forestier.

On the night of the big event, Mme. Loisel is the life of the party. She feels beautiful and looks it, and everyone seems to be in awe of her. When she arrives home, however, she realizes that the necklace she borrowed is gone. She and her husband look for it to no avail, and they decide to take out loans to purchase another nearly identical necklace to return to Mme. Forestier. The couple then spends the next ten years working themselves to the bone to pay back the loans they took out. They move to smaller lodgings, let their servant girl go, and reduce their expenses in every way possible. When Mme. Loisel sees Mme. Forestier one day, she confesses that she’d lost the necklace and replaced it with a duplicate. Mme. Forestier informs her that the original necklace was only costume jewelry and was, therefore, nearly worthless.

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In "The Necklace," Madame Loisel learns a lesson about what is really important in life. In the beginning, Madame Loisel is dissatisfied with life. She "suffers incessantly," feeling that she was born for the finer things in life. She complains about not having fine jewels. She is an ungrateful person. She complains about her shabby walls and lack of luxuries in life.

When her husband brings home an invitation to a fancy ball, she complains that she has nothing to wear. She frets because she does not have fancy jewels. She is bitter about the life she leads. She imagines herself as one born to have fine clothes and fancy jewels. She is not appreciative of the things she does have. For example, she is beautiful, a natural beauty. She also has a husband who dotes upon her. She has a maid. She lives a middle class lifestyle yet she complains because she isn't rich.

Deciding to go to the ball, she borrows a sparkling necklace from her friend Madame Forestier. Adorned for the ball, she feels as if she should have been born for such fine jewels.

She dances the night away and shines in her beauty. The necklace makes her feel rich and pretty. After the ball, she realizes that she has lost the necklace. She and her husband borrow money to replace the necklace. Madame Forestier does not notice the necklace has been replaced.

Working ten long years to pay off the loans, Madame Loisel sees Madame Forestier and decides to share the truth about losing the necklace and replacing it. Madame Forestier reveals that her original necklace had been a fake.

In the end, Madame Loisel claims to be content in life. She has learned what true poverty is and has found herself "decently content." She has learned the meaning of hard work. she has lost the lustor of her beauty. She is haggard looking. Her nails are broken and her clothing is "awry." Her appearance has changed: 

Madame Loisel looked old now. She had become like all the other strong, hard, coarse women of poor households. Her hair was badly done, her skirts were awry, her hands were red. She spoke in a shrill voice, and the water slopped all over the floor when she scrubbed it. 

In the end, she is taking a peaceful walk outdoors. Now, she enjoys the simple things in life such as walk outdoors. She learned the hard way what life is really all about and to think, the necklace she wore to the ball was a fake.     

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