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Transcript of The Necklace
Written by Guy de Maupassant
The Necklace was first published on February 17th in 1872. This story is about a young woman that always has envy for the people who can afford nice things in life, because growing up poor, she could never have any of those delicacies. This trait of the protagonist leads her to uncover many lessons throughout the course of the story.
9. In what ways is the necklace itself a symbol of something else?
The necklace symbolizes that not everything is the way you see it. Mathilde wanted to seem wealthy so she borrowed a necklace, which she thought was real diamonds. In the end, the necklace ended up being a fake. Although unaware, Mathilde did not need the “expensive” necklace to be pretty. The necklace is also used as a symbol of Mathilde. On the outside it was very pretty but on the inside the necklace ended up only being paste.
Study Questions 9 & 10
5. What is the main allusion in this story?
Cinderella is the most gorgeous girl at the ball and she loses something that does not belong to her. Mathilde does the exact same thing. Also, Mathilde comes from nothing and has nothing just as Cinderella did not, until her fairy god mother came to her rescue. In a sense Mathilde’s husband is like Cinderella’s god mother. These two stories are very similar in plot and theme etc..
Study Questions 5 & 6
Study Questions 1 & 2
What do we know about her husband?
We know that Mathilde’s husband is selfless. When the couple was invited to attend the party, Mathilde had a tantrum about what she would wear. Her husband, who had been planning to buy a gun, gave Mathilde the money to buy a dress. When Mathilde lost the necklace, in the cold, he traced their footsteps to try to find the necklace. He tries everything to make her happier, because he knows that she is not living the life she wants. He works as a clerk.
Study Question 3
What should she have done differently? Why doesn’t she simply admit her mistake?
Mathilde should have told her Mme. Forestier immediately instead of lying and buying her a new necklace. The necklace was only worth about 500 francs, but Mathilde and her husband spent their life savings to replace it. Mathilde did not simply admit her mistake because she thought Mme. Forestier would think lowly of her.
Study Question 7
Why do you think the author chose to end the story without telling how Mathilde felt when she discovered the truth?
I think Guy de Maupassant did this because Mathilde would have probably done one of two things. She would have either gone back to her old ways of feeling sorry for herself and being bitter, or she would have remained strong and looked at it as a way of growth for herself. Because the whole situation in the end helped her to realize what matters and what doesn’t.
Study Question 11
Was her success at the party worth the price that Mathilde and her husband ultimately have to pay?
At the party, Mathilde and her husband had an incredible time. After the party, Mathilde lost the necklace which caused them 10 years of debt. They had to live on a tight budget and constantly repay their debts. Wearing a necklace for one single night, is not worth the price they ultimately had to pay.
Study Question 4
What is the theme of this story?
The theme of this story is to always be honest with yourself and others. If Mathilde had admitted her mistake, she would have saved herself lots of money and trouble. Another theme is to always be confident with yourself and not care what others think of you. Also to never make assumptions about things and be grateful for what you have, even if it is not much.
Study Question 8
From what point of view is this story told? What is the underlying tone of the story?
This story is told from 3rd person omniscient. The underlying tone is to always be grateful and thankful for what you have, even if it is not much. Also, always be honest.
Study Question 12
1. What is the setting (time and place) of this story, and how does the setting affect what happens in the story?
The reader can infer that the setting of this story is set in the older times. The way the story is worded hints that it is long ago. The protagonist, Mathilde constantly worries about money, what people will think of her, and is always concerned that she is not as rich as her other friends.
2. What kind of person is Mathilde at the start of the story? What does she spend her time doing?
Mathilde is very selfish and only cares about herself and what others think of her. She wants to have a very good outside image, and with this, does not remember that what is inside is what is really important. Mathilde spends her days worrying about her image and doing housework. She longs to be wealthy and have luxuries to take advantage of.
6. How do Mathilde and her husband change after the necklace is lost? Does Mathilde change inwardly or only outwardly?
After the necklace is lost, Mathilde and her husband become more conscientious of everything that they do and buy. Mathilde changes both inwardly and outwardly. On the outside, she begins to care less about she looks. On the inside, she realizes that she should not be as worried about how others see her and she should care more about how she can make herself a better person.
10. Is the tricky ending a surprise, or has the reader been prepared for the irony?
I think the reader is prepared for the irony. There is so much description about how hard they had to work to pay back for the necklace. It foreshadows that there will be a surprise at the end that will teach Mathilde a lesson.
Unknown, 19th century
During the winter months of Paris, Mathilde and her husbands home, and in the streets of Paris.
The point of view in this story is third person omniscient
Point of View
Mathilde is a selfish, narcissistic, ungrateful woman who has a need for fancy things, even though she has a poor lifestyle.
She believes she is too beautiful for her way of living and is rude to her kind husband because of that. After going to a dance and borrowing a “fancy” necklace, she realizes it is lost and does not find it after weeks of looking. Too ashamed of herself to admit her mistake, Mathilde and her husband pay all of their savings and more to pay for a similar necklace.
To pay off the debts, they work for ten years and Mathilde loses her beauty. Turns out that the “priceless” necklace was fake and so they worked for nothing. Truthfully, she longs for attention and luxuries that she does not deserve.
Internal: Mathilde feels that she should be wealthier, which causes her to be selfish and ungrateful. She feels that she would not be accepted among her wealthier friends.
External: The external conflict is Mathilde versus society. Mathilde feels that she has to fit in and be wealthy, but in reality Mathilde should be more concerned about how she treats others.
Loisel is a selfless, loyal husband, hard worker, and a true friend. He gives up his extra money to let his wife buy a new dress.
When Mathilde loses the necklace, through the cold he follows their footsteps to attempt to track the necklace.
Mme. is an old, kind friend of Mathilde whom lets her borrow jewelry from her collection to wear the the dance. She cares about her friend Mathilde, even when Mathilde is ungrateful.
A pretty, selfish women is given tickets to a party from her loving husband. She is poor so she does not have anything to wear. Her husband gives up a trip he has been saving for to pay for her dress. Then she goes to her friend and finds a “priceless” necklace. She wears the necklace to the dance and loses it forever. Her and her husband spend 10 years to pay the debt of the replacement necklace. Then they find out the necklace was fake.
Climax: The climax of the story is when Mathilde loses her friend’s necklace after/at the party/ball.
Resolution: Mathilde learns that the necklace that she has been working to replace for the past 10 years was only plastic, after she replaced it.
Climax & Resolution
The necklace is gorgeous yet worthless. It symbolizes appearance and reality. It looks beautiful, but in reality it does not even have real diamonds on it and it leads to the downfall of Mathilde.
The necklace also symbolizes Mathilde because they are both beautiful on the inside, but worthless on the outside.
The theme of this story is to admit and own up to your mistakes. Another theme is also to be happy with what you have, because people can pay for their greed.
Envy - Mathilde wishes for luxurious items all throughout the story. She covets a new dress and jewelry to wear to the party. She wishes for her friend’s nice jewelry. She envies the ladies with nice fur coats at the party.
She borrows her friend’s necklace so that she can look wealthy but becomes poorer than she originally was when she misplaces it. She works for 10 tough years to pay the price of the necklace when it turns out to be fake.
The allusion is Cinderella, but with a different ending. Mathilde is like Cinderella at the ball BUT the two women have different attitudes. Cinderella is humble and grateful, and Mathilde is arrogant and greedy and shallow. Therefore, Cinderella ends up with a happy ending, and Mathilde ends up in misery.