PLOT Mathilde Loisel, a young woman married to aclerk, longs for the luxuries of aristocratic life. She isnot satisfied with her conditions and feels that shedeserves greater things because of her beauty andcharm. One day, Monsieur Loisel brings her aninvitation to a party given by the minister ofeducation, but Mathilde is not happy because shedoes not have an appropriate dress to wear. Herhusband agrees to give her 400 franks to buy a dress.Mathilde, however, is still unhappy because she doesnot have any jewelry. Her husband advises her toborrow a piece of jewelry from her rich friend MmeForestier. Matilde borrows a diamond necklace.After a delightful party, she loses the necklace.
The Loisels have to replace the necklace, so theybuy another one that costs them thirty-six thousandfrancs and return it to the friend. They have then tospend ten years in poverty, trying to pay back themoney they have borrowed. They dismiss the maid,move to a cheap apartment, and take extra jobs torepay the debt. Hardships make Mathilde strongerand tougher. After ten years of difficult life, the debt is finallypaid. When Mathilde sees her friend, who is stillyoung and pretty, she tells her how their life hasbecome very miserable since she took the necklacefrom her. Mme Forestier is very astonished andreveals to Mme Loisel that the original necklace wasactually fake.
POINT OF VIEW The story is told from the third-personpoint of view.
SETTING The story is set in Paris during thenineteenth century.
THEMEDeceptiveness of Appearances: Mathilde is not content with her life andwants to appear rich and high class. Duringthe party she succeeds in convincing people ofthis and she is happy. The deceptiveness ofappearances is highlighted the necklace,which appears to be very expensive but isactually nothing more than costume jewelry.
IRONY Monsieur and Mme Loisel waste ten yearsof their life to repay their debts. They do notknow that the necklace is actually fake andnot worth all the trouble and suffering it hascaused them.
SYMBOLISMThe necklace: The necklace appears expensive but it isfalse. It is a symbol of the deceptiveness ofappearances. Mathilde is as fake as thenecklace because she wants to appear richalthough she is not.