The Necklace

The Necklace

Infobox short story |
name = The Necklace
title_orig = La Parure
translator =
author = Guy de Maupassant
country = France
language = French
series =
genre = Short Story
published_in =
publication_type =
publisher =
media_type =
pub_date = 1884
english_pub_date =
preceded_by =
followed_by =

"The Necklace" or "The Diamond Necklace" ( _fr. La Parure) is a short story by Guy de Maupassant, first published in 1884 in the French newspaper "Le Gaulois". The story has become one of Maupassant's most popular works and is well known for its twist ending. It is also the inspiration for Henry James' short story, "Paste".Fact|date=April 2008. It has been dramatised as a musical by the Irish composer Conor Mitchell First Produced professionally by Thomas Hopkins & Andrew Jenkins for Surefire Theatrical Ltd at the Edinburgh Festival in 2007 .

Plot summary

"The Necklace" tells the story of a nineteenth-century middle class French couple, Monsieur and Madame Mathilde Loisel. She spends a lot of time imagining herself in wealthy settings, hosting and attending high society gatherings.

Monsieur Loisel is a clerk in the Ministry of Public Instruction. He manages to obtain an invitation to an official dance at the Ministry. Madame Loisel is distraught because she has no suitable dress or jewelry for the dance. The clerk sacrifices his savings to buy her a dress, and suggests that she borrow some jewelry from her old friend, Madame Jeanne Forestier. Accordingly, Madame Loisel borrows a beautiful diamond necklace from her.

She has a wonderful time until the early hours of the morning. When the couple returns home, they discover that the necklace is missing.

Unable to bear the shame of informing Madame Forestier, Monsieur and Madame Loisel decide to buy an identical diamond necklace from the 'Palais Royal' as a replacement. The cost is extravagant — thirty-six thousand francs — a fortune at the time. Monsieur Loisel spends his entire inheritance and life savings, eighteen thousand francs left to him by his father, and incurs heavy debts by asking usurers for loans to buy the replacement. They do not inform Madame Forestier of the change and spend the next ten years of their lives paying off the debts. Both Monsieur and Madame Loisel are forced to take on extra jobs and live in abject poverty — in time, the Madame comes to empathise with those she once looked down upon with disdain.

At the end of the ten years, Madame Loisel, now older, tougher, more worn, and less graceful from years of hard manual labor — but immensely proud — has an opportunity to tell her old friend of the lost necklace. Madame Forestier is shocked and informs Madame Loisel that her original necklace was, in fact, an imitation, "...worth five hundred francs at the most!"

External links

* [ Text of The Diamond Necklace]
* [ Free audiobook : La Parure "(The Necklace)" (in French)]

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