“The Necklace” Plot Summary

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The Necklace is a story about Madame Loisel, a woman who dreams of living a lavish life despite her and her husband’s financial struggles. Her husband gets an invitation to a fancy ball, but she complains about not having anything to wear. He suggests she wear her theater dress, but she convinces him to spend money on a new dress and borrow a diamond necklace from her friend, Madame Forestier. Madame Loisel enjoys the ball and feels the recognition she craves but loses the necklace. They replace the necklace by borrowing money and giving up their small luxuries. Years later, Madame Loisel tells Madame Forestier the truth about the necklace, only to find out it was fake. The story highlights the dangers of wanting more than what one can afford and the consequences of dishonesty.

Table of Content

“The Necklace” begins by introducing Madame Loisel, a woman married to a clerk and struggling financially. However, this does not stop her from yearning for a luxurious life beyond her means. She desires social status, the opportunity to mingle with the elite, indulgent meals, and extravagant dresses. To please his unappreciative wife, Madame Loisel’s husband goes to great lengths to secure an invitation to a ball. However, his efforts do not yield the intended reaction, and Madame Loisel resumes her complaints about having nothing suitable to wear.

The clerk, who is very frugal, suggests that the woman wears her theater dress, but he only mocks her. However, she manages to convince him to use the money he had saved for summer lark hunts. As the party day approaches, Mrs. Loisel once again complains, this time about not having any jewels to wear. Her husband suggests that she borrows jewels from her old school friend, Madame Forestier. Mrs. Loisel visits her friend, who assures her that she can choose any piece of jewelry she wants. Ultimately, she selects a beautifully elaborate diamond necklace. At the ball, Madame Loisel finally experiences the recognition she desires so much.

After enjoying the content and feeling completely satisfied, she dances until four o’clock in the morning before discreetly leaving with her husband in a shabby carriage. However, upon reaching home, Madame Loisel realizes that the diamond necklace is no longer adorning her neck. In spite of their unsuccessful search for the necklace, they decide it would be wiser to not purchase a replacement but rather inform Madame Forestier about its disappearance.

Even though he is financially depleted, the husband uses all of his only inheritance of eighteen thousand francs and an additional eighteen thousand francs obtained by borrowing from various individuals and loan sharks to buy a new necklace.

Having to relinquish their minor indulgences, like the maid, forced them to relocate to a humble attic apartment. After years of relentless effort, they are finally capable of settling their debt. As she strolls along, her former youthful beauty diminishing, she comes across her acquaintance Madame Forrestier, who still exudes remarkable charm. Eventually, Mrs. Loisel discloses the reality behind her necklace mishap and realizes that it was merely a fake.

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