Introduction to the lesson


The Necklace

Introduction to the lesson

The plot revolves around a self-centered woman named Matilda. She is dissatisfied with her life because she desires a wealthy husband, but she is married to a clerk because she comes from a family of clerks and her family is unable to provide dowry. The husband and wife are both invited to a party at the minister's house one day. Matilda, on the other hand, does not have nice clothes or jewels to wear to such a party. Her husband suggests she buy a dress and borrow jewellery from an old friend. She then borrows a necklace from a friend before heading to the party. What happens next teaches the unhappy lady a valuable lesson.

The Necklace Summary

Mme. Matilda Loisel shared an apartment with her husband M. Loisel and was dissatisfied with what life had given her. She was dissatisfied with the shabby walls and worn-out furniture in her apartment. She was also irritated by her husband's reaction to the homemade food, while she fantasised about royal dinners served in exquisite silver dishes. They were neither wealthy nor impoverished. She was forced to marry a clerk in the board of education's office because her family couldn't afford to pay her dowry. Matilda also despised paying visits to her old friend Mme. Jeanne Forestier because she was a wealthy lady whom Matilda envied. Whenever she went to see her, she became depressed and cried for days on end. When her husband got home from work one day, he received an invitation to a party at the house of the minister of public instruction. Matilda, contrary to his expectations, was irritated and angry and threw the card away. She was disappointed because she didn't have anything to wear to such a lavish party. Her husband gave her 400 francs to buy a new dress, money he had been saving to buy a gun to go hunting with his friends. She was disappointed after purchasing the dress because she lacked the necessary jewellery to make herself appear more appealing and attractive. Her husband suggested she borrow jewellery from Mme. Forestier, a friend of hers. When Mme. Loisel went to her friend's house to explain the situation, she showed her the cupboard and told her to take whatever she wanted. Matilda chose a valuable diamond necklace that was kept in a black satin box.

They went to the minister's party, and all the men complimented her on her new dress and jewellery. They returned at four o'clock in the morning. M. Loisel had already passed out in one of the rooms with three other men at that point. They decided to leave but were unable to locate a carriage. After a while of walking, they were met by a carriage that dropped them right outside their door. Matilda realised she was missing the necklace. M.Loisel went out to look for the necklace on the railway tracks. M. Loisel went to the police station, cab offices, and also advertised a reward for whoever returned the necklace. Meanwhile, he told his wife to inform her friend that the necklace's clasp had broken and that he had given it to be repaired. When the necklace could not be found after a week, they decided to replace it with a similar one. They discovered a similar necklace for 36000 francs. Fortunately, M. Loisel had inherited 18000 francs from his father and had borrowed the rest.

It took them ten years to repay all of their loans, and their lives changed dramatically during that time. They downsized to a smaller apartment and got rid of the maid. Matilda prepared the food and did the laundry herself. M. Loisel also worked multiple jobs to repay the loan. Mme. Loisel began to look much older, her hair became unkempt, her voice became louder, and she became a normal person who would carry a basket to the grocery store, butcher store, and fruit store to buy their daily supplies. She ran into her friend Jeanne with a child one day and decided to tell her the truth, explaining how she was indirectly responsible for her aged appearance and living conditions. She explained how she misplaced the borrowed necklace and had to borrow money to replace it. When Jeanne learned of this, she informed Matilda that the necklace she had borrowed was a forgery worth no more than 500 francs.

The Necklace Lesson and Explanation

SHE was one of those pretty, young ladies, born as if through an error of destiny, into a family of clerks. She had no dowry, no hopes, no means of becoming known, loved, and married by a man either rich or distinguished; and she allowed herself to marry a petty clerk in the office of the Board of Education. She was simple, but she was unhappy. She suffered incessantly, feeling born for all delicacies and luxuries. She suffered from the poverty of her apartment, the shabby walls and the worn chairs. All these things tortured and angered her. When she seated herself for dinner opposite her husband who uncovered the tureen with a delighted air, saying,

“Oh! the good pot pie! I know nothing better than that…,” she would think of elegant dinners, of shining silver; she thought of the exquisite food served in marvelous dishes. She had neither frocks nor jewels, nothing. And she loved only those things. She had a rich friend, a schoolmate at the convent, who she did not like to visit — she suffered so much when she returned. She wept for whole days from despair and disappointment. One evening her husband returned elated bearing in his hand a large envelope. “Here,” he said, “here is something for you.”

  • Error- a mistake.
  • Clerk- a person employed in an office or bank to keep records, accounts, and undertake other routine administrative duties.
  • Dowry- an amount of property or money brought by a bride to her husband on their marriage.
  • Petty- of little importance; trivial.
  • Incessantly- without interruption; constantly.
  • Delicacies- fineness or intricacy of texture or structure.
  • Shabby- in poor condition through long use or lack of care.
  • Tureen- a deep covered dish from which soup is served.
  • Pot pie- a savoury pie baked in a deep dish, typically with a top crust only.
  • Elegant- graceful and stylish in appearance or manner.
  • Exquisite- extremely beautiful and delicate.
  • Marvellous- causing great wonder; extraordinary.
  • Convent- a school attached to and run by a convent.
  • Elated- make (someone) ecstatically happy.

Matilda Loisel was a lovely young lady born into a middle-class family of clerks. Her family lacked the financial means to provide a dowry for her marriage. She didn't have any other way to befriend a wealthy man in order to be loved or married to him. As a result of these circumstances, she was forced to marry a clerk in the board of education's office, and she was dissatisfied. She used to believe that fate had been unjust to her and that she deserved much better than what she had received. She used to become enraged and tortured by the state of her apartment. She used to be irritated by the filthy walls and ripped furniture. When her husband praised the home-cooked food served in a simple dish, she fantasised about elegant dinners served in magnificent dishes. She didn't have any expensive jewels or fancy dresses. She had a school friend she didn't want to meet because she was a wealthy lady. She used to cry for days after meeting her, reflecting on the state of her life. Her husband returned home from work one day in a good mood, holding an envelope. He informed her that the envelope was addressed to her and requested that she open it.


She quickly drew out a printed card on which were inscribed these words:
“The Minister of Public Instruction and Madame George Ramponneau ask the honour of M. and Mme Loisel ’ s company. Monday evening, January 18, at the Minister’s residence.” Instead of being delighted, as her husband had hoped, she threw the invitation spitefully upon the table murmuring, “What do you suppose I want with that?” “But, my dearie, I thought it would make you happy. You never go out, and this is an occasion, and a fine one! Everybody wishes one, and it is very select; not many are given to employees. You will see the whole official world there.” She looked at him with an irritated eye and declared impatiently, “What do you suppose I have to wear to such a thing as that?” He had not thought of that; he stammered, “Why, the dress you wear when we go to the theatre. It seems very pretty to me…” He was silent, stupefied, in dismay, at the sight of his wife weeping. He stammered, “What is the matter? What is the matter?” By a violent effort, she had controlled her vexation and responded in a calm voice, wiping her moist cheeks, “Nothing. Only I have no dress and consequently I cannot go to this affair. Give your card to some colleague whose wife is better fitted out than I.” He was grieved, but answered, “Let us see, Matilda. How much would a suitable costume cost, something that would serve for other occasions, something very simple?” She reflected for some seconds thinking of a sum that she could ask for without bringing with it an immediate refusal and a frightened exclamation from the economical clerk. Finally she said, in a hesitating voice, “I cannot tell exactly, but it seems to me that four hundred francs ought to cover it.”

  • M.- Mr. in French
  • Mme.- Mrs. in French
  • Delighted- feeling or showing great pleasure.
  • Spitefully- showing or caused by malice.
  • Murmuring- a low or indistinct continuous sound.
  • Stammered- speak with sudden involuntary pauses and a tendency to repeat the initial letters of words.
  • Stupefied- make (someone) unable to think or feel properly.
  • Dismay- concern and distress caused by something unexpected.
  • Weeping- shedding tears.
  • Vexation- the state of being annoyed, frustrated, or worried.
  • Affair- an event or sequence of events of a specified kind or that has previously been referred to.
  • Colleague- a person with whom one works in a profession or business.
  • Grieved- feel intense sorrow.
  • Francs- the basic monetary unit of France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and several other countries

She quickly took out the printed card, eager to find out what it was about. It was a Ministerial invitation. The couple had been invited to a dinner party at the minister of public instruction's home. M. Loisel expected her to be delighted, but she became enraged and threw the card while murmuring something. She inquired of her husband as to what he desired she do with the card. He responded that he had assumed she would be pleased because she rarely went out and this was a rare occasion to which only a few employees were invited. He also informed her that she would be meeting a large number of people from his office at the event. Matilda inquired as to what she could wear to such a grand occasion. He stammered because he hadn't considered that. He first asked her to wear the dress she wore when they went to the movies, but as she was crying, he inquired about the situation. She wiped her wet cheeks and calmly replied that she couldn't be a part of such a grand affair and that he should give the card to another colleague whose wife was better than hers. He felt bad for his wife when he saw her crying and asked her how much a simple dress that she could wear on other occasions would cost. She devised a figure that would not be refused by him and would not frighten the poor clerk. She then stated that she would be able to afford a dress for 400 Francs.


He turned a little pale, for he had saved just this sum to buy a gun that he might be able to join some hunting parties the next summer, with some friends who went to shoot larks on Sunday. Nevertheless, he answered, “Very well. I will give you four hundred francs. But try to have a pretty dress.” The day of the ball approached and Mme Loisel seemed sad, disturbed, anxious. Nevertheless, her dress was nearly ready. Her husband said to her one evening, “What is the matter with you? You have acted strangely for two or three days.” And she responded, “I am vexed not to have a jewel, nothing to adorn myself with. I shall have such a poverty-stricken look. I would prefer not to go to this party.” He replied, “You can wear some natural flowers. In this season they look very chic.” She was not convinced. “No”, she replied, “there is nothing more humiliating than to have a shabby air in the midst of rich women.” Then her husband cried out, “How stupid we are! Go and find your friend Mme Forestier and ask her to lend you her jewels.” She uttered a cry of joy. “It is true!” she said. “I had not thought of that.” The next day she took herself to her friend’s house and related her story of distress. Mme Forestier went to her closet, took out a large jewel-case, brought it, opened it, and said, “Choose, my dear.” She saw at first some bracelets, then a collar of pearls, then a Venetian cross of gold and jewels of admirable workmanship. She tried the jewels before the glass, hesitated, but could neither decide to take them nor leave them. Then she asked, “Have you nothing more?” “Why, yes. Look for yourself. I do not know what will please you.” Suddenly she discovered, in a black satin box, a superb necklace of diamonds. Her hands trembled as she took it out. She placed it about her throat against her dress, and was ecstatic. Then she asked, in a hesitating voice, full of anxiety, “Could you lend me this? Only this?” “Why, yes, certainly.”

  • Pale- light in colour or shade; containing little colour or pigment.
  • Larks- a bird
  • Anxious- feeling or showing worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome
  • Vexed-  annoyed, frustrated, or worried
  • Adorn- make more beautiful or attractive.
  • Stricken- seriously affected by an undesirable condition or unpleasant feeling.
  • Chic- elegantly and stylishly fashionable.
  • Shabby- in poor condition through long use or lack of care.
  • Midst- in between
  • Admirable- arousing or deserving respect and approval.
  • Satin- a smooth, glossy fabric, usually of silk, produced by a weave in which the threads of the warp are caught and looped by the weft only at certain intervals.
  • Ecstatic- feeling or expressing overwhelming happiness or joyful excitement.

M Loisel was hesitant because he had only saved that much money to buy a gun for himself so that he could join the hunting parties with his friends next summer. He told his wife he would give her the money if she bought a nice dress. The big day was approaching, and Matilda was still not feeling well, despite the fact that her dress was almost ready. Her husband asked her again one day why she had been acting strangely for the past few days. Matilda responded that, while she had the dress, she lacked any kind of jewellery or anything else that would make her look more attractive. She stated that if she did not wear any jewellery, she would appear to be a poor person at such a large party. She stated once more that she would rather not attend the party. Her husband responded by saying that she could wear some natural flowers over the dress because they looked really nice and attractive. She replied that she couldn't because it appeared to be very cheap in a party of wealthy people. Her husband then suggested that she go to her friend Mme. Forestier and ask her to lend her some jewellery. Matilda's face brightened as she heard the idea. The next day, she went to Mme. Forestier's house and expressed her concern about the party and the jewellery. Mme. Forestier reached into her closet and took out her jewel box. Mme. Forestier told her she could do whatever she wanted. She first noticed some bracelets, then some pearl collars, and finally a gold and jewel Venetian cross. She couldn't decide what to keep and what to throw away, so she asked Mme. Forestier if she had anything else she could wear. Mme. Forestier responded that she could take a look and choose something suitable for herself. She then noticed a magnificent diamond necklace kept in a black satin box. She took it out with trembling hands and put it on. She was overjoyed with the necklace because it was so lovely. She asked her friend if she could borrow the diamond necklace from her. It was agreed upon by Mme. Forestier.


She fell upon the neck of her friend, embraced her with passion, then went away with her treasure. The day of the ball arrived. Mme Loisel was a great success. She was the prettiest of all — elegant, gracious, smiling and full of joy. All the men noticed her, asked her name, and wanted to be presented. She danced with enthusiasm, intoxicated with pleasure, thinking of nothing but all this admiration, this victory so complete and sweet to her heart. She went home towards four o’clock in the morning. Her husband had been half asleep in one of the little salons since midnight, with three other gentlemen whose wives were enjoying themselves very much. He threw around her shoulders the modest wraps they had carried whose poverty clashed with the elegance of the ball costume. She wished to hurry away in order not to be noticed by the other women who were wrapping themselves in rich furs. Loisel detained her, “Wait,” said he. “I am going to call a cab.” But she would not listen and descended the steps rapidly. When they were in the street, they found no carriage; and they began to seek for one, hailing the coachmen whom they saw at a distance. They walked along toward the river, hopeless and shivering. Finally they found one of those old carriages that one sees in Paris after nightfall. It took them as far as their door and they went wearily up to their apartment. It was all over for her. And on his part, he remembered that he would have to be at the office by ten o’clock. She removed the wraps from her shoulders before the glass, for a final view of herself in her glory. Suddenly she uttered a cry. Her necklace was not around her neck. Loisel already half undressed, asked, “What is the matter?” She turned towards him excitedly. “I have — I have — I no longer have Mme Forestier’s necklace.” He arose in dismay, “What! How is that? It is not possible.” And they looked in the folds of the dress, in the folds of the cloak, in the pockets, everywhere. They could not find it. He asked, “You are sure you still had it when we left the Minister’s house?”

  • Embraced- hold (someone) closely in one’s arms, especially as a sign of affection.
  • Elegant- graceful and stylish in appearance or manner.
  • Enthusiasm- intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval.
  • Admiration- respect and warm approval.
  • Salons- a reception room in a large house.
  • Furs- the short, fine, soft hair of certain animals.
  • Detained- keep (someone) from proceeding by holding them back or making claims on their attention.
  • Descended- move or fall downwards.
  • Hailing- (of a large number of objects) fall or be hurled forcefully.
  • Coachmen- a driver of a horse-drawn carriage.
  • Shivering- shaking slightly and uncontrollably as a result of being cold, frightened, or excited.
  • Nightfall- the onset of night; dusk.
  • Wearily- with extreme tiredness.
  • Cloak- a sleeveless outdoor overgarment that hangs loosely from the shoulders.

Matilda affectionately hugged her friend before departing for her home. The party day arrived, and Mme Loisel was appreciated because she was the most beautiful, elegant, and gracious of all. She was overjoyed and overjoyed that all the men were noticing her. She was giddy with excitement and delight, as she was overjoyed with all the attention she had received. At four o'clock in the morning, the couple left the party. M. loisel had already slept in one of the halls at 12 o'clock with three other men whose wives were also enjoying the party. As they were about to leave, M. Loisel threw the wrap around her shoulders. The wrap, which was not particularly attractive, was ruining the elegance of the party dress. She wanted to get out of the party as soon as possible because she didn't want the rich ladies who had wrapped themselves in rich furs to see her in a cheap wrap. This was due to the fact that she had portrayed herself as a wealthy lady by wearing the new dress and diamond necklace. M. Loisel asked her to wait while he called a cab, but she was in a hurry and dashed down the stairs. She didn't want to draw attention to herself. When they got to the street, they looked for a carriage that could take them home, but they couldn't find one. They then noticed a coachman in the distance and began calling him. The coachman did not come to a halt. They continued walking towards the river until they came across a carriage, the kind found in Paris at dusk. They both went up in the carriage as it took them to their home. They were exhausted by that point. Mme. Loisel's enthusiasm and fun had worn off by then. M. Loisel also remembered that he had to be at his office by 10 a.m. She cried as she stood in front of the mirror, removing the wrap to see herself in the beautiful dress and necklace for the last time. It wasn't around her neck. M. Loisel had already undressed and was about to fall asleep when he asked her why she was shouting. She turned to face him, saying that Mme. Forestier's necklace was missing and that it had possibly fallen somewhere. They looked for it in the folds of the dresses, the cloak, and the pockets, but they couldn't find it. M. Loisel then asked her if she remembered wearing it as they left the minister's house.

Yes, I felt it as we came out.” “But if you had lost it in the street, we should have heard it fall. It must be in the cab.” “Yes, it is possible. Did you take the number?” “No. And you, did you notice what it was?” “No.” They looked at each other utterly cast down. Finally Loisel dressed himself again. “I am going,” he said, “over the track where we went on foot, to see if I can find it.” And he went. She remained in her evening gown, not having the force to go to bed. Toward seven o’clock her husband returned. He had found nothing. He went to the police and to the cab offices, and put an advertisement in the newspapers, offering a reward. She waited all day in a state of bewilderment before this frightful disaster. Loisel returned in the evening, his face pale; he had discovered nothing. He said, “Write to your friend that you have broken the clasp of the necklace and that you will have it repaired. That will give us time.” She wrote as he dictated. At the end of a week, they had lost all hope. And Loisel, older by five years, declared, “We must replace this jewel.” In a shop of the Palais-Royal, they found a chaplet of diamonds, which seemed to them exactly like the one they had lost. It was valued at forty thousand francs. They could get it for thirty-six thousand. Loisel possessed eighteen thousand francs, which his father had left him. He borrowed the rest. He made ruinous promises, took money from usurers and the whole race of lenders. Then he went to get the new necklace, depositing on the merchant’s counter thirty-six thousand francs. When Mme Loisel took back the jewels to Mme Forestier, the latter said to her in a frigid tone, “You should have returned them to me sooner, for I might have needed them.”

  • Cast down- sad or worried
  • Gown- a long elegant dress worn on formal occasions.
  • Bewilderment- a feeling of being perplexed and confused.
  • Frightful- very unpleasant, serious, or shocking.
  • Clasp- grasp (something) tightly with one’s hand.
  • Dictated- state or order authoritatively.
  • Chaplet- a garland or circlet for a person’s head.
  • Ruinous- disastrous or destructive
  • Usurers-  a person who lends money at unreasonably high rates of interest.
  • Latter – denoting the second or second mentioned of two people or things.
  • Frigid- stiff or formal in behaviour or style.

Mme. Loisel stated that she remembered having it on because she felt it while leaving the minister's house. M. Loisel stated that if it had fallen on the street, they would have heard the sound of it falling, but they did not, implying that it must have fallen in the cab. To this, she replied that it was possible that what he said was correct and asked him if he had written down the licence plate number of the car. They'd both missed the carriage's licence plate. They were disappointed by what had just occurred, so M. Loisel dressed up once more to go look on the tracks where they were walking. She stayed at home in her evening gown while her husband searched for the necklace. M. Loisel returned around 7 a.m. and announced that he had found nothing. He also went to the police and cab offices to inquire about it, and he placed an ad in the newspaper offering a reward to whoever returned it. Mme. Loisel waited all day for her husband to return, and when he did, he said he couldn't find the necklace. M. Loisel instructed his wife to notify Mme. Forestier that they had given the necklace for repair because the hook had broken. They decided to buy another necklace for Mme. Forestier after searching for it for nearly a week and failing to locate the original. They then began looking for a necklace similar to the one they had lost and discovered one in a shop at Palais- Royal. The necklace was 36000 francs with a 4000 franc discount. M. Loisel possessed approximately 18000 francs, which had been left to him by his father prior to his death. He borrowed the rest of the money from various lenders. He then paid the full price for the new necklace at the store. When Mme. Loisel returned the necklace to her friend, she was told that she should have returned it sooner because she, too, needed it.


Mme Forestier did not open the jewel-box as Mme Loisel feared she would. What would she think if she should perceive the substitution? What should she say? Would she take her for a robber? Mme Loisel now knew the horrible life of necessity. She did her part, however, completely, heroically. It was necessary to pay this frightful debt. She would pay it. They sent away the maid, they changed their lodgings; they rented some rooms in an attic. She learned the odious work of a kitchen. She washed the dishes. She washed the soiled linen, their clothes and dishcloths, which she hung on the line to dry; she took down the refuse to the street each morning and brought up the water, stopping at each landing to catch her breath. And, clothed like a woman of the people, she went to the grocer’s, the butcher’s and the fruiterer’s, with her basket on her arm, shopping, haggling to the last sou of her miserable money. The husband worked evenings, putting the books of some merchants in order, and nights he often did copying at five sous a page. And this life lasted for ten years. At the end of ten years, they had restored all. Mme Loisel seemed old now. She had become a strong, hard woman, the crude woman of the poor household. Her hair badly dressed, her skirts awry, her hands red, she spoke in a loud tone, and washed the floors with large pails of water. But sometimes, when her husband was at the office, she would seat herself before the window and think of that evening party of former times, of that ball where she was so beautiful and so flattered. How would it have been if she had not lost the necklace? Who knows? How singular is life, and how full of changes! How small a thing will ruin or save one! One Sunday as she was taking a walk in the Champs-Elysees to rid herself of the cares of the week, she suddenly perceived a woman walking with a child. It was Mme Forestier, still young, still pretty, still attractive. Mme Loisel was affected. Should she speak to her? Yes, certainly. And now that she had paid, she would tell her all. Why not? She approached her. “Good morning, Jeanne.” Her friend did not recognise her and was astonished to be so familiarly addressed by this common personage. She stammered, “But, Madame — I do not know — you must be mistaken—” “No, I am Matilda Loisel.” Her friend uttered a cry of astonishment, “Oh! my poor Matilda! How you have changed!”

  • Perceive- become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand.
  • Substitution- the action of replacing someone or something with another person or thing.
  • Necessity- the state or fact of being required.
  • Frightful- very unpleasant, serious, or shocking.
  • Lodgings- temporary accommodation.
  • Attic- a space or room inside or partly inside the roof of a building.
  • Odious- extremely unpleasant; repulsive.
  • Haggling- dispute or bargain persistently, especially over the cost of something.
  • Sous- small value coin in France
  • Crude- in a natural or raw state; not yet processed or refined.
  • Awry- out of the normal or correct position
  • Pails- a bucket.
  • Flattered- lavish praise and compliments on (someone)
  • Singular- denoting or referring to just one person or thing.
  • Astonished- greatly surprised or impressed; amazed.
  • Personage- a person (used to express importance or elevated status).

Mme. Loisel had expected her friend to open and inspect the necklace. Mme. Loisel was concerned about what would happen if her friend found out about the necklace's replacement. She couldn't blame herself for being a thief. Mme. Loisel realised how bad life could get. She knew they would have to pay back the loan they had taken out for the necklace at any cost, so they began to cut back on their spending and save more. They fired the maid, moved to a new house, and rented rooms on a building's roof. She now had to learn the exhausting and monotonous tasks of the kitchen, such as dishwashing and cooking food. She washed clothes and hung them to dry on the line. She used to walk down the street every morning to get some water. With the little money she had, she used to dress like a regular person and go to the grocery store, butcher shop, and fruit shop with a basket to buy necessities. The husband was also in a bad way because he used to work extra hours in the evenings and often did copying work at night for a pittance of 5 sous per page. They did this for ten years and paid off their debt during that time. Mme. Loisel had evolved into a hardworking member of the poor household by this point. She had begun to appear old, with her hair unkempt, her hands red, and her habit of speaking in a loud voice. When her husband went to work, she would often sit next to the window and think about the party at the minister's house to make herself feel better. She used to be pleased with how lovely and elegant she looked that day. She fantasised about how her life would have turned out if she hadn't misplaced the necklace. She used to think about how unpredictable life can be and how one small step can change someone's life.

She was walking down the Champs-Elysees one day, unwinding from the week's stress, when she noticed a lady walking with a child. Mme. Forestier was the young, pretty, and attractive lady. Mme. Loisel began to consider whether she should approach her. She decided that since she had returned the necklace and paid off all of her debts, there was no reason not to talk to her. Mme. Loisel approached her and said, 'Good morning, Jeanne.' Mme. Forestier was perplexed because she couldn't recognise the person but assumed she was familiar because only her close friends called her by that name. She informed her that she may have gotten the wrong person and that she was looking for someone else. Mme. Loisel, on the other hand, introduced herself to her old friend, and Jeanne Forestier was surprised to see her in such a poor and changed state.


“Yes, I have had some hard days since I saw you; and some miserable ones — and all because of you …” “Because of me? How is that?” “You recall the diamond necklace that you loaned me to wear to the Minister’s ball?” “Yes, very well.” “Well, I lost it.” “How is that, since you returned it to me?” “I returned another to you exactly like it. And it has taken us ten years to pay for it. You can understand that it was not easy for us who have nothing. But it is finished and I am decently content.” Mme Forestier stopped short. She said, “You say that you bought a diamond necklace to replace mine?” “Yes. You did not perceive it then? They were just alike.” And she smiled with proud and simple joy. Mme Forestier was touched and took both her hands as she replied, “Oh! My poor Matilda! Mine were false. They were not worth over five hundred francs!”

  • Recall- bring (a fact, event, or situation) back into one’s mind; remember.
  • Loaned- lend (a sum of money or item of property).
  • Decently- in a way that conforms with generally accepted standards of respectable or
  • moral behaviour.
  • Content- in a state of peaceful happiness.

She then admitted that she had had some difficult days since their last meeting. She claimed that Mme. Forestier was to blame for her miserable life. Mme. Forestier then asked Matilda how she was responsible for her bad days, to which Matilda replied that she had misplaced Forestier's necklace. Mme. Forestier replied that it was not possible because she had given it back to her. Matilda responded that she had purchased a similar necklace and that they had been repaying the debt for the previous ten years. She also stated that they were not wealthy enough to purchase such an expensive necklace. Matilda went on to say that their debt was now paid off and that she was content with whatever she had. Jeanne was taken aback and asked Matilda if she had purchased a diamond necklace solely to replace her lost necklace, to which she replied, 'yes.' Mme Forestier was moved, and while holding her in her arms, she revealed that the necklace she had borrowed from Mme. Forestier was a forgery, and it was worth no more than 500 francs.

About the Author

Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant (5 August 1850 – 6 July 1893) was a French writer who was known as a master of the short storey form and a representative of the naturalist school of writers, who depicted human lives, destinies, and social forces in disillusioned and often pessimistic terms. He wrote approximately 300 short stories, six novels, three travel books, and one volume of poetry.