Why does Madame Loisel visit Madame Forestier?

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jdslinky eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "The Necklace" by Guy de Maupassant, Madame Loisel is a woman who believes she was meant to be royalty; however, she leads a common life married to an employee of the Minister of Education: "She was one of those pretty, charming young women who are born, as if by an error of Fate, into a petty official's family," (1). In an effort to please and encourage his wife to socialize, Monsieur Loisel excitedly presents his wife with an invitation to a gala thrown by the Minister and his wife; however, she has the opposite reaction. "Instead of being delighted, as her husband had hoped, she tossed the invitation on the table and muttered, annoyed," (2).

Mme. Loisel's main issue with the invitation is that she feels she will be the laughingstock of the party as she has nothing appropriate to wear. "It's just that I have no evening dress and so I can't go to the party," (2). After a brief conversation with her husband, (during which he agrees to give her the 400 francs he's been saving for a hunting rifle so she may shop for an appropriate dress), she further laments that she has no accessories to accompany a fine outfit. "I hate not having a single jewel, not one stone, to wear," (2).

Trying to diminish her sadness, Monsieur Loisel offers his wife suggestions that she promptly turns down, until he remembers that she has a generous, rich friend who would certainly have jewels to compliment his wife's attire, "Wait-- you silly thing! Why don't you go and see Madame Forestier and ask her to lend you some jewelry," (3).

Agreeing that this is an applicable solution to her problem, Madame Loisel visits her wealthy friend, Madame Forestier.

Read the study guide:
The Necklace

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