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The Necklace CBSE Class 10 English Chapter 7 - Explanation, Explanation, Notes, Question Answers

By Ruchika Gupta

The Necklace CBSE Class 10 English Chapter 7 - Explanation, Examples, Question Answers

 

Class 10 English (Footprints without feet book)

Chapter 7 - The Necklace

By- Guy De Maupassant

 

the necklace

 

The Necklace Introduction to the lesson

The story revolves around a selfish lady named Matilda. She is unsatisfied with her life as she wants a rich husband but because she belongs to a family of clerks and her family is unable to give dowry she is married to a clerk. One day, both the husband and wife are invited to a party at the minister’s house. But Matilda does not have good clothes and jewels to wear at such a party. Her husband suggests her to buy a dress and ask an old friend for jewellery. She then borrows a necklace from her friend and goes to the party. What happens next proves to be a lesson for the unhappy lady.

 

Ebook Img

 

ruskin bond

About the Author

Henri René Albert Guy de Maupassant (5 August 1850 – 6 July 1893) was a French writer, remembered as a master of the short story form, and as a representative of the naturalist school of writers, who depicted human lives and destinies and social forces in disillusioned and often pessimistic terms. He wrote some 300 short stories, six novels, three travel books, and one volume of verse.

 

The Necklace Lesson and explanation (with word meanings)

SHE was one of those pretty, young ladies, born as if through an error of destiny, into a family of clerks. She had no dowry, no hopes, no means of becoming known, loved, and married by a man either rich or distinguished; and she allowed herself to marry a petty clerk in the office of the Board of Education. She was simple, but she was unhappy. She suffered incessantly, feeling herself born for all delicacies and luxuries. She suffered from the poverty of her apartment, the shabby walls and the worn chairs. All these things tortured and angered her. When she seated herself for dinner opposite her husband who uncovered the tureen with a delighted air, saying,

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“Oh! the good pot pie! I know nothing better than that…,” she would think of elegant dinners, of shining silver; she thought of the exquisite food served in marvellous dishes. She had neither frocks nor jewels, nothing. And she loved only those things. She had a rich friend, a schoolmate at the convent, who she did not like to visit — she suffered so much when she returned. She wept for whole days from despair and disappointment. One evening her husband returned elated bearing in his hand a large envelope. “Here,” he said, “here is something for you.”

 

Error- a mistake.
Clerk- a person employed in an office or bank to keep records, accounts, and undertake other routine administrative duties.
Dowry- an amount of property or money brought by a bride to her husband on their marriage.
Petty- of little importance; trivial.
Incessantly- without interruption; constantly.
Delicacies- fineness or intricacy of texture or structure.
Shabby- in poor condition through long use or lack of care.
Tureen- a deep covered dish from which soup is served.
Pot pie- a savoury pie baked in a deep dish, typically with a top crust only.
Elegant- graceful and stylish in appearance or manner.
Exquisite- extremely beautiful and delicate.
Marvellous- causing great wonder; extraordinary.
Convent- a school attached to and run by a convent.
Elated- make (someone) ecstatically happy.

Matilda Loisel was a pretty young lady who was born into a middle class family who worked as clerks. Her family did not have any means to arrange dowry for her marriage. She did not have any other means by which she could befriend a rich man to be loved or married to him. So, due to these circumstances, she had to marry a clerk in the office of the board of education and because of this she was unhappy. She used to think that destiny was unfair to her and that she deserved much better than what she had got. She used to get angry and was tortured by the condition of her apartment. The dirty walls and the torn furniture used to irritate her. She used to think about elegant dinners being served in marvellous dishes when her husband used to praise the home made food served in a simple dish. She did not have fancy jewels or good dresses. She had a school friend whom she did not like to meet as she was a rich lady. After meeting her, she used to cry for days together, looking at the condition of her life. One day, her husband came back home from work in a happy mood, holding an envelope in his hand. He informed her that the envelope was for her and asked her to open it.

 

She quickly drew out a printed card on which were inscribed these words:
“The Minister of Public Instruction and Madame George Ramponneau
ask the honour of M. and Mme Loisel ’ s company. Monday evening, January 18, at the Minister’s residence.”

Instead of being delighted, as her husband had hoped, she threw the invitation spitefully upon the table murmuring, “What do you suppose I want with that?” “But, my dearie, I thought it would make you happy. You never go out, and this is an occasion, and a fine one! Everybody wishes one, and it is very select; not many are given to employees. You will see the whole official world there.” She looked at him with an irritated eye and declared impatiently, “What do you suppose I have to wear to such a thing as that?” He had not thought of that; he stammered, “Why, the dress you wear when we go to the theatre. It seems very pretty to me…” He was silent, stupefied, in dismay, at the sight of his wife weeping. He stammered, “What is the matter? What is the matter?” By a violent effort, she had controlled her vexation and responded in a calm voice, wiping her moist cheeks, “Nothing. Only I have no dress and consequently I cannot go to this affair. Give your card to some colleague whose wife is better fitted out than I.” He was grieved, but answered, “Let us see, Matilda. How much would a suitable costume cost, something that would serve for other occasions,

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something very simple?” She reflected for some seconds thinking of a sum that she could ask for without bringing with it an immediate refusal and a frightened exclamation from the economical clerk. Finally she said, in a hesitating voice, “I cannot tell exactly, but it seems to me that four hundred francs ought to cover it.”

 

M.- Mr. in french
Mme.- Mrs. in french
Delighted- feeling or showing great pleasure.
Spitefully- showing or caused by malice.
Murmuring- a low or indistinct continuous sound.
Stammered- speak with sudden involuntary pauses and a tendency to repeat the initial letters of words.
Stupefied- make (someone) unable to think or feel properly.
Dismay- concern and distress caused by something unexpected.
Weeping- shedding tears.
Vexation- the state of being annoyed, frustrated, or worried.
Affair- an event or sequence of events of a specified kind or that has previously been referred to.
Colleague- a person with whom one works in a profession or business.
Grieved- feel intense sorrow.
Francs- the basic monetary unit of France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and several other countries

She quickly pulled out the printed card as she was excited to know what it was about. It was an invitation from the Minister. The couple had been invited to a dinner party at the house of the minister of public instruction. She was supposed to be delighted as M. Loisel expected but she got really angry and threw the card while murmuring something. She asked her husband what did he want her to do with the card. He replied that he had thought that she would be happy as she never went out and this was a rare occasion to which not many employees were invited. He also told her that she would be meeting a lot of people from his office there. Matilda asked him what could she wear to such a grand party. He stammered as he had not thought of that. He first asked her to wear the dress that she wore when they went out for movies but then as she was weeping, he asked her about the matter. She wiped her tears from her wet cheeks and replied calmly that she could not be a part of such a grand affair and that he should give away the card to some other colleague who’s wife was better than her. He felt bad for his wife as he saw her crying and asked her the cost of a simple dress that could be worn by her on other occasions as well. She thought of an amount that would neither be refused by him nor scare the poor clerk. Then she said that she would be able to manage a dress in 400 Francs.

a gun

He turned a little pale, for he had saved just this sum to buy a gun that he might be able to join some hunting parties the next summer, with some friends who went to shoot larks on Sunday. Nevertheless, he answered, “Very well. I will give you four hundred francs. But try to have a pretty dress.” The day of the ball approached and Mme Loisel seemed sad, disturbed, anxious. Nevertheless, her dress was nearly ready. Her husband said to her one evening, “What is the matter with you? You have acted strangely for two or three days.” And she responded, “I am vexed not to have a jewel, nothing to adorn myself with. I shall have such a poverty-stricken look. I would prefer not to go to this party.” He replied, “You can wear some natural flowers. In this season they look very chic.” She was not convinced. “No”, she replied, “there is nothing more humiliating than to have a shabby air in the midst of rich women.” Then her husband cried out, “How stupid we are! Go and find your friend Mme Forestier and ask her to lend you her jewels.” She uttered a cry of joy. “It is true!” she said. “I had not thought of that.” The next day she took herself to her friend’s house and related her story of distress. Mme Forestier went to her closet, took out a large jewel-case, brought it, opened it, and said, “Choose, my dear.” She saw at first some bracelets, then a collar of pearls, then a Venetian cross of gold and jewels of admirable workmanship. She tried the jewels before the glass, hesitated, but could neither decide to take them nor leave them. Then she asked, “Have you nothing more?” “Why, yes. Look for yourself. I do not know what will please you.” Suddenly she discovered, in a black satin box, a superb necklace of diamonds. Her hands trembled as she took it out. She placed it about her throat against her dress, and was ecstatic. Then she asked, in a hesitating voice, full of anxiety, “Could you lend me this? Only this?” “Why, yes, certainly.”

Pale- light in colour or shade; containing little colour or pigment.
Larks- a bird
Anxious- feeling or showing worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome
Vexed-  annoyed, frustrated, or worried
Adorn- make more beautiful or attractive.
Stricken- seriously affected by an undesirable condition or unpleasant feeling.
Chic- elegantly and stylishly fashionable.
Shabby- in poor condition through long use or lack of care.
Midst- in between
Admirable- arousing or deserving respect and approval.
Satin- a smooth, glossy fabric, usually of silk, produced by a weave in which the threads of the warp are caught and looped by the weft only at certain intervals.
Ecstatic- feeling or expressing overwhelming happiness or joyful excitement.

M Loisel was reluctant as he had saved only that much money to buy a gun for himself so that he could join the hunting parties next summer along with his friends. He told his wife that he would give her the money and asked her to buy a good dress. The day was approaching and Matilda was still not fine, even though her dress was almost ready. One day, her husband asked her again that why had she been acting strangely for the past few days. Matilda replied that although she had the dress, she did not have any kind of jewellery or anything else to make herself look even more attractive. She said that without any jewellery, she would look like a poor person in such a big party. She again said that she would rather prefer not going to the party. To this, her husband replied that she could wear some natural flowers over the dress as they looked really nice and attractive. She replied that she could not as it looked really cheap in a party of rich people. Then her husband suggested that she could go to her friend Mme. Forestier and ask her to lend some jewellery. Matilda became happy again as she heard the idea. She went to Mme. Forestier’s house the next day and said that she was stressed about the party and the jewellery. Mme. Forestier went to her closet and brought out her jewel box. Mme. Forestier asked her to choose for herself whatever she wanted. She first saw some bracelets, then some pearl collars and then a Venetian cross of gold and jewels. She was not able to decide what to take and what to leave, so she asked Mme. Forestier if she have anything else that she could wear. To this Mme. Forestier replied that she could herself take a look and choose something suitable. She then saw a superb diamond necklace kept in a black satin box. She took it out with her trembling hands and wore it. She was overjoyed with the necklace as it looked very beautiful. She asked her friend if she could lend her the diamond necklace. Mme. Forestier consented to it.

She fell upon the neck of her friend, embraced her with passion, then went away with her treasure. The day of the ball arrived. Mme Loisel was a great success. She was the prettiest of all — elegant, gracious, smiling and full of joy. All the men noticed her, asked her name, and wanted to be presented. She danced with enthusiasm, intoxicated with pleasure, thinking of nothing but all this admiration, this victory so complete and sweet to her heart. She went home towards four o’clock in the morning. Her husband had been half asleep in one of the little salons since midnight, with three other gentlemen whose wives were enjoying themselves very much. He threw around her shoulders the modest wraps they had carried whose poverty clashed with the elegance of the ball costume. She wished to hurry away in order not to be noticed by the other women who were wrapping themselves in rich furs. Loisel detained her, “Wait,” said he. “I am going to call a cab.” But she would not listen and descended the steps rapidly. When they were in the street, they found no carriage; and they began to seek for one, hailing the coachmen whom they saw at a distance. They walked along toward the river, hopeless and shivering. Finally they found one of those old carriages that one sees in Paris after nightfall. It took them as

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far as their door and they went wearily up to their apartment. It was all over for her. And on his part, he remembered that he would have to be at the office by ten o’clock. She removed the wraps from her shoulders before the glass, for a final view of herself in her glory. Suddenly she uttered a cry. Her necklace was not around her neck. Loisel already half undressed, asked, “What is the matter?” She turned towards him excitedly. “I have — I have — I no longer have Mme Forestier’s necklace.” He arose in dismay, “What! How is that? It is not possible.” And they looked in the folds of the dress, in the folds of the cloak, in the pockets, everywhere. They could not find it. He asked, “You are sure you still had it when we left the Minister’s house?”

Embraced- hold (someone) closely in one's arms, especially as a sign of affection.
Elegant- graceful and stylish in appearance or manner.
Enthusiasm- intense and eager enjoyment, interest, or approval.
Admiration- respect and warm approval.
Salons- a reception room in a large house.
Furs- the short, fine, soft hair of certain animals.
Detained- keep (someone) from proceeding by holding them back or making claims on their attention.
Descended- move or fall downwards.
Hailing- (of a large number of objects) fall or be hurled forcefully.
Coachmen- a driver of a horse-drawn carriage.
Shivering- shaking slightly and uncontrollably as a result of being cold, frightened, or excited.
Nightfall- the onset of night; dusk.
Wearily- with extreme tiredness.
Cloak- a sleeveless outdoor overgarment that hangs loosely from the shoulders.

Matilda hugged her friend with affection and left for her house. The day of the party arrived and Mme Loisel was appreciated as she was the prettiest, most elegant and gracious of all. She was very happy and full of joy as all the men were noticing her. She was full of enthusiasm and pleasure as she was very happy with all the attention she had gained. The couple left the party at 4 o'clock in the morning. M. loisel had already slept at 12 o’clock in one of the halls with 3 other men whose wives were also enjoying the party. M. Loisel threw the wrap around her shoulders as they were about to leave. The elegance of the party dress was getting ruined by the wrap as it was not that pretty. She wanted to leave the party quickly because she did not want the rich ladies who had wrapped themselves in rich furs to see her in a cheap wrap. This was because she had portrayed herself as a rich lady by wearing the new dress and the diamond necklace. M. Loisel asked her to wait as he was calling a cab but she was in a hurry and quickly went down the stairs. She did not want to be noticed. As they got on the street, they were looking for a carriage which could take them home but could not find one. Then they saw a coachman at a distance and started calling him. The coachman did  not stop. They kept walking together towards the river and finally found a carriage, the kind one finds in Paris at dusk time. The carriage took them to their home and they both went up. By then, they were extremely tired. The enthusiasm and fun for Mme. Loisel had ended by then. M. Loisel also remembered that he had to reach his office by 10 in the morning. As she stood in front of the mirror and removed the wrap to see herself one last time in the beautiful dress and necklace, she cried because the necklace was missing. It was not on her neck. M. Loisel was already half undressed by then and was almost ready to go to sleep when he  asked her the reason for shouting. She turned towards him and said that Mme. Forestier’s necklace was missing and that it might have fallen somewhere. They searched it in the folds of the dresses, the cloak and in the pockets but could not find it. M. Loisel then asked her if she remembered having it on while they were leaving the minister’s house.

Yes, I felt it as we came out.” “But if you had lost it in the street, we should have heard it fall. It must be in the cab.” “Yes, it is possible. Did you take the number?” “No. And you, did you notice what it was?” “No.” They looked at each other utterly cast down. Finally Loisel dressed himself again. “I am going,” he said, “over the track where we went on foot, to see if I can find it.” And he went. She remained in her evening gown, not having the force to go to bed. Toward seven o’clock her husband returned. He had found nothing. He went to the police and to the cab offices, and put an advertisement in the newspapers, offering a reward. She waited all day in a state of bewilderment before this frightful disaster. Loisel returned in the evening, his face pale; he had discovered nothing. He said, “Write to your friend that you have broken the clasp of the necklace and that you will have it repaired. That will give us time.” She wrote as he dictated. At the end of a week, they had lost all hope. And Loisel, older by five years, declared, “We must replace this jewel.” In a shop of the Palais-Royal, they found a chaplet of diamonds, which seemed to them exactly like the one they had lost. It was valued at forty thousand francs. They could get it for thirty-six thousand. Loisel possessed eighteen thousand francs, which his father had left him. He borrowed the rest. He made ruinous promises, took money from usurers and the whole race of lenders. Then he went to get the new necklace, depositing on the merchant’s counter thirty-six thousand francs. When Mme Loisel took back the jewels to Mme Forestier, the latter said to her in a frigid tone, “You should have returned them to me sooner, for I might have needed them.”

Cast down- sad or worried
Gown- a long elegant dress worn on formal occasions.
Bewilderment- a feeling of being perplexed and confused.
Frightful- very unpleasant, serious, or shocking.
Clasp- grasp (something) tightly with one's hand.
Dictated- state or order authoritatively.
Chaplet- a garland or circlet for a person's head.
Ruinous- disastrous or destructive
Usurers-  a person who lends money at unreasonably high rates of interest.
Latter - denoting the second or second mentioned of two people or things.
Frigid- stiff or formal in behaviour or style.

Mme. Loisel said that she remembered having it on as she had felt it while leaving the house of the minister. M. Loisel said that if it would have fallen on the street, then they would have heard the sound of it falling but they did not hear anything which meant that it must have fallen in the cab. To this she replied that it could be possible that what he said was right and asked him if he noted down the number of the car. Both of them had not seen the number of the carriage. They were let down by what had just happened and M. Loisel dressed up again to go and look on the tracks where they were walking. She remained at home wearing her evening gown whereas her husband went out in search of the necklace. M. Loisel returned at around 7 in the morning and announced that he had not found anything. He also went to the police and cab offices asking about it and gave an advertisement about it in the newspaper, offering a reward for whoever returned it. Mme. Loisel waited for her husband the whole day and when he returned, he announced that he had not been able to find the necklace. M. Loisel told his wife to write to Mme. Forestier that they had given the necklace for repairing as the hook of the necklace had broken. After looking for it for almost a week, they decided to buy another necklace for Mme. Forestier as they were not able to find the original one. Then they started looking for a necklace similar to the one they had lost and found one in a shop at Palais- Royal. The price for the necklace was 36000 francs with a discount of 4000 francs. M. Loisel had about 18000 francs which were given to him by his father before his death. He borrowed the rest of the money from different money lenders. He then bought the new necklace from the shop by paying the full amount. When Mme. Loisel took the necklace to her friend, her friend told her that she should have returned it earlier as she too needed it.

Mme Forestier did not open the jewel-box as Mme Loisel feared she would. What would she think if she should perceive the substitution? What should she say? Would she take her for a robber? Mme Loisel now knew the horrible life of necessity. She did her part, however, completely, heroically. It was necessary to pay this frightful debt. She would pay it. They sent away the maid, they changed their lodgings; they rented some rooms in an attic. She learned the odious work of a kitchen. She washed the dishes. She washed the soiled linen, their clothes and dishcloths, which she hung on the line to dry; she took down the refuse to the street each morning and brought up the water, stopping at each landing to catch her breath. And, clothed like a woman of the people, she went to the grocer’s, the butcher’s and the fruiterer’s, with her basket on her arm, shopping, haggling to the last sou of her miserable money. The husband worked evenings, putting the books of some merchants in order, and nights he often did copying at five sous a page. And this life lasted for ten years. At the end of ten years, they had restored all. Mme Loisel seemed old now. She had become a strong, hard woman, the crude woman of the poor household. Her hair badly dressed, her skirts awry, her hands red, she spoke in a loud tone, and washed the floors with large pails of water. But sometimes, when her husband was at the office, she would seat herself before the window and think of that evening party of former times, of that ball where she was so beautiful and so flattered. How would it have been if she had not lost the necklace? Who knows? How singular is life, and how full of changes! How small a thing will ruin or save one! One Sunday as she was taking a walk in the Champs-Elysees to rid herself of the cares

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of the week, she suddenly perceived a woman walking with a child. It was Mme Forestier, still young, still pretty, still attractive. Mme Loisel was affected. Should she speak to her? Yes, certainly. And now that she had paid, she would tell her all. Why not? She approached her. “Good morning, Jeanne.” Her friend did not recognise her and was astonished to be so familiarly addressed by this common personage. She stammered, “But, Madame — I do not know — you must be mistaken—” “No, I am Matilda Loisel.” Her friend uttered a cry of astonishment, “Oh! my poor Matilda! How you have changed!”

 

Perceive- become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand.
Substitution- the action of replacing someone or something with another person or thing.
Necessity- the state or fact of being required.
Frightful- very unpleasant, serious, or shocking.
Lodgings- temporary accommodation.
Attic- a space or room inside or partly inside the roof of a building.
Odious- extremely unpleasant; repulsive.
Haggling- dispute or bargain persistently, especially over the cost of something.
Sous- small value coin in France
Crude- in a natural or raw state; not yet processed or refined.
Awry- out of the normal or correct position
Pails- a bucket.
Flattered- lavish praise and compliments on (someone)
Singular- denoting or referring to just one person or thing.
Astonished- greatly surprised or impressed; amazed.
Personage- a person (used to express importance or elevated status).

Her friend did not even open and check the necklace as Mme. Loisel had expected. Mme. Loisel was worried about what would happen if her friend came to know about the replacement of the necklace. She could blame her to be a thief. Mme. Loisel realized how horrible life could become. She knew that they would have to pay the loan that they had taken for the necklace at any cost, so they started to reduce their expenses and save more. They removed the maid from her job, changed their house and rented rooms on the roof of a building. Now she had to learn the tiring and boring work of kitchen like washing dishes and cooking food. She would wash clothes and hang them on the line to dry. She used to go down to the street each morning to get water. With the little money that she had, she used to dress like ordinary people and go to the grocery shop, the butcher shop and the fruit shop with a basket to buy the things of daily use. The husband was also in a miserable condition as he used to work extra time in the evenings and often did copying work at night for a small amount of 5 sous a page. They did this for 10 years and paid back their debt within this period. By this time Mme. Loisel had become a hardworking woman of the poor household. She had started looking old with her hair badly kept, hands red and she used to speak in a loud voice. Many times, to feel good when her husband used to go to work, she would sit next to the window and think about the party at the minister’s house. She used to feel good about how beautiful and elegant she looked that day. She would imagine about how her life would be if she would not have lost the necklace. She used to think about how unpredictable life could be and how a small step could change a person’s life.

One day she was relieving herself of the stress of the week and enjoying a walk along the Champs- Elysees when she suddenly saw a lady walking with a child. The young, pretty and attractive lady was Mme. Forestier. Mme. Loisel started thinking about whether she should talk to her or not. She decided that as she had given her the necklace back and paid back all the debts, there was no reason for her not to talk to her. Mme. Loisel went to her and said ‘Good morning Jeanne’. Mme. Forestier was confused as she could not recognize the person but thought that she was familiar because only her close friends used to call her by that name. She told her that she might have got the wrong person and that she might be looking for someone else. But Mme. Loisel introduced herself to her old friend and Jeanne Forestier was shocked to see her in such a poor and changed look.

“Yes, I have had some hard days since I saw you; and some miserable ones — and all because of you ...” “Because of me? How is that?” “You recall the diamond necklace that you loaned me to wear to the Minister’s ball?” “Yes, very well.” “Well, I lost it.” “How is that, since you returned it to me?” “I returned another to you exactly like it. And it has taken us ten years to pay for it. You can understand that it was not easy for us who have nothing. But it is finished and I am decently content.” Mme Forestier stopped short. She said, “You say that you bought a diamond necklace to replace mine?” “Yes. You did not perceive it then? They were just alike.” And she smiled with proud and simple joy. Mme Forestier was touched and took both her hands as she replied, “Oh! My poor Matilda! Mine were false. They were not worth over five hundred francs!”

Recall- bring (a fact, event, or situation) back into one's mind; remember.
Loaned- lend (a sum of money or item of property).
Decently- in a way that conforms with generally accepted standards of respectable or moral behaviour.
Content- in a state of peaceful happiness.

She then replied that she did have some hard days since they last met. She said that life had been miserable and it was all because of Mme. Forestier. Then Mme. Forestier asked how was she responsible for her bad days to which Matilda replied that she had lost Forestier’s necklace. To this Mme. Forestier replied that it was not possible because she had returned it to her. Matilda replied that she had bought a similar necklace and they had been paying the debt for the last ten years. She also said that they were not that rich to afford such an expensive necklace. Matilda added that their debt was now over and that she was satisfied with whatever she had. Jeanne was surprised and asked Matilda if she bought a diamond necklace just to replace her lost necklace to which she replied ‘yes’. Mme Forestier. was touched, while holding her in her arms, she said that the necklace which she had borrowed from Mme. Forestier was a fake necklace and that it was not worth more than 500 francs.

 

The Necklace Summary

Mme. Matilda Loisel lived in an apartment with her husband M. Loisel and was very unhappy and unsatisfied with what life had given her. She was unhappy with the apartment’s shabby walls and the worn out furniture. She was also irritated by the way her husband reacted to the home made food while she dreamt of royal dinners being served in exquisite silver dishes. They were neither rich nor poor. She had to marry a clerk in the office of the board of education just because her family couldn't afford to give her dowry. She also hated visiting her old friend Mme. Jeanne Forestier as she was a rich lady and Matilda envied her. Whenever she visited her, she became sad and cried for days together. One day when her husband returned home from work, he got an invitation to a party at the house of minister of public instruction. Contrary to his expectation, Matilda was irritated and angry and threw the card away. She was upset because she didn't have anything to wear at such an extravagant party. Her husband gave her 400 francs to buy a new dress, that he had been saving to buy a gun so that he could go hunting with his friends. After buying the dress she was sad because she did not have jewellery to make herself look more appealing and attractive. Her husband suggested that she could borrow jewellery from her friend Mme. Forestier. When Mme. Loisel went to her friend’s house and described the situation, she showed her the cupboard and asked her to choose whatever she liked. Matilda chose a precious diamond necklace which was kept in a black satin box.     

They went to the minister’s party and all the men admired her as she was looking gorgeous in her new dress and jewellery. They returned at 4 in the morning. By that time M. Loisel had already dozed off in one of the rooms with three other men. They decided to leave and couldn't find a carriage. Finally, after walking for a while, they got a carriage which dropped them right outside their door. Matilda realized that she did not have the necklace. M.Loisel went out to search the railway tracks for the necklace. M. Loisel went to the police station, cab offices and also gave an advertisement for reward to the person who returned the necklace. Meanwhile, he told his wife to tell her friend that the clasp of the necklace had broken and had given it for repair. After a week, when the necklace could not be found, they decided to replace it with a similar one. They found a similar necklace priced at 36000 francs. Fortunately M. Loisel had inherited 18000 francs from his father and the rest he borrowed.
It took them ten years to repay all the loans and in these years their lives changed drastically. They moved to a smaller apartment and removed the maid. Matilda cooked the food and washed the clothes herself. Even M. Loisel worked multiple jobs to repay the borrowed money. In these years, Mme. Loisel started looking much older, her hair badly dressed, her voice became loud and she became a normal person who would carry a basket to the grocery store, the butcher store and the fruit store to buy their daily supplies. One day she met her friend Jeanne with a child and decided to tell her the truth and explained how she was indirectly responsible for her aged looks and her living conditions. She explained how she lost the borrowed necklace and had to take a loan for replacing it. On hearing this, Jeanne told Matilda that the necklace that she had borrowed was a fake one and was not worth more than 500 francs.

 

The Necklace Question Answers

Q1)      What kind of a person is Mme Loisel — why is she always unhappy?

Ans)     Mme Loisel is a very unhappy and unsatisfied person. She is not happy with her married life, her house or for that matter anything in her life. She always keeps on dreaming about how her life would have been if she were born in a rich house, married in a rich house and had lots of money to buy things. She is a greedy woman and always keeps on thinking of having more and more things.

 

Q2)      What kind of a person is her husband?

Ans)     Her husband is a very caring and a loving man. He is not greedy as he stays happy with whatever he has. He appreciates the little things that life has given him and does not want to see his wife unhappy for which he sacrifices his own needs.

 

Q3)      What fresh problem now disturbs Mme Loisel?

Ans)     Mme Loisel’s husband agrees to buy her a dress worth 400 francs and sacrifices his own requirement of buying a gun but Mme. Loisel, being a greedy woman starts acting strangely and demands jewellery to wear or else she will not go to the party.

 

Q4)      How is the problem solved?

Ans)     When she does not agree to wear flowers to the party, her husband suggests her to approach her friend Mme Forestier who is a rich lady and would lend her jewellery to wear at the party.

 

Q5)      What do M. and Mme Loisel do next?

Ans)     M and Mme. Loisel make a lot of efforts after they realize that they have lost the necklace. They try to remember the cab number so that they can check there, M. loisel goes to the tracks where she could have dropped it,  reports at the police station and cab offices. He also gives an advertisement in the newspaper saying that the person who returns it will be rewarded but nothing works. So they finally decide to replace the necklace by buying a necklace similar to the one they have lost.

 

Q6)      How do they replace the necklace?

Ans)     They buy a necklace from a shop for 36000 francs. They themselves have only 18000 francs so they borrow the rest of the money by making up false stories and taking loans from a lot of lenders.