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The Necklace by Guy De Maupassant

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The Necklace by Guy De Maupassant - Journal #4

A pretty and charming woman, Mathilde Loisel, had no dowry, no prospects, no way of getting known, courted, loved, married by a rich and distinguished man. She eventually settled for a marriage with a minor clerk in the Ministry of Education. She suffered constantly, feeling herself destined for all delicacies and luxuries. The sight of the young country girl who did her simple housework awakened in her only a sense of desolation and lost hopes. One day, her husband got an invitation letter for a party from his work place. He though she would love to go, however, she got angry and yelled at him "what do you expect me to wear to go there?" They bought a nice dress for 400 francs by using her husband's pocket money that he was going to purchase a hunting rifle. Also, since she was so obsessed by a diamond necklace that her friend Mrs. Forrestier has, she begged her for borrowing it for the night. Later, she enjoyed the party so much as if her dream came true. She danced frantically with many men and apparently she was the most popular girl there. After spending the amazing night, she noticed that she lost her necklace. They both were very frightened and made up mind to buy the necklace from store. In order to pay the huge debt, they dismissed the maid; they changed their address; they rented an attic flat. She learned to do the heavy housework, dirty kitchen jobs. She washed the dishes, wearing away her manicured fingernails on greasy pots and encrusted baking dishes. She hand-washed dirty linen, shirts, and dish towels that she hung out on the line to dry. Each morning, she tool the garbage down to the street, and she carried up water, stopping at dealer, grocer, the butchers, with her basket under her arms, haggling, insulting, defending her measly cash penny by penny. They had to make installment payments every month, and, to buy more time, to refinance loans. She became the strong, hard, and rude woman of poor households. Sometimes, when her husband was at work, she sat down near the window, and she dreamed of that evening so long ago, of that part, where she had been so beautiful and so admired. In the end, she ran into Mrs. Forrestier unexpectedly in the town and she told her the truth that is she lost her necklace and bought new one for her. Furthermore, because of that, she spent 10 years to pay the debt. Surprisingly, Mrs. Forrestier told her that the necklace was a fake, it cost at most 500 francs.

This story is very classic and a mainstream. However, considering its publishing date, I was really surprised. This tragedy is caused by Mathilde and her husband's vanity. They did not want people to look them down as a thieves or liar. But, overall, although Mathilde and her husband have suffered from their duty of paying debt, I believe the process has set her mind right. She should not be upset about it because she got something more important in her life.



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