The Necklace Summary

The Necklace Summary

Q. Write Down the Summary of The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant.

The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant Characters

1- Madame Mathilde Loisel

Mathilde is a lovely and endearing young woman who believes she deserves a life of opulence and splendor. She has a lovely home and a supportive husband, but her cravings for money and prestige rule her life. She borrows a necklace because she wants to look well, which starts the story’s plot.

2- Monsieur Loisel

The loyal husband of Mathilde, Monsieur Loisel, is a clerk who makes a pleasant life for himself within his means. He sacrifices his funds to get Mathilde a dress for the ball because he loves her adamantly and will do anything to make her happy.

3- Madame Forestier

Mathilde’s wealthy acquaintance is named Madame Forestier. She becomes an important character when she loans Mathilde the necklace because she symbolizes the life Mathilde wishes she could have.

The sad irony of Mathilde’s existence is heightened by the discovery, after the novel, that the necklace is simply an imitation.

The Necklace Summary


Set in late 19th-century Paris, “The Necklace” explores the life of Madame Mathilde Loisel, a young woman married to a clerk and living a comfortable yet modest life. Despite her husband’s love and attention, Mathilde is perpetually discontented. Mathilde spends her days immersed in fantasies.

She envisions a life filled with luxurious gowns, grand parties, and adoring admirers. Everything seems to elude her in her modest existence with her clerk husband.

This constant yearning for a more glamorous life leads to a profound feeling of injustice, as though she has been wronged by fate,

Mathilde’s husband, Monsieur Loisel, is the complete opposite of his wife. Content with their humble existence, he is hardworking, loving, and devoted to Mathilde. His character’s simplicity contrasts sharply with Mathilde’s dissatisfaction and obsession with status.

The affluent acquaintance of Mathilde, Madame Forestier, is also introduced in the narrative. The contrast between Madame Forestier’s grandeur highlights Mathilde’s sense of inadequacy.

These characters set the foundation for the story that will play out as Mathilde’s desire for a greater social standing has devastating results.

The Invitation

When her husband brings home an invitation to an elite gala, Mathilde’s ambition for material prosperity and social standing changes. Although she is happy to accept the invitation, she is upset to learn she has no new clothes.

Understanding her dissatisfaction, Monsieur Loisel gives up his funds to enable her to buy a lovely outfit. Mathilde, however, feels that she needs jewellery to complete her graceful personality.

At this stage, Madame Forestier is introduced in the story and gives Mathilde a necklace that looks precious, made of genuine diamonds. This necklace is a physical representation of Mathilde’s aspirations. 

The Ball and Losing the Necklace

The ball night is all Mathilde could have hoped for. She feels she has finally attained the position she has always desired since she is the center of attention. Everyone admires her at the party.

The event and Mathilde’s enjoyment are vividly described. It gives the impression of fleeting fulfillment and bliss.

While returning from the party, Mathilde realizes the missing borrowed necklace; the dream swiftly transforms into a nightmare. Fear quickly replaces her newly discovered happiness, and the narrative takes a sharp turn.

She and her husband look everywhere but find nothing. It signifies their helplessness and approaching fate. The pair is suddenly now in difficulty. They have to face a grave situation due to the necklace’s disappearance.

Years of Struggle

Fearing Madame Forestier’s reaction to the loss of the necklace, the couple opts to replace the lost necklace with a nearly identical one. They thought that it was a real diamond necklace. The in-depth description of choosing and purchasing the new jewelry highlights the couple’s desperation. It costs an outrageous amount.

Mathilde and Monsieur Loisel put in ten years of excruciating labor to pay off their debt. They give up all comforts, sell their house, and move into a modest flat. Due to the persistent toil of poverty, Mathilde deteriorates her health and loses her beauty and charm.

After working very hard, Mathilde and her husband finally bought a real diamond necklace to give back to Madame Forestier. They were happy because they were able to replace the necklace.

When they gave it to Madame Forestier, she took it without even looking at it. Their sacrifice is vividly depicted by the difference between their prior lives and their lives following the loss of the necklace. 

The Necklace’s True Value

The story’s plot turns when Mathilde, who is now old and worn, encounters Madame Forestier after a few years. She told Mathilde that the necklace she gave to her was not real. It was a replica worth only 500 francs.

Readers are left stunned by the tragedy of Mathilde’s life due to her foolish pursuit of prestige and material prosperity.

In “The Necklace,” Madame Mathilde Loisel encounters a challenging lesson after misplacing the friend-loaned jewellery she had replaced it with. She spent ten years working long hours to pay for the new jewellery, only to find out it was a cheap replica. 

The story’s lesson cautions us to be honest and careful about our desires. Mathilde might have avoided difficulty if she had been content with what she already had.

If she had only notified her friend about losing the jewellery, she would not have been forced to go through so many years of arduous effort and hardship.

The Theme of The Necklace

Reality vs. Appearance 

In “The Necklace,” the line between appearance and truth is a significant issue. Mathilde Loisel is obsessed with her outward appearance and strives to come off as wealthy and refined. Mathilde borrows a necklace to look fancy and pretend to be someone she is not.

However, at the end of the story, she finds out the necklace is fake, just like the way she was pretending to be. It shows how trying to look different on the outside does not change who you are.

The story tells us that wanting things to show off can get you into trouble and that it is better, to be honest about who you are. It reminds us not to judge people or things by their appearance because looks can be deceiving.

Consumption and Greed 

The plot of “The Necklace” is driven by Mathilde’s fixation with social standing and her quest for material prosperity. Her obsession with these flimsy adornments leads her to suffer.

The story’s moral is that actual value and fulfillment cannot be found in material possessions alone. It is a warning against greed and the chase of material wealth.

Suffering and Sacrifice

The themes of sacrifice and suffering are profound in “The Necklace.” Mathilde and her husband endure ten years of hardship, toil, and bereavement to pay for the new necklace.

They give up their comfortable lifestyle and sell their property, and Mathilde loses her youthful beauty. Their extreme misery emphasizes how vanity and material greed can be harmful.

It also tells us that sometimes people give up things or work hard for something that’s not worth it, which can cause unnecessary pain. The sad part of the story is that they worked so hard for something that turned out to be worthless, making the results of their choices even worse.

Social Standing and Class

The demands of society and people’s quest for acceptance and upward mobility are reflected in Mathilde’s dissatisfaction with her social rank, her yearning for an elegant existence, and her desire to be accepted by high society.

Her attempts to appear wealthier than she is and her embarrassment and inadequacy regarding her true social standing indicate a critical view of a society where class and status determine what is valuable and deserving of respect. 


Due to Mathilde’s decision to keep Madame Forestier in the dark about the missing necklace, she has had to battle for ten years. The character’s lack of honesty at this crucial juncture sets the tragic direction of the story’s development.

Mathilde might have discovered the necklace’s value and averted the years of misery if she had been open about losing the necklace. Her lies remind us of the value of being truthful in our relationships. 


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