When Mme. Forestier reveals that the necklace was a fake, the reader feels the force of the irony. Explain why her revelation is ironic. How did you respond to this surprise twist in the story?
Working ten long years to replace the necklace she lost, Madame Loisel has greatly aged. She runs into Madame Forestier and decides to explain why she looks so much older than she used to look:
While spending many years in poverty, toiling to repay the debt of replacing the necklace, Madame Loisel prematurely loses her physical beauty.
Madam Forestier does not even recognize Madame Loisel. Madame Loisel tells Madame Forestier the truth about losing the necklace and borrowing money to replace it:
[Madame Forstier] does not recognize her old friend when they meet and is ‘‘deeply moved’’ when she learns that the Loisels had spent the last decade in debt to replace her necklace.
Madame Forestier then reveals that the necklace was a fake. She admits that the necklace was not genuine. The story takes on a twist and ends ironically. The reader is as saddened to hear the truth as Madame Forestier is having to reveal the truth. The fake necklace represents the fake life that Madame Loisel presented at the ball. She pretended to be what she was not. Although she should have been content with her beauty, she was not. Now, ten years later, she has aged so much until she is no longer as beautiful. The irony is that Madame Loisel has worked ten years to pay for a replacement necklace when the original was fake:
The story's greatest irony, however, is embodied in the necklace itself; while it appears to be a piece of jewelry of great value, it is really an imitation.
Ironically, it takes this turn of events to help Madame Loisel learn to be content with what she has in life. Finally, after ten long years of working, scrubbing floors, Madame Loisel finds peace and contentment. If only she had been content in the beginning, she would have never borrowed the necklace. She would have never lost the necklace. The irony of it all is that Madame did not see how beautiful she was naturally. Now, with her natural beauty fading due to hard work, Madame Loisel is content. This twist of events makes the story interesting. In the end, madame Loisel is a better person than she was when she wore the fake necklace.
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