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The Necklace Summary: A Synopsis

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The necklace is a short story by Guy de Maupassant, that takes place in France about 700 years ago.

Mathilde Loisel and her husband live in a Flat. Her husband is a clerk in the education ministry. They lead a simple life, but Mathilde craves wealth. She is envious of Jeanne, her rich friend.

She receives an invitation to a ball from her husband. Instead of being excited, she is angry. She gives her complaints about having nothing presentable to wear to a ball. Her husband gives her four hundred franks to buy a dress. He had been saving it to purchase a rifle.

Mathilde then complains later that she had no jewelry to accompany the dress. Her husband tells her to borrow from Jeanne. Mathilde goes to her friend’s house to borrow a diamond necklace, and they then attend the Gala. She is in a great mood and even spends all night dancing. They leave later, and head for home and Mathilde realizes she is missing the necklace. Her husband helps her search the streets but is not successful. Mathilde stalls and provides an excuse to her friend that the necklace was being repaired. They find an identical necklace, but it is worth 36,000 franks. Her husband had inherited half this sum, but they would have to borrow the remaining amount. They get enough and Mathilde gets the necklace and returns it to Jeanne.

Mathilde’s next few years take a dramatic turn. They are forced to move to a smaller house, and she has to work as her husband to repay the debt they had borrowed. They manage to pay the debt in ten years but by this time she has aged so much.

Mathilde decides to tell Jeanne the truth about the necklace after meeting her on the street. Jeanne reveals that the necklace that Mathilde had borrowed was fake and only worth five hundred. The main lesson is about the importance of honesty and contentment.

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