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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, happy at the end of the story


Mathilde Loisel, dreaming of a high class life

Madame Forestier, lends the necklace to Mathilde, rich and beautiful, scheming, dishonest woman



flat (rue des Martyrs), part 1 - 3

party (Ministry of Education), part 4

at Mme Forestier's house, part 5

in court, 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

Informing Mme Forestier, her reaction and the consequences, Mme Forestier is informed of the loss., The necklace is found but Mme Forestier takes advantage of the situation - wants money for her trouble., A legal case starts - duration (10 months), Loisel ages 10 years

part 6 -

The twist / the ugly truth, Result of the legal case / trial, The necklace lent by Mme Forestier was a fake one., Mme Forestier is obliged to apologise to the Loisel couple., Mme Loisel starts appreciating what she has particularly her husband., The story is published in a newspaper., M. Loisel gets promoted.

Duration of the story

approximately 10 months

Different readings

can be compared to Cinderella, but after the ball the "fairytale" becomes a nightmare and then finally there is a happy ending.

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

a person's preoccupation with appearance and materialism is vain

All that glitters is not gold. (Appearances deceive)

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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