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The Necklace- Guy de Maupassant

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Charles Santos

on 3 January 2012

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Transcript of The Necklace- Guy de Maupassant

The Necklace Guy de Maupassant Guy de Maupassant Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant (5 August 1850 – 6 July 1893) 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. A protégé of Flaubert, Maupassant's stories are characterized by their economy of style and efficient, effortless dénouement. Many of the stories are set during the Franco-Prussian War of the 1870s and several describe the futility of war and the innocent civilians who, caught in the conflict, emerge changed. In 1880 he published what is considered his first masterpiece, "Boule de Suif", which met with an instant and tremendous success. Flaubert characterized it as "a masterpiece that will endure." This was Maupassant's first piece of short fiction set during the Franco-Prussian War, and was followed by short stories such as "Deux Amis", "Mother Savage", and "Mademoiselle Fifi". Vocabulary Words charming extremely pleasing or delightful dowry a gift of money or property by a man to his bride pot-au-feu a French boiled dinner of meat and veggies Tapestry a heavy handwoven reversible textile used for hangings, curtains and upholstery and characterized by complicated pictorial designs frowsy musty or stale Setting: somewhere in Paris, France Characters Mathilde Loisel Monsieur Loisel Jeanne Forestier -wife of Monsieur Loisel
-dreamt of a very luxurious life
-ambitious -husband of Mathilde
-clerk of the Minister of Public Instruction -a friend of the Loisels
-owner of the lost necklace Summary Mathilde Loisel was one of those charming girls who dreamt to have a luxurious life. Unfortunately, her dreams haven't been achieved when she was born, for she was from a family of toilers. She had no fortune, no expectations, no means of satisfying her ambitions, except by a marriage with a rich man, and, as she knew none, in order to escape from her surroundings, she married a clerk in the office of the Minister of Public Instruction. One day, while serving their dinner pot-au-feu, she was daydreaming about her
self being luxurious and wealthy. With rich tapestries, showering herself with the
dowry his husband provides, she feels delighted. She had a rich friend, a comrade from the convent, whom she no longer visited, because she suffered from seeing the things she couldn't have. One evening her husband came home, holding in his hand a large envelope. She opened the envelope and out came an invitation from the Minister of Public Instruction for an evening ball. She refused to go to the ball and bursted into tears. She said that she has no toilette to wear to such a formal occasion. His husband asked how much does a dress cost to wear to this ball. She reflected a few moments and finally named her price of 400 francs. The day of the fête drew near. Madame Loisel is still anxious about the ball because she doesn't have a jewelry to wear. His husband advised him to go to her friend Madame Forestier to borrow jewelry. The next day, she went to her friend and explained her predicament. Madame Forestier took out a large casket, and told her to choose anything she likes. But she asked for other jewelries. So Madame Forestier opened a black satin case, revealing a necklace full of diamonds. Her heart beat furiously with the desire of possession. She took it and tried it on. She asked if she could lend it. Madame Forestier agreed. She flung her arms and embraced her friend and left hastily. The day of the ball finally came. Madame Loisel was a success. She was the most beautiful, elegant, gracious, and smiling with joy. The ball went on and on until she finally decided to leave.
It was 4 in the morning. Her husband had slept since midnight in a small room. When they reached the street, there was no carriage in sight. and they were obliged to look for one, in vain. At last they found a nocturnal coupé. It carried them to their door, and they slowly and sadly entered their small apartments. She took off her cloak in front of the glass in order to admire herself once more but suddenly, she noticed the necklace was lost. They checked everywhere. But it was nowhere to be found. Monsieur Loisel came up with a plan. He told Mathilda to write to her friend that she broke the clasp of the necklace and are having it repaired, so they will have time to look around. At the end of the week, they lost hope. They came up with the idea of replacing it. So the next day they went to the jeweler whose name was stamped inside the case. He said that he did not sell the necklace, He only furnished the case. Then they went from jeweler to jeweler. Finally, in a small shop in Palais Royal, they found one which seemed to them like the one they had lost. The price was 36,000 francs. Loisel inherited 18,000 francs from his father. He borrowed the rest. At last they bought the necklace and brought it to Madame Forestier. From that time Madame Loisel and his husband suffered poverty. They were obliged each month to pay some notes and renew others in order to gain time. Her husband worked in the evening balancing the books of merchants, and often was busy all night, copying at five cents a page. And this life they endured for 10 years. At the end of this time they had paid all the tax of the usurers and compound interest. Madame Loisel became an old woman now. She had become strong and hardy as the women of the provinces. Sometimes, thoughts come in her mind like, "What if she had not lost the necklace?", "Who knows?". One Sunday as she was walking, she suddenly perceived a lady. It was Madame Forestier, still young and beautiful and charming. Madame Loisel stopped short, too agitated to move. She walked up to Madame Forestier and greeted her. Madame Forestier did not recognize her and seemed astonished at being spoken to so familiarly by this woman of the people. She introduced herself to Forestier. Her friend was shocked. She told Mathilde how she changed. Mathilde said, "Yes, I have had lots of trouble and misery since last I saw you- and all for you." Forestier said, "For me? And how was that?!" "Do you remember the necklace of diamonds you lent to me? Well, I lost it. I returned you one just like it, and for ten years we have been paying for it. You know, it was not easy for us, who had nothing- but it is finished, and I am very happy.", said Mathilde. "You say that you bought a necklace of diamonds to replace mine.." said Forestier. "Yes and you never found it out! They were so much alike.", said Mathilde as she smiled proudly.

Touched to the heart, Madame Forestier took the poor, rough hands in hers, drawing her tenderly toward her, her voice filled with tears. "Oh my poor Mathilde! But mine were false. They were not worth more than 500 francs at the most." moral lesson: a person’s preoccupation with appearances and materialism is fruitless and vain.
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