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Transcript of The Necklace
Guy de Maupassant:
He was a popular 19th-century French writer, considered one of the fathers of the modern short story and one of the form's finest exponents. The topic that he often returns to in his stories, is stressing the pointlessness of something, and describing the suffering of innocent victims. People who were unwilling participants in the conflict, whose lives are changed forever as a result of it. He relied heavily on facts and life experience.
At the age of 20, he was suffering from the consequences of syphilis, causing increasing mental disorder. Guy tried to commit suicide and was proclaimed insane in 1891. He was committed to the private asylum of Dr. Esprit Blanche at Passy in Paris. Where he died at the age of 43.
- She is very pretty, graceful and charming, and spends all her time dreaming of a better life. Throughout the story you discover that she is ungrateful, greedy and often rude to her husband.
- He's kind and selfless, and loves his wife very much. A minor clerk who works very hard, to provide for his wife's every whim. No matter the consequences. He was content with life, and didn't truly understand Mathilde. Yet, he sacrificed his future for her and paid dearly for something he never wanted.
- She's Mathildes wealthy friend at the beginning of the story. She treats Mathilde kindly and lends her a necklace, but neglected to tell Mathilde that the necklace was a fraud.
"She danced madly, ecstatically, drunk with pleasure, with no thought for anything in the triumph of her beauty, in the pride of her success, in a cloud of happiness made up of this universal homage and admiration, of the desires she had aroused, of the completeness of a victory so dear to her feminine heart."
"It was the end, for her. As for him, he was thinking that he must be at the office by ten."
Mathilde Loisel (Dynamic and Round)
Mathilde Loisels vanity, pride and dishonesty. Her own flaws work against her.
- highly elated, triumphant.
- made a mistake, careless or stupid.
- sudden impatient irritation, especially over some annoyance.
- willing, choosing or resolving.
- distress, suffering or pain.
- to bargain, often in an argumentative way.
- a chamber or room that serves as a waiting room and entrance to a larger room.
- a worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.
- actions or words used when paying polite and respectful attention to women.
By: Guy de Maupassant
Quotes to Think About
Quotes to Think About
"And she smiled in proud and innocent happiness."
"What would have happened if she had never lost those jewels? Who knows? Who knows? How strange life is, how fickle! How little is needed to ruin or save!"
Mathilde worked for ten years to pay back something that was actually worthless. She ended up losing what little she did have.
While she originally got the necklace to seem more beautiful, rich and envious, in reality it ended up taking away her beauty. Her most valued asset.
Literary Terms Con't
As soon as Mathilde saw the necklace it hinted that something was going to happen simply because the title of the story indicated it was important. Another example of this is:
When Mr. Loisel acknowledges, "...the black misery about to fall upon him, at the prospect of every possible physical privation and moral torture...", it foreshadows the bad times ahead for the Loisels, the ten years spent paying off the debt of the necklace.
"It was not I who sold this necklace" shows that the necklace may not be all it seems.
The Necklace, it symbolizes power, the want to look rich, appearance and acceptance. A lifestyle Mathilde desired, and social status.
The loss of it crushes her hopes for these, and afterward she has little social life at all.
It also represents artificiality, it was gorgeous and sparkling, leading you to believe it was real. Just like Mathilde at the party. Even though she gives off the feeling of wealth, she was just as fake as the necklace.
Literary Terms Con't
There is no single theme to
but the main ones are;
be happy with who you are and what you have, class conflict and appearances vs. reality. Along with the pursuit of happiness.
Mathilde Loisel lived in the middle class society but longed to be a member of high society. She wanted to live above her means and would do whatever it took to get there. She is determined to make herself appear to be at a higher level on the social ladder than she actually is. Mathilde truly believes this will make her happy, and is miserable without it. In the end though, getting what she wanted and thought she needed, ruined what she had. This is a great example of the phrase,
"Be careful what you wish for."
Character vs. Self
Mrs. Loisel battling her inner feelings of wanting more in life than what she was dealt.
"She suffered endlessly, feeling herself born for every delicacy and luxury."
Character vs. Character
The Loisels vs. Creditors (
). They had to spend ten whole years, sacrificing many things, just trying to pay off their debt. They had to fight to make every penny.
"He gave notes of hand, entered into ruinous agreements, did business with usurers and the whole tribe of money lenders...every possible physical privation and moral torture"
Character vs. Environment
Mathilde loses the necklace! The Loisels had no idea what to do and looked all week for it, before having to admit defeat.
"By the end of the week they had lost all hope".
"Appalled at the agonizing face of the future, at the black misery which was about to fall upon him, at the prospect of every possible physical privation and moral torture, he went to get the new necklace and put down upon he jeweler's counter thirty-six thousand francs."
Do you believe Mathilde Loisel got what was coming to her?
What did you think about the ending?
Was the story predictable?
Why do you think Guy de Maupassant chose 'The Necklace' for the story title? What does it mean?
M.Loisel comes home with an invitation to a ball. Mathilde throws a fit because she has nothing to wear.
Mathildes back-story is given, her character develops, and her unhappiness with her mediocre life is shown.
Her husband gave her money for a dress, but she had no jewels. M. Loisel suggested she borrow something from Madame Forestier. Mathilde finds the perfect necklace.
Mathilde has the time of her life at the ball, and dreads going back home. Once they get home, she discovers she has lost the necklace!
After looking for the necklace for a week, they lost all hope. They had to replace the diamonds, and visited many jewelers. At a shop at the Palais-Royal they found a necklace that looked similar, and begged the jeweler not to sell it for 3 days.
M. Loisel used the money left to him by his father, and borrowed the rest from other men and money-lenders, to buy the necklace. Mathilde took the necklace back to Madame Forestier.
All the debts had been paid off after 10 years. Mathilde sees her old friend on the street and decides to tell her the truth. Then Madame Forestier, deeply moved. tells Mathilde that the necklace was a fraud!
Literary Terms Con't