The Necklace* Guy de Maupassant

“The Necklace”
Guy de Maupassant
1. Find a quote from the story that
indicates that Mme. Loisel is not happy in
her marriage.
“…… and she let herself be married to a little
clerk at the Ministry of Public Instruction.”
By “letting” herself marry someone, it means
her heart wasn’t totally into it. As a result, one
can assume she is not happy in her marriage.
(especially since she still dreams of another
2. According to the narrator, what
characteristics of womanhood are able to
overcome a lack of money, education, or social
“ ….and beauty, grace, and charm act instead
of family or birth. Natural fineness, instinct
for what is elegant, suppleness of wit, are the
sole hierarchy, and make from women of the
people the equals of the very greatest ladies.”
3. In your own words, how does Mme.
Loisel compensate for the modest way of
life she lives?
Instead of thinking about the
simple things in her life which
made her miserable, Mme. Loisel
thought about all of the luxuries
enjoyed by the upper class.
4. What things does Mme. Loisel
The two things Mme.
Loisel loves are dresses
and jewels and everything
else to do with upper class
5. How does Mme. Loisel react to
the invitation she receives? Why?
Mme. Loisel becomes angry and throws the invitation
on the table.
She is so upset because she feels that she doesn’t have
anything proper to wear to a ball with the upper class.
M. Loisel is surprised because he thought his wife, a
woman who dreamed constantly about the upper
class, would LOVE an invitation like this. This is one
of the many times we see how selfLESS he is and how
SELFISH she is!
6. What does Mme. Loisel’s husband
suggest she wear in place of jewelry?
M. Loisel suggested his wife wear
natural flowers instead of jewels stating
that natural flowers were “very stylish at
this time of year.”
With each comment Mme. Loisel makes,
it shows the reader she is never satisfied
with what she has.
7. What does Mme. Loisel wear?
A necklace of diamonds
8. Find at least one sentence which shows that, at the
ball, Mme. Loisel was in fact charming and beautiful,
that her self-image was not completely vain
“ All the men looked at her, asked
her name, endeavored to be
introduced. All the attaches of the
Cabinet wanted to waltz with her.
She was remarked by the minister
9. Why does Mme. Loisel cry out
when she looks at herself in the
• Mme. Loisel cries out when she
looks at herself in the mirror
because she sees that the
necklace is gone!
10. List three things M. Loisel does to
find the lost necklace. Is he
He retraces their steps
He goes to the police and cab offices to see if it was
turned in
He puts an ad in the newspaper offering a reward.
He is NOT successful, but once again proves his
devotion and loyalty to his wife.
11. What does Loisel then tell his
wife she must do?
He instructs his wife to write a letter to
Madame Forestier saying that the clasp
had broken and that it was being
M. Loisel does this to buy them more
time to either find or replace the
12. How is Loisel able to replace
the lost necklace?
“ Loisel possessed eighteen thousand francs which his father had
left him. He would borrow the rest. …He did borrow, asking a
thousand francs of one, five hundred of another, five louis here,
three louis there. He gave notes, took up ruinous obligations,
dealt with usurers, and all the race of lenders. He compromised
all the rest of his life, risked his signature without even knowing
if he could meet it; and frightened by the pains yet to come, by
the black misery which was about to fall upon him, by the
prospect of all the physical privations and of all the moral
tortures which he was to suffer.”
Loisel went through a HUGE deal of trouble to get the money for
the necklace his wife lost without thinking about what could
happen if he could NOT pay back the loans.
13. How does Mme. Forestier react to
Mme. Loisel when she returns the
Mme. Forestier was annoyed
with Mme. Loisel because
she did not return the
necklace sooner.
14. Find one sentence that reveals Mme. Loisel
HAD been living in a situation that was not
quite as impoverished as her opinion of it.
“She came to know what heavy housework meant and
the odious cares of the kitchen.”
To NOT know what heavy housework or cares of the
kitchen were, it means she could have had it much
“They dismissed their servant…”
Anyone who has a servant definitely does NOT have it
THAT bad!
15. How long does it take for the
Loisel’s to pay off their debt?
It took the Loisels ten
years to pay off their
16. How do the years of hard work
change Mme. Loisel?
Mme. Loisel now seems much older
than she had. She is hard, strong, and
crude. Her appearance is no longer as
beautiful as it was, her skin is weathered
from hard labor, and her general
manner has become more coarse.
17. What happens when Mme. Loisel
meets Mme. Forestier on the Champ
Mme. Forestier does not even recognize her friend.
She then tells Mme. Loisel that the diamond necklace
was NOT real and that it was worth no more than 500
An amount that they could have EASILY afforded without
any damage to their current status.
18. Mme. Loisel’s reaction…
This is an opinion question, but based on what we
know about Mme. Loisel, we can probably assume she
will consume herself with the lost years for many
more FUTURE years being that she is not one to let go
of things. She will also probably never stop dreaming
about “the good life.”
19. What point of view is this
story told in?
This story is told in third person
limited omniscient point of view.
The narrator is not part of the story,
but knows the thoughts and feelings of
SOME, not all, characters.
20. Direct Characterization
“She dressed plainly because she could
not dress well, but she was as unhappy as
though she has really fallen from her
proper station…”
The author is directly stating these facts
about Mme. Loisel in the beginning of the
story. There is nothing to assume since we
are being told straight out.
20. Indirect Characterization
“It annoys me not to have a single jewel, not a
single stone, nothing to put on. I shall look
like distress. I should almost rather not go at
Through what Mme. Loisel says, we can tell that she
is not grateful for the invitation to the ball OR the
fact that her husband gave her 400 francs to buy a
new dress. It is proving to the reader how selfish she
truly is.