What are two examples of foreshadowing from "The Necklace"?

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davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Foreshadowing is a literary device whereby the author hints at future plot developments. In "The Necklace" there are quite a few examples, but here are two. First, when Madame Forrestier lends the necklace to Mathilde she does so without the slightest compunction. Mathilde most probably thinks that this is because Mme Forestier accepts her as a social equal and so has no doubt that her precious diamonds will be returned. Mathilde is so blinded by her snobbery and over-inflated sense of importance that she can't see the real reason behind Mme Forestier's "generosity."

Secondly, Mathilde and her husband go to the jeweler whose name is inside the empty case where Mme Forestier's lost necklace once was. He looks through his ledger books to see if he can find when he sold the lost item. His words are telling:

 "It was not I, madame, who sold the necklace; I must simply have supplied the case."

If the necklace really had been such a precious piece of jewelry then it wouldn't have been sold separately from the box. This gives us a hint that the diamond necklace is, like Mathilde, a complete fake.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

With foreshadowing being the use of hints or clues to suggest action to come, the dissastifaction of Madame Loisel with her life as the wife of a clerk in the Ministry of Education sets the tone for what the remainder of her life will become.

While she is elated to have the necklace of Mme. Forestier for the party, and she is the center of attention there, afterwards, Madame Loisel hurries down the stairs lest the other women see her shabby wrap.  When she and her husband cannot find a cab and they walk along the Seine, they are "disconsolate and shivering."  Their emotions soon will be most disconsolate when Mme. Loisel discovers that the necklace has fallen from her.

As her husband goes out to retrace their steps on foot, Mme. Loisel remains in her evening clothes, "\

without the strength to go to bed, slumped in a chair in the unheated room, her mind a blank.

This passage suggests that Mme. Loisel's life as she has known it has ended, and hers will be a desperate existence if her husband cannot find the necklace.

afrohmberg | Student

Foreshadowing occurs when the author hints at what will happen further in the story. In "The Necklace," there are a few instances of foreshadowing.

When the jeweler is asked about Madame Loisel's necklace, he responds "It was not I that sold her the necklace, I merely supplied the clasp." This indicates that the necklace itself did not come from the jewelry store and may not have been worth much.


Another example of foreshadowing is present in the opening line of the story "The girl was one of those pretty and charming young creatures who sometimes are born, as if by a slip of fate, into a family of clerks." This foreshadows that Mme. Loisel has never accepted her station in life and feels unsatisfied with her low social status. This also indicates that fate and financial status will play a key role in the story. Coming from a "family of clerks" ultimately lands Mme. Loisel in her financial struggle at the end of the text when she must replace the diamond necklace.

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The Necklace

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