Guy de Maupassant details the youth and early married life of Loisel in the short story “The Necklace.” These details become significant when it is revealed that the necklace was a fake.
Loisel, a beautiful girl, came from a poor background. She had no material goods when she marries a working class man, but she has a penchant for the finer things in life. The author tells the reader she longs for fine clothes, food, and jewels to the point of making herself miserable. She longs to be something she is not.
When her husband procures a much coveted invitation to a dance, her reaction is troubling to him. She claims she needs a new dress and jewels, which she knows they cannot afford. Her husband gives her his savings to purchase a dress but cannot buy jewelry. He suggests she wear flowers or borrow something from her school friend who is rich and has many pieces of jewelry for her to choose from.
All of these details take on more significance when it is revealed the necklace was a fake.
Since Loisel was never exposed to finery, she had no way to know the necklace she chose was not real. She did not realize her friend, Madame Forestier, agreed to lend her the necklace without hesitation or reservation even though the two rarely saw each other since their school days. If the necklace was real diamonds, one would expect the friend to be less willing to part with it so easily.
Madame Forestier went to her dressing-table, took up a large box, brought it to Madame Loisel, opened it, and said: "Choose, my dear."
It seems Madame Forestier thought she was aware of the fakery but obviously she was unaware of Madame Loisel’s naivety. The irony of the husband giving up his savings for his wife’s dress is exposed because both of them end in a life of drudgery for a fake piece of jewelry. If she did not put on airs by trying to be something she was not, and told her friend the truth about the necklace, their lives could have been very different.