The Necklace Rising Action

What is the rising action of "The Necklace?"

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The first couple of paragraphs offer exposition on Madame Loisel.  Exposition is the term for the background information offered by the narrator, typically at the beginning of a story, in order to acquaint the reader either with information they need to understand about the characters or setting, or to tell us about events that took place before the story begins.

The rising action refers to the events that take place prior to the climax of the story, excluding any exposition.  The climax, to my mind, is when Madame Forestier tells her old friend, Madame Loisel, that the necklace she lent ten years prior contained imitation diamonds and was worth, at the most, five hundred francs instead of the thirty-six thousand francs the Loisels had paid for a replacement necklace when Mathilde lost the original.  I believe this is the climax because this is the turning point, the moment of the greatest tension in the story.  It is also the last event that takes place in the story, meaning that there is no falling action or resolution.

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The rising action of any story is the portion of the text which falls between the introduction and the climax. In the introduction, the setting and characters are introduced. In "The Necklace," the introduction consists of the introduction of Monsieur and Madame Loisel (a small description of Madame Forestier) and the rather shabby home the Loisel's live in. The rising action begins when M. Loisel gives his wife, Mathilde, an invitation to a party.

Therefore, the rising action includes the following things:

-Mathilde's need of a dress (her husband gives her 400 francs to buy one)

-Mathilde's need of jewelry (her husband suggests she borrow one from Madame Forestier)

-Mathilde is readily accepted at the party (everyone wishes to be introduced to her and to dance with her)

-Mathilde regards herself in the mirror so she can imprint her image in her mind and remember the night forever

-Mathilde realizes she has lost the necklace.

After realizing she has lost the necklace, the remainder of the story is left to the falling action (or denoument) and the conclusion. The falling action consists of getting a new necklace and signing loans to pay for it, working for 10 years to pay off the debt, and Mathilde becoming an unrecognizable woman. The conclusion is where Mathilde runs into Madame Forestier and finds out the necklace was fake.

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