Write a different end to the story, assuming that either Madame Loisel never lost or that she found "The Necklace."
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"The Necklace" is similar to Steinbeck's novel, The Pearl in the respect that a material object tragically changes their lives. Perhaps, Madame Loisel can find the necklace behind the cab seat from long ago. Once she finds it, she loses her mind and insists upon wearing it, but she wears it in an asylum, where she relives over and over her enchanted night.
I can envision a scenario in which Mathilde finds the necklace sometime after the debt has been paid. There would be no reason to return it to Madame Forestier, as she has her own necklace now. That leaves the Loisels to determine what should be done with it, and something tells me they would not profit from it. Perhaps they sell it and give it to a charity, or perhaps they frame it for display as a reminder of their difficult times.
ENotes editors are not allowed to write essays for you. However, I have always thought this great short story left many questions unanswered. First, what happened after Madame Forestier's disclosure that the diamonds were only paste? Did she offer to repay her friend for the true cost of the necklace, or did she offer to give the real diamonds back to her? If she was, indeed, a true friend, Madame Forestier would have taken the real diamonds and accompanied Madame Loisel to another shop, where they could have resold the diamonds. I have always pictured Madame Forestier receiving another necklace (of paste), perhaps even of a finer nature, and then turning over the remainder of the small fortune to her destitute friend. Later, in a final scene, Madame Loisel and her husband are once again seen attending a fine event; she again becomes the belle of the ball, wearing the new paste diamonds around her neck (borrowed once again from Madame Forestier). She may not be as beautiful as before, but she is older and wiser, and satisfied with the new life that the sale of the real diamonds has provided for her.
After the ball, Mme Loisel loses the necklace she has borrowed. In a panic, she searches everywhere to find the necklace. Knowing that she has to replace it, she visits a nearby jeweler. Upon entering the jewelry store, she shares her story with the jeweler. Having compassion, he offers to replace the necklace she lost for a discount. In fact, he shares the recent transaction, explaining that someone recently brought in a necklace fitting the description of the one she had just lost.
The jeweler gives her the name of the gentleman who brought in the necklace and exchanged it for twenty thousand dollars. Mme Loisel rushes to the home of the gentleman who has cashed in the necklace for revenues he doesn't deserve.
Knocking at the gentleman's door, Mme Loisel's palms are sweaty. She is nervous. She is going to beg him to return the money that he does not deserve.
The gentleman opens the door. Mme Loisel explains that the necklace was borrowed. The gentleman realizes that he has gained his fortune on Mme Loisel's misfortune. Already a wealthy gentleman, he has compassion on Mme Loisel's sad situation. He agrees to return the money and accompanies Mme Loisel to the jewelry store.
Mme Loisel offers the gentleman a 2,000 dollar reward which he declines. Totally grateful, Mme Loisel returns the necklace to her friend from which she had borrowed. Relieved, Mme Loisel never says a word about the necklace mishap. Mme Loisel learns a valuable lesson. She vows to never borrow a necklace again. From now on, she will wear natural flowers for adornment.
Who needs fancy jewelry? Mme Loisel learns that her natural beauty is enough. She is finally content with the lifestyle she can afford. When she thinks about the possibility of having had to replace an expensive necklace, she realizes that her desire to own jewels was absurd. She will forever be grateful to the gentleman who helped her realize she has so much for which to be thankful.
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