The Necklace CR answers

Ms Paine – 10 ENGLISH
The Necklace
by Guy de Maupassant
a) Why does Madame Loisel borrow the jewels? (one to two sentences)
Madame Loisel borrows the jewelled necklace from her wealthy friend, Madame Forestier, because she is attending a
grand ball with her husband. She believes that to fit in with the other rich wives at the ball, she needs a new dress and
expensive jewellery like a diamond necklace.
b) What is the author arguing about wealth and circumstance in this story? Explain. (one paragraph)
de Maupassant argues in “The Necklace” that Madame Loisel should have been happy with her life before the Ball, as
although she and her husband the Clerk, weren’t rich they had enough money for a servant and to attend the theatre
on occasions. Once she loses the diamond necklace, she and the Clerk are reduced to poverty as they take ten years
to pay off the cost of a replacement. This makes Madame Loisel “like all the other strong, hard, coarse women of poor
households” and unrecognizable to even her wealthy friend, Madame Forestier.
c) How does the author of the text use writing techniques including sentence structure to reveal
Madame Loisel’s dreams initially to the reader? (one to two paragraphs)
de Maupassant in “The Necklace” uses both contrast and long extended sentences filled with detailed descriptions to
illustrate Madame Loisel’s dissatisfaction with her current life and desire to be rich. For instance, she imagines living
in a house with “vast saloons hung with antique silks, exquisite pieces of furniture supporting priceless ornaments, and
small, charming perfumed rooms, created just for little parties of intimate friends”. This is a contrast to her own house
and its “mean walls, worn chairs and ugly curtains”. This deliberate juxtaposition emphasizes the difference between
Madame Loisel’s reality versus her dreams of wealth. Furthermore, whenever de Maupassant describes her dreams,
he employs long sentences like the one above filled with descriptive details about “priceless ornaments” and “perfumed
rooms” to emphasize just how much she desires in contrast to the much shorter sentences that describe her current
d) How does the author of the text position the reader to ultimately feel sympathetic towards Madame
Loisel? (two or more paragraphs)
de Maupassant positions the reader to ultimately feel sympathetic to Madame Loisel through his
characterisation of her and the story’s narrative structure. Initially, Madame Loisel is depicted as unsympathetic and
foolish in the way that “she suffered endlessly, feeling herself born for every delicacy and luxury”; however, when the
necklace is lost and she and her husband must go into debt to replace it, she makes many sacrifices. The author
describes how “From the very first she played her part heroically. The fearful debt must be paid off.” The choice of
the word “heroically” to describe Madame Loisel emphasizes how she makes many sacrifices, including dismissing
her servant and moving to a small “garret” to help pay the debt, which makes her in turn more sympathetic to the
The narrative structure of the text also makes the reader feel more sympathetic to Madame Loisel. At the end
of the short story, Madame Loisel is described as a “poor woman” whose rich friend, Madame Forstier, and the owner
of the necklace fails to recognize. Furthermore, it is revealed that the necklace which Madame Loisel and her husband
went into debt to replace, was in fact an imitation worth only “five hundred francs” as opposed to the cost of thirty-six
thousand for a new diamond necklace. The effect of this unexpected denouement on the reader is to make them pity
Madame Loisel, who through her own obsession with wealth and social status, chooses to borrow what she believes
is a very expensive diamond necklace which is later lost. Because of this action, she and her husband lose their
comfortable existence, where she even had a servant to do the housework, and now exist in “abject poverty” where
Madame Loisel “came to know the heavy work of the house” and “the hateful duties of the kitchen.”