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5.0 stars - 1 reviews range from 0 to 5



late 19th century, Paris, France

class systems are still prevalent, Story has this setting as a backdrop since it is based on Mme Loisel's dissatisfaction with her place in society


short story

Narrator omniscient


Literary Fiction



married couple

Monsieur Loisel, In love with his wife, content with his life, self-sacrificing man, loyal to his wife

Madame Loisel, dreaming of high class life, unhappy with her situation


Mathilde Loisel, dreaming of a high class life

Madame Forestier, lends the necklace to Mathilde, rich and beautiful



flat (rue des Martyrs), part 1 - 3

party (Ministry of Education), part 4

garret under the roof, part 5

Champs-Elysées, part 6

Story structure

part 1

Mme Loisel, Unfulfilled dreams, unhappy

M. Loisel, little clerk in the Ministry of Education

part 2

Invitation to the ball, M.Loisel, forgets his wishes and gives money to his wife to buy the dress, Mme Loisel, first unhappy: no good dress, gets money from her husband to buy an appropriate dress

part 3

Borrowing Mrs Forestier's necklace, Mme Loisel, unhappy since she has no jewels, borrows a necklace from her friend; Mme Forestier

part 4

The ball, During, Great success of Mme Loisel, After, Mme Loisel realises that the necklace is lost., A desperate unfruitful search for the necklace

part 5

Fear of disclosure, consequently Substituting the necklace, Buying a copy of the necklace and returning it to the owner without saying anything, Getting in debt with the creditors, Paying the debts and its consequences, no maid, moving to a garret under a roof, hard work for the couple for various years

part 6 -

The twist / the ugly truth, Meeting with Mme Forestier, The necklace lent by Mme Forestier was a fake one worth 500 francs not a real one worth 40 000 francs.

Duration of the story

approximately 10 years

Different readings

can be compared to Cinderella, but the fairytale changes into a nightmare

a criticism to 19th century society, prisoner to its prejudice and concupiscence

a person's preoccupation with appearance and materialism is vain

being honest up front always pays in the long run

Main characteristics

Use of irony to produce a surprise ending

narrative text form

a lot of symbolic meaning

The paste necklace represents the fraudulent nature of Mme. Forestier and the upper class

Both Mathilde and the necklace are pretty on the outside, but common and plain on the inside.

M and Mme Loisel live in rue des Martyrs

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