Category: Education

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Short Story


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“The Necklace” Short Story Summary:

“The Necklace” Short Story Summary

Short Story Summary:

Short Story Summary TITLE: “The Necklace” AUTHOR: Guy de Maupassant SETTING (Time and Place): 1884 Paris, France Loisel’s apartment, party at the Ministry of Education’s Mansion.

CHARACTERS (List and describe on separate lines): :

CHARACTERS (List and describe on separate lines): Madame Loisel - selfish (beautiful, charming, middle class, spoiled, daydreamed)→→aged quickly, heavy rough, harsh, shrill voice, poor Monsieur Loisel- kind, generous, loyal hard-working, clerk for Ministry of Education, wants to please wife, middle class

PowerPoint Presentation:

Madame Forestier - kind, generous, wealthy, snobby


SUMMARY Madame Loisel is in her apartment dreaming of a better life. She is unhappy and dissatisfied with her social status and mediocre surroundings. Mme & Msr. L receive an invitation to a party at the Ministry.

Plot Summary cont’d:

Plot Summary cont’d Mme. refuses to attend until she has something suitable to wear. She borrows a diamond necklace from her friend Mme. F. Mme. L loses the necklace somewhere on the way home.

Summary continued…:

Summary continued… They borrow the money from loan sharks and are forced to live a life of poverty for 10 years until their debts are paid off. Mme. L meets up with Mme F and tells her about the lost necklace, and Mme. F reveals the necklace is fake.


POINT OF VIEW: This short story is told from the 3rd person limited point of view. The author focuses on Mme. Loisel’s thoughts and feelings.


Conflicts: Internal – Mme. Loisel vs. herself: her excessive pride, materialism and shallowness cause her emotional torture as she feels she’s been deprived of luxuries.

Conflict cont’d:

Conflict cont’d External – Mme. Loisel vs. M. different values (although he is tolerant of her behavior and wants to please her)


SYMBOLS: Necklace = greed/desire for what one cannot have, differences in social classes, dishonesty, Mme. L’s ‘fakeness’ or want of material things Wrap = Mme’s station in life – insecurity- embarrassment Dress = M. Loisel sacrifice for his wife


THEME : 1. People should be happy with what they have. 2. Honesty is the best policy. 3. You may pay a terrible price for greed and desire (Mme. L’s fatal flaw, her desire for material things, her ‘fakeness’ just like the necklace)


OTHER LITERARY ELEMENTS Characterization – the author shows what Mme. Loisel is like by concentrating mainly on the way she views her surroundings (daydreams about expensive things/lifestyle.

Other Literary Elements cont’d:

Other Literary Elements cont’d Irony – Mme. L borrows a necklace to fit in with the rich people she envies, but the loss of the necklace results in her being poorer than she was.

Other Literary Elements cont’d:

Other Literary Elements cont’d Foreshadowing - Rue de Martyrs the name of the street and the English word martyr- martyr means a great or constant sufferer. Her intense unhappiness cannot be lifted with one party invitation.


PLOT DEVELOPMENT CHART EXPOSITION : We meet Mme. Loisel in her apartment as she is described as extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with her social status NARRATIVE HOOK: Mme. Loisel receives an invitation to the party.

Plot Development Chart cont’d:

Plot Development Chart cont’d RISING ACTION: Mme. Refuses to attend the party without a suitable dress/borrows a necklace/loses it/borrows money to buy a new one/lives life of poverty to pay debt.

Plot Development Chart cont’d:

Plot Development Chart cont’d CLIMAX: 10 years later relieved of the debt Mme. L. confesses all to Mme. F. who reveals the necklace is a fake.

Quote Interpretation::

Quote Interpretation: Quote – “We do not succeed in changing things according to our desire, but gradually our desires change.” – Marcel Proust

Quote cont’d…:

Quote cont’d… In your own words, explain what this quote means to you – We cannot always get what we want when we want it. Eventually, our priorities change and what we want changes at the same time.

Quote Interpretation cont’d :

Quote Interpretation cont’d How does this quote relate to the story you just read? Madame Loisel is very self-centered at the beginning of the story. She is focused on material possessions. By the end of the story, her perspective changes.

Quote cont’d:

Quote cont’d Foreshadowing - Madame and Monsieur Loisel live on “Rue des Martyrs” street. A martyr is someone that suffers a great deal and never recovers after their loss. The author foreshadows the suffering that Madame and Monsieur Loisel will have.

Quote cont’d:

Quote cont’d Mood- The mood of this story changes as the characters and their priorities change. In the beginning, Madame L is disappointed, but then she has a great time at the party and the mood shifts to one of excitement and enjoyment.

Mood cont’d…:

Mood cont’d… After losing the necklace, Madame L’s priorities change and the mood changes to one of tragedy and loss.

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