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“The Necklace” Short Story Summary

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1 “The Necklace” Short Story Summary

2 Short Story Summary TITLE: “The Necklace” AUTHOR: Guy de Maupassant
SETTING (Time and Place): Paris, France Loisel’s apartment, party at the Ministry of Education’s Mansion.

3 CHARACTERS (List and describe on separate lines):
Madame Loisel - selfish (beautiful, charming, middle class, spoiled, daydreamed)→→aged quickly, heavy rough, harsh, shrill voice, poor Monsieur Loisel- kind, generous, loyal hard-working, clerk for Ministry of Education, wants to please wife, middle class

4 Madame Forestier - kind, generous, wealthy, snobby

5 SUMMARY Madame Loisel is in her apartment dreaming of a better life. She is unhappy and dissatisfied with her social status and mediocre surroundings. Mme & Msr. L receive an invitation to a party at the Ministry.

6 Plot Summary cont’d Mme. refuses to attend until she has something suitable to wear. She borrows a diamond necklace from her friend Mme. F. Mme. L loses the necklace somewhere on the way home.

7 Summary continued… They borrow the money from loan sharks and are forced to live a life of poverty for 10 years until their debts are paid off. Mme. L meets up with Mme F and tells her about the lost necklace, and Mme. F reveals the necklace is fake.

8 POINT OF VIEW: This short story is told from the 3rd person limited point of view. The author focuses on Mme. Loisel’s thoughts and feelings.

9 Conflicts: Internal – Mme. Loisel vs. herself: her excessive pride, materialism and shallowness cause her emotional torture as she feels she’s been deprived of luxuries.

10 Conflict cont’d External –
Mme. Loisel vs. M. different values (although he is tolerant of her behavior and wants to please her)

11 SYMBOLS: Necklace = greed/desire for what one cannot have, differences in social classes, dishonesty, Mme. L’s ‘fakeness’ or want of material things Wrap = Mme’s station in life – insecurity- embarrassment Dress = M. Loisel sacrifice for his wife

12 THEME: 1. People should be happy with what they have.
2. Honesty is the best policy. 3. You may pay a terrible price for greed and desire (Mme. L’s fatal flaw, her desire for material things, her ‘fakeness’ just like the necklace)

Characterization – the author shows what Mme. Loisel is like by concentrating mainly on the way she views her surroundings (daydreams about expensive things/lifestyle.

14 Other Literary Elements cont’d
Irony – Mme. L borrows a necklace to fit in with the rich people she envies, but the loss of the necklace results in her being poorer than she was.

15 Other Literary Elements cont’d
Foreshadowing - Rue de Martyrs the name of the street and the English word martyr- martyr means a great or constant sufferer. Her intense unhappiness cannot be lifted with one party invitation.

EXPOSITION: We meet Mme. Loisel in her apartment as she is described as extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with her social status NARRATIVE HOOK: Mme. Loisel receives an invitation to the party.

17 Plot Development Chart cont’d
RISING ACTION: Mme. Refuses to attend the party without a suitable dress/borrows a necklace/loses it/borrows money to buy a new one/lives life of poverty to pay debt.

18 Plot Development Chart cont’d
CLIMAX: 10 years later relieved of the debt Mme. L. confesses all to Mme. F. who reveals the necklace is a fake.

19 Quote Interpretation:
Quote – “We do not succeed in changing things according to our desire, but gradually our desires change.” – Marcel Proust

20 Quote cont’d… In your own words, explain what this quote means to you – We cannot always get what we want when we want it. Eventually, our priorities change and what we want changes at the same time.

21 Quote Interpretation cont’d
How does this quote relate to the story you just read? Madame Loisel is very self-centered at the beginning of the story. She is focused on material possessions. By the end of the story, her perspective changes.

22 Quote cont’d Foreshadowing- Madame and Monsieur Loisel live on “Rue des Martyrs” street. A martyr is someone that suffers a great deal and never recovers after their loss. The author foreshadows the suffering that Madame and Monsieur Loisel will have.

23 Quote cont’d Mood- The mood of this story changes as the characters and their priorities change. In the beginning, Madame L is disappointed, but then she has a great time at the party and the mood shifts to one of excitement and enjoyment.

24 Mood cont’d… After losing the necklace, Madame L’s priorities change and the mood changes to one of tragedy and loss.

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