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The Necklace Summary and Analysis


“The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant describes the life of a girl, Mathilde Loisel who feels that although she is among the prettiest and most charming ladies in her community, her unfavorable economic status disadvantage her. The author uses a strategic exploration of the normal life occurrences to bring out his themes and motifs. The story revolves around the themes struggle of Loisel to please her husband and be with him. The frustration and struggle lead her to borrow a necklace from a wealthy neighbor. The necklace is however lost in the streets and Loisel has to search for money from literary all sources to find a replacement. The author brings out this through the selection of a setting that supports the struggle and characters who bring out the motifs and irony intended.

The story significantly employs the aspect of realism. The author is for the general idea that reality can be effectively conveyed by fiction. The story of Loisel as being told by the author represents a normal life that any reader can identify with. The struggle that the poor have to go through to be acceptable in the community and around some groups is a reality. He uses fiction to create a world that is congruent with any type of life. The use of symbols such as beauty and the necklace effectively enrich the literary work and makes it more than just a simple short story. In a way, the story communicates the dangers of being dissatisfied with self and seeking glory higher that one can afford.

The surprise ending of the story and the irony contained therein is impressive. Loisel was beautiful enough to go to the party without any jewelry. However, she chooses not to believe this and had to borrow a necklace that is later lost. She spends ten years looking for money to replace the necklace only to realize later that it was rather a useless necklace (Maupassant, 1992).

Discussion questions:

  • How does the author bring out the theme of irony in the story?
  • How can the main themes of the story be applied to contemporary life?
  • Based on the story, is it true to say that self-confidence is better than jewelry? Explain.
  • How well does the author use fiction to bring out reality?
  • How does the author portray the main characters in the story?

Maupassant, G. (1992). The necklace and other short stories. Dover Publications. New York.

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