The Necklace Summary: A Brief Overview of the Classic Short Story

The Necklace Summary: A Brief Overview of the Classic Short Story

The Necklace is a famous short story written by French author Guy de Maupassant. It tells the story of Mathilde, a young woman who dreams of a luxurious and glamorous lifestyle, but is trapped in a life of hardship and poverty. When her husband brings home an invitation to attend a fancy party hosted by the Forestiers, Mathilde sees it as an opportunity to escape her dismal reality, even if only for one night.

Mathilde borrows a beautiful necklace from her friend Madame Forestier, without having any idea of the illusion this necklace will create. She believes that by wearing this piece of jewelry, she can deceive others into thinking she belongs to the upper class. However, things take a turn for the worse when she loses the necklace on her way home from the event.

The story’s main theme revolves around the notion of appearance versus reality. It is a reflection on the idea that people sometimes become so obsessed with the outward symbols of wealth and beauty that they fail to appreciate the true meaning of their own lives. Mathilde’s desire to maintain a façade of luxury and elegance ultimately leads her into a downward spiral of debt and despair.

The Necklace is full of irony and humor, as it shines a light on the consequences of Mathilde’s choices and the hardships she faces as a result. The author uses the necklace as a symbolic representation of the pursuit of material possessions and the lengths people are willing to go to in order to attain them. Maupassant masterfully crafts the story’s setting and characters to guide the reader through a poignant analysis of the human condition.

In the end, Mathilde learns a valuable lesson about the true value of things. She realizes that the necklace she had borrowed, which she believed to be made of expensive diamonds, was actually just a cheap imitation. The story’s ironic twist is that if Mathilde had been honest with Madame Forestier from the beginning and had admitted to losing the necklace, she would have avoided all the suffering and hardship that she and her husband endured for ten long years in order to repay their debt.

Theme: The Necklace Humor

The humor in the story comes from the contrast between Mathilde’s desire for material things and her inability to enjoy them. Mathilde is invited to a high-class event but is distraught because she does not have any jewelry to wear. In desperation, she borrows a stunning diamond necklace from her friend Madame Forestier, who is portrayed as a symbol of wealth and beauty.

Mathilde’s excitement and anticipation build as she wears the borrowed necklace to the event, feeling like the belle of the ball. However, the humor ensues when she loses the necklace during the course of the evening. She and Monsieur Loisel search desperately for it, retracing their steps in a futile attempt to find the lost jewels.

The comedic aspect of the story comes to light when Mathilde discovers that the necklace she borrowed was actually a fake. The humor lies in the fact that Mathilde and Monsieur Loisel spent years working to repay their debts, living in hardship, all to replace a necklace that was not even valuable. This irony adds a humorous twist to the story and serves as a reflection on the meaning of material possessions and societal expectations.

See also Left Brain vs Right Brain: Exploring the Differences and Debunking the Myths

The use of humor in “The Necklace” not only provides entertainment but also serves to shed light on deeper themes and ideas. It exposes the vanity and illusion of desire for material possessions, as well as the consequences of pride and discontentment. Through the lens of humor, the story’s characters and their actions are scrutinized, allowing readers to both laugh at their misfortune and reflect on the broader meaning behind their choices.

The Necklace Summary Review and Reflection

The story begins with Mathilde’s husband, Monsieur Loisel, presenting her with an invitation to a high society event. Excited by the prospect of attending, Mathilde realizes that she does not have any jewelry to wear for the occasion. In desperation, she decides to borrow a stunning diamond necklace from her wealthy friend Madame Forestier.

The night of the event arrives and Mathilde dazzles in her borrowed necklace. She enjoys the evening, dancing and socializing with the upper-class attendees. However, as the night comes to an end, Mathilde is horrified to discover that she has lost the necklace. Fearful of the consequences, the Loisels decide to replace the necklace without informing Madame Forestier of their mistake.

Mathilde and her husband take on extra jobs and borrow money in order to pay off their debt from purchasing a new necklace. The once comfortable and happy couple descends into poverty and hardship, working tirelessly to repay their debts. After ten long years, they finally manage to do so, but at a great cost.

The true meaning and theme of “The Necklace” lie in its ironic twist. After Mathilde finally pays off the debt, she encounters Madame Forestier while taking a walk in the Champs-Élysées. She proudly admits to Madame Forestier that she had replaced the lost necklace, only to be met with a surprising response – the original necklace was made of paste and worth only a few francs.

This shocking revelation highlights the illusion of wealth and the danger of materialistic desires. Mathilde’s vanity and desire for more lead her to a decade of suffering, all for an item that held no real value. The necklace becomes a symbol of the hardships Mathilde and her husband endure to repay a debt caused by their own foolishness.

Through the study of “The Necklace,” readers come to understand the destructive power of greed and the consequences that can arise from wanting what others possess. The characters’ actions and their pursuit of a luxurious lifestyle are cautionary tales for those inclined to prioritize material possessions over true happiness and contentment.


“The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant is a short story that follows the life of Mathilde Loisel, a young woman who dreams of a luxurious lifestyle filled with expensive jewelry. To attend a high society event, Mathilde borrows a beautiful necklace from her friend Madame Forestier. However, she loses the necklace and, with her husband, takes on debt and hardship to replace it. When they finally repay the debt, they discover that the necklace was fake, leading to reflection on the dangers of materialistic desires.


“The Necklace” offers a powerful reflection on the consequences of greed and the pursuit of wealth. Mathilde’s character is a cautionary reminder that true happiness lies not in material possessions but in contentment with what one has. The story’s ironic twist serves as a reminder to appreciate the beauty in life without always striving for more. It prompts readers to reflect on their own desires and priorities, reminding them to seek fulfillment in meaningful relationships and experiences rather than the illusion of wealth.

See also Transportation Essays: Exploring the Different Modes of Transportation

The Necklace Study Guide: Symbols, Summary, Analysis, and Characters

When Mathilde receives an invitation to a high-class event hosted by Madame Forestier, she is filled with excitement but quickly realizes she has nothing suitable to wear. Desperate to fit in and make a good impression, she borrows a stunning diamond necklace from her wealthy friend.

During the event, Mathilde feels like the center of attention as people admire her borrowed jewels. However, when she returns home, she discovers the necklace is missing. In a panic, she and her husband take out loans to replace the necklace, paying off their debts for years.

In a surprising twist, Mathilde runs into Madame Forestier several years later and decides to confess the truth about the lost necklace. Madame Forestier, unfazed, reveals that the necklace was actually a fake, worth only a fraction of what Mathilde had assumed. The Loisel’s had spent years suffering and sacrificing for something that had little value.

The story’s ironic and humorous tone highlights the theme of the illusion of wealth and the dangers of excessive materialism. Mathilde’s desire for jewelry symbolizes her longing for a different life, but this desire ultimately brings her more hardship. The necklace itself serves as a reflection of Mathilde’s character, with its beauty masking its true meaning.

The characters in the story, particularly Mathilde and her husband, are portrayed as sympathetic yet flawed. While Mathilde is initially dissatisfied with her life, her husband is content with what they have. It is Mathilde’s unwillingness to appreciate her circumstances that fuels much of the story’s conflict.

The setting of “The Necklace” takes place in 19th century France, depicting a society where appearances and social status are of great importance. The story’s social commentary on class and ambition resonates with readers, making it a timeless piece of literature.

In summary, “The Necklace” is a story that explores the consequences of envy and the pursuit of wealth. Through its characters, symbols, and ironic events, the story reminds us of the importance of appreciating what we have and not getting caught up in the illusion of material possessions.

The Necklace Setting

The story begins with Mathilde and her husband, Monsieur Loisel, living a life of modest means. They are invited to a fancy event hosted by the Ministry of Education, and Mathilde is determined to make a grand impression. However, she realizes that she does not have any jewelry to wear to the event. In desperation, Mathilde borrows a stunning necklace from Madame Forestier, thinking that it will make her look more elegant and wealthy.

Mathilde’s appearance at the event is a success, and she enjoys a night of feeling like a woman of high society. However, when Mathilde and her husband return home, they discover that the necklace is missing. In an attempt to find it, they search all night, retracing their steps and visiting the places they had been. But the necklace is nowhere to be found.

The next morning, Mathilde and her husband decide to replace the necklace, taking out loans and paying debts for the next ten years. They live a life of hardship, sacrificing their comfort to fulfill their obligation. However, it is only at the end of this period that Mathilde runs into Madame Forestier, who casually mentions that the necklace Mathilde borrowed was just a fake, worth only a fraction of the price they had paid to replace it.

See also How These 7 Cover Letter Words and Phrases Are Ruining Your Job Chances

The setting of “The Necklace” highlights the irony of Mathilde’s actions and the theme of the story. The 19th century French society is depicted as a place where appearance and social status are highly valued. Mathilde’s desire to fit into this society leads her to make a series of choices that ultimately lead to her downfall.

  • The setting also reflects the illusion that Mathilde is willing to create and maintain in order to be accepted by others. She believes that wearing the necklace will make her look rich and beautiful, even though the jewelry itself holds no inherent meaning.
  • The forest where Mathilde and her husband search for the lost necklace is a symbol of the obstacles they face in their pursuit of an illusion. The forest represents the darkness and confusion that Mathilde finds herself in as she struggles to maintain the appearance of wealth and beauty.
  • Overall, the setting of “The Necklace” is a reflection of the characters’ desire for a lifestyle they do not have, the hardship they endure to obtain it, and the humor of their situation when they realize the true value of the necklace.

In summary, the setting of “The Necklace” is a key element in understanding the story’s theme and ironic action. It provides a backdrop for the characters’ desires and the consequences of their actions. The setting reflects the illusion that Mathilde is willing to create and maintain in order to be accepted by others, while also highlighting the hardships she and her husband endure in pursuit of this illusion.


What is the summary of “The Necklace”?

“The Necklace” is a short story written by Guy de Maupassant. It tells the story of Mathilde Loisel, a middle-class woman who longs for a luxurious and extravagant lifestyle. One day, her husband brings home an invitation to a high-class party, and Mathilde borrows a beautiful necklace from her wealthy friend. However, tragedy strikes when she loses the necklace and is forced to replace it without anyone knowing. After years of struggle and hard work, Mathilde finally pays off the debt and discovers that the necklace she lost was actually a fake, which leaves her devastated and bitter.

What is the theme of “The Necklace”?

The theme of “The Necklace” is the destructive power of materialism. Mathilde Loisel is consumed by her desire for wealth and luxury, and this desire ultimately leads to her downfall. She believes that possessing a beautiful necklace will make her happy and fulfilled, but instead, it brings her only misery and hardship. The story serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of valuing material possessions above all else.

Who are the main characters in “The Necklace”?

The main characters in “The Necklace” are Mathilde Loisel, her husband Monsieur Loisel, and Madame Forestier (Mathilde’s wealthy friend who lends her the necklace). Mathilde is the protagonist of the story and serves as a symbol of desire and ambition. Monsieur Loisel is a kind and caring husband who is devoted to Mathilde. Madame Forestier represents the lifestyle that Mathilde desires but ultimately cannot attain.

What symbols are used in “The Necklace”?

“The Necklace” includes several symbols that enrich the story’s meaning. The necklace itself is a symbol of wealth and social status, representing Mathilde’s longing for a higher position in society. It also symbolizes the consequences of deceit and the pursuit of material possessions. The diamond necklace serves as a catalyst for the events in the story and ultimately leads to Mathilde’s downfall. Additionally, Mathilde’s borrowed dress symbolizes the temporary nature of her desired lifestyle and the illusion of happiness that wealth can bring.

Alex Koliada, PhD

By Alex Koliada, PhD

Alex Koliada, PhD, is a well-known doctor. He is famous for studying aging, genetics, and other medical conditions. He works at the Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics. His scientific research has been published in the most reputable international magazines. Alex holds a BA in English and Comparative Literature from the University of Southern California, and a TEFL certification from The Boston Language Institute.