“The Diamond Necklace” or simply “The Necklace” (French: La Parure) is a short story written in 1884 by French writer Guy de Maupassant.
Summary Of The Necklace
ABOUT THE STORY: Matilda is not satisfied with her life because she has been living a poor life. She craves for a lavish life. She has big dreams but no means to fulfil those dreams. She wants to marry a rich man. But she gets married to a petty clerk. One day Matilda is invited to a grand party. She has neither a fashionable dress but no costly jewellery. She borrows a necklace from one of her friends and loses it somewhere. She tries hard to find the lost necklace but does not find it. Now, she borrows a large amount of money to replace the lost necklace. Knowing the horrible life of necessity she along with her husband works hard to pay off the frightful debt which valued forty thousand francs. Finally, after ten years of a continuous hard word they are able to restore all. All the debts are finally paid, and Matilda is out for a jaunt on the Champs Elysees. There she sees her friend Mme Forestier, rich and beautiful as ever. Now that all the debts are paid off, Mathilde decides to tell her the truth about the necklace and her ten years of poverty, and what she does. After hearing her excruciating story Mme Forestier, stunned, reveals to Mathilda that the necklace she lost was just a fake, made of paste, worth no more than five hundred francs.
Textbook Questions of The Necklace
The course of Loisel’s’ life changed due to the necklace. Comment.
Answer. There was a tremendous change in the lifestyle of the Loisel’s’ due to the necklace. Matilda lost the necklace which she had borrowed from Mme. Forestier. So she had to replace it. She bought a chaplet of diamonds but had to borrow eighteen thousand francs for the purpose. With the result, she and her husband became extremely poor. They had to send their maid away. They changed their lodging and rented some rooms in an attic. Madame Loisel performed all cooking, washing, cleaning work to earn money. Mr Loisel also worked evenings and nights. They suffered so badly for ten years.
What was the cause of Matilda’s ruin? How could she have avoided it?
Answer. The cause of Matilda’s ruin was the loss of necklace that she had borrowed from Madame Forestier. But I think the real cause was her unmeetable expectations of dreaming the lavish and attractive life which made her borrow the necklace from her friend. She lost the necklace at the ball which became the cause of her ruin.
She could have avoided the ruin if she could not have borrowed the chaplet. Moreover later, if she could have revealed the truth to Mme. Forestier, she would not have become a victim of the physical wretch and replaced the money easily or Mme. Forestier would not have minded the loss. But all this didn’t happen due to her snobbish nature.
What would have happened to Matilda if she had confessed to her friend that she had lost her necklace?
Answer. If Matilda had confessed to her friend that she had lost her necklace, she could have easily avoided her ruin and misery. She would not have become a victim of physical wretch and could have paid the money for false necklace easily. Anyway, whatever happened with her also bestowed her a great lesson, that is, for unbeatable expectations disappointment is inevitable.
If you are caught in such a situation, how will you deal with it?
Answer. If I am caught in such a mesh I will not act blindly but in a logistic way. I will try all the possibilities if’s and out’s of the situation.
Draw a character sketch of Matilda.
Matilda is a central character in the story ‘The Necklace’.She is an extremely beautiful and charming woman. She is to her bad luck born into a poor family. She is overambitious and extravagant. She wants to be rich and famous. Her expectations are very high but she has no means to catch her expectations. She wants to marry a rich man but she gets married to a petty clerk. She loves to have expensive frocks, jewels, and silver dishes to live a lavish life. She always remains sad because she does not get all these things.
Matilda is short-tempered and pretentious. But she is a tactful woman. She convinces her poor husband to buy her part dress simply by rejecting the invitation to the grand party. She is snobbish. She borrows a diamond necklace from her rich friend to wear while attending the party. She becomes a star attraction at the party. Everybody admires her and she is a great success. That is her supreme hour of victory. However, this moment of extreme joy proves very brief for her because she loses the diamond necklace.
What are the things that are important to make you happy in life?
Answer. It is a fact that happiness comes from the tranquillity of mind and it lies in contentment. So happiness is actually the state of mind. It depends upon the liking of a person and the presence of the culture that makes one decide for himself what kind of life he chooses. It is the fulfilment of basic needs like food, clothing, and shelter that can lead to happiness. Life should be lived well and happily even if there are miseries. They must be tackled and faced courageously and bravely. The attainment of the state of mind depends upon different things for different people. These are only weak people who run away from hardships and it is also true/fact that it is not always sunshine for everyone. One has to be ready for sorrows and sufferings to face as these are the part and parcel of life. Some of the most important things that can help us to live our lives happily are the truth, honesty, etc. The important thing is to have a pure heart that throbs with sympathy for others in troubles. Honest dealings always pay in the long run. Hard work and working with discipline give us a lot of relief and happiness. But some people get happiness from money while as some get it from having more and more land. My idea of a happy life is a permanent state of happiness which can be attained by limiting one’s own desires, rather than trying to fulfil or satisfy them. The happiest man is he whose desires are limited and is content with whatever he has and such a person wins true happiness by honesty.
Write a short paragraph on “We Should Be Content With What Life Gives Us”. You may write for or against it.
Answer. Contentment (satisfaction) of mind is very important if one wishes to live peacefully and happily. The contentment i.e; the state of mind gives us joy and we keep ourselves away from selfishness and greed to have more and more. Contentment is the surest way to happiness which does not depend upon the material things we have, but it depends upon our capacity to limit our desires. It is a well-known fact that unnecessary ambitions lead to the frustration of a person. In this world, everyone is running madly after wealth like money, land, etc., and the result is untold mental tension. There is no peace of mind. The more we have, the more we want. We should have a strong faith in Almighty Allah before Whose will we have to surrender. If this surrender is true, contentment naturally enters the mind. It is because of this contentment of mind that we feel happy and relaxed. It gives us eternal happiness. It teaches us to do our work and discharge our responsibilities in a good manner. So, we must be content with whatever life gives us. If we want to lead a happy life, we should have to limit our desires and stop running after the worldly things because only contented life is a happy life in a real sense.
Detailed Summary Of The Necklace
The Necklace is an interesting short story written by Guy De Maupassant. The takes place in France much time before. There are two major characters in the story Matilda Loisel and her husband who works as a clerk for the Minister of Education. Matilda is not satisfied with her life because she has high dreams but no means to fulfil the dreams. She thinks that her appearance does not match with her reality. She thinks that she deserves a luxurious life because she is so elegant but to her bad luck they are not rich. She yearns to be rich. Matilda has a rich friend Jeane Forestier who has a big house and a lot of jewellery. Matilda envies to be like her.
One day Matilda’s husband receives an invitation to a grand party. He thinks that his wife will be very happy with knowing about this invitation to attend such a fancy party. But when she hears about the ball she is upset. She thinks that she does not have a suitable dress to wear on such an elegant occasion. She complains her husband that she has no party dress and therefore she can not attend the party in the poor look. Her husband agrees to give her the four hundred francs which he has saved to buy a new rifle for hunting. She gives her the money so that she can get herself a gown.
The day of the ball approaches, Matilda is upset once again. When her husband asks her why she frets, she expresses that she has no jewellery to put on with her dress. She wants to match with the rich people in the party. He suggests to her that she can borrow something from her close friend Jeanne Forestier if she wants. Matilda thinks it a good idea and goes to her friend’s house where she picks out a sparkling diamond necklace to borrow. Jeanne gives her the necklace without any stain of worry.
Finally, Matilda and her husband attend the grand party and have a wonderful time there. Matilda becomes the centre of attraction at the party. Everyone praises her elegance. She loves the party and dances incredibly all night.
They finally head home in the morning hours. When they reach their home Matilda is shocked to find the borrowed necklace is missing. They wonder if the necklace fell off in the carriage which they took home but unfortunately neither of them has noticed the number of the carriage. The poor husband searches the streets but returns empty-handed. After waiting for a while, Mathilde writes to her friend that she has broken the necklace and has sent it to repair.
Meanwhile, they find another diamond necklace which corresponds to the missing necklace, but it costs 36,000 francs. Fortunately, her husband inherits 18,000 francs from her father but they have to borrow the rest of the money. Finally, they arrange enough money to buy the replacement necklace. Mathilde gives it to her friend Jeanne who takes it without even having a look at it.
Now Matilda and her husband know that their life is not going to be easy. They have to work hard to meet out borrowed money. In the next ten years, they work hard day and night which changes the life of Matilda completely. They shift to a smaller apartment where Matilda has to cook and clean for herself. She also does part-time works on the side. Her husband also works many jobs to earn sufficient money. Finally, after ten years of a hard life, they are able to pay back all the money but Matilda has aged now to a great deal. Her elegant look has also gone.
One day she encounters Jeanne Forestier on a street. She decides to disclose the truth about the necklace which ruined her life. When Jeanne sees Matilda’s rough appearance she is shocked. She asks Matilda what has happened to her. Matilda explains that it is because of her because she lost the diamond necklace which she had borrowed from her. She had to borrow a huge amount of money for replacing the diamond necklace. On hearing this, Jeanne is shocked. She reveals Matilda that the necklace she borrowed was a fake, made up of paste, worth no more than five hundred francs. Jeanne
Ans. The troublesome life of Loisel couple lasted for ten years. They faced the hardship of life and managed their affairs with great difficulty. The span of 10 years changed Mathilda drastically. She no longer remained an elegant and charming lady. She had become a woman of her class – hard, rough and strong. Now she didn’t care about her looks and beauty. She did all household works with untidy hands, rough and red hands and common dress-up of the poor class. She started to look old now. Her elegance, charm and beauty vanished in the hardship of life.
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