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Chapter 7 - The Necklace

This article will help you to learn about the summary, characters and themes in the story “The Necklace”.


This story is about a woman who does not know how to live within her means. Loisel belongs to a middle-class family but wants to live a lavish lifestyle. Her husband is a clerk who cannot afford to fulfil all her demands. For attending a party, Loisel decides to borrow a necklace from her friend who rich. Loisel loses the necklace while returning from the party. Loisel and her husband spend all their fortunes and borrowings to buy a similar necklace which cost them a fortune. After that, they have to everything which could be done so that they could repay the loan. It takes about 10 years of hard work and lots of sacrifices before she is able to repay all her loans. The time and all the hard-work take their toll on her, and she ages quickly. After that tortuous period had passed she happens to meet her rich friend and tells the whole story. Her friend tells that it was not a diamond necklace but a piece of cheap imitation jewellery.

Character List

Mathilde Loisel - The protagonist of the story. Mathilde has been blessed with physical beauty but not with the affluent lifestyle she yearns for, and she feels deeply discontented with her lot in life. When she prepares to attend a fancy party, she borrows a diamond necklace from her friend Madame Forestier, then loses the necklace and must work for ten years to pay off a replacement. Her one night of radiance cost her and Monsieur Loisel any chance for future happiness.

Monsieur Loisel - Mathilde’s husband. Monsieur Loisel is content with the small pleasures of his life but does his best to appease Mathilde’s demands and assuage her complaints. He loves Mathilde immensely but does not truly understand her, and he seems to underestimate the depth of her unhappiness. When Mathilde loses the necklace, Monsieur Loisel sacrifices his own future to help her repay the debt. He pays dearly for something he had never wanted in the first place.

Madame Forestier - Mathilde’s wealthy friend. Madame Forestier treats Mathilde kindly, but Mathilde is bitterly jealous of Madame Forestier’s wealth, and the kindness pains her. Madame Forestier lends Mathilde the necklace for the party and does not inspect it when Mathilde returns it. She is horrified to realize that Mathilde has wasted her life trying to pay for a replacement necklace when the original necklace had actually been worth nothing.


The theme of the short story, “The Necklace” is to be happy with who you are and what you have.  Madame Loisel lived in the middle-class society but longed to be a member of high society.  She wanted to live above her means and would do whatever it took to get there.  Her husband provided the stepping stone to enter the world of the upper class by getting an invitation to a prominent reception.  From there she talked her husband into giving her the money to have a wonderful dress to fit in with them and then the final highlight was to borrow a wonderful diamond necklace from Madame Forestier to wear to the reception.  The ironic situation is the source of her joy, the necklace, becomes her downfall when she loses it and has to work the next ten years of her life to replace it.  She not only loses her middle-income status but falls into poverty and spends the rest of her life suffering for her dreams.  The symbolism of the necklace is social acceptance into a world where she longs to be but doesn’t belong.

For The Necklace Class 10, The Necklace Questions and Answers, The Necklace Questions and Answers PDF, refer to the solutions given below.

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