Get here the summary, questions, answers, textbook solutions, extras, and pdf of the story “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant of the Tripura Board (TBSE) Class 10 English (Footprints Without Feet) Supplementary textbook. However, the given notes/solutions should only be used for references and should be modified/changed according to needs.
Summary: The story “The Necklace” tells the story of a woman from a lower middle-class background who was never happy with who she was or what she had, and consequently, she met with a tragic end. She never got over the fact that she did not have a lavish lifestyle and eventually gave in to the urge to have one. In order for her to go to the ball, she borrowed a diamond necklace from a friend who was wealthy. She was forced to endure a challenging struggle in order to make up for the loss of this piece of jewellery, which she, unfortunately, lost.
It’s hard to resist the allure of Madame Matilda Loisel’s affable smile and lovely demeanour. She thinks she was made for the finer things in life. She laments her fate on a regular basis because she is poor and cannot afford her extravagant aspirations.
Matilda, who is married to Loisel, a clerk at the Board of Education, makes her own life more miserable by constantly contrasting it with her ideal, more affluent existence. Her husband is concerned about her and tries to lift her spirits by praising the simple pleasures of their daily lives. Later, he gives her a party invitation he received from the Minister of Public Instruction. And now that she has received this invitation, Matilda is feeling even worse about her situation. She becomes enraged because she has nothing to wear to the formal event. Not wanting to let this opportunity pass, her husband gladly forks over the 400 francs he had set aside for a hunting gun so that Matilda could purchase an appropriate dress for the occasion.
Loisel observes Matilda’s glum demeanour a few days prior to the ball party. When he inquires as to why, she says that she does not own any suitable jewellery to complement the dress. He suggests she accessorise with some fresh flowers, but Matilda is not keen on the idea. Their friend, Madame Forestier, is very wealthy, so her husband suggests that she borrow the jewellery from her. Matilda thinks this is a good plan, so she visits her friend the following day to discuss the issue. The generous Madame Forestier lets Matilda take whatever she likes from the jewellery box. Matilda takes a magnificent diamond necklace from the collection after examining and admiring it.
Matilda arrives at the ball in her new dress and diamond necklace, looking beautiful, gracious, happy, and full of life. Her beauty and charisma make her the centre of attention at the party. While Matilda’s husband waits patiently in one of the little salons, she takes in all the attention. The couple gets up at four in the morning and heads back home. On the way back, they have trouble securing a carriage and are completely spent when they finally get there. At bedtime, Matilda discovers to her horror that she has lost her necklace.
Loisel, disappointed, searches high and low but can’t seem to find her missing jewellery. At last, he suggests that Matilda write her friend an explanation letter explaining that the necklace’s clasp has broken and that she plans to have it fixed. Loisel hoped to delay the inevitable so that he could make up for his loss. He eventually tracks down a copy of the stolen artwork at the Palais Royal, where it is being sold for thirty-six thousand francs despite being appraised at forty thousand. He takes out a loan and puts it together with the eighteen thousand francs he received from his father’s estate. After that, he goes and retrieves the new diamond chaplet. Matilda gives the jewellery back to her friend and is relieved that the change won’t be discovered.
But now the Loisel couple must begin a protracted and trying ordeal. They have taken on a very frugal way of life and reduced their spending significantly in order to pay off their debt. They get rid of the maid and move into a new place, which has an attic that they can rent out for extra space. Matilda’s life is filled with destitution, hunger, and misery for the next decade. Her appearance is ugliness personified due to her wrinkled face, untidy hair, and sloppy attire.
Eventually, she runs into her friend, Mme Forestier. Matilda’s appearance shows the years of effort she has put in. Mme. Forestier has trouble recognising her and wonders what has caused the sudden transformation. Matilda tells her the truth about the missing necklace. An unexpected turn of events follows. After Matilda expresses her gratitude for the diamond necklace she lent her, Madame Forestier breaks the news that it was actually a fake worth less than 500 francs.
Intext/read and find out
1. What kind of person is Mme. Loisel—why is she always unhappy?
Answer: Matilda was the type of person who could not be satisfied with what life had given her. She believed that her grace and beauty were luxuries and delicacies in themselves. She bemoaned the fact that she had to make do with the meagre resources that her husband, a petty clerk, could provide for the two of them.
2. What kind of person is her husband?
Answer: The character of her husband can best be described as uncomplicated and honest. He is a humble and kind-hearted husband, in addition to being a normal man. He delights in gauging his success by the contentment of Mme Loisel.
5. What do M. and Mme Loisel do next?
Answer: M. Loisel leaves the house to look for the missing necklace. After that, he goes to both the police station and the cab offices. They also published an advertisement in the local newspapers and offered a reward to anyone who found the necklace.
6. How do they replace the necklace?
Answer: They were able to replace the necklace by using the eighteen thousand francs that his father had bequeathed to him and the money that they borrowed from usurers and money lenders to make up the difference. After that, they relocated to a new location, rented an attic, and parted ways with the maid and Mme. Loisel did the housework herself.
Textual/talk about it
1. The course of the Loisels’ lives changed due to the necklace. Comment.
Answer: In the second half of the narrative, it becomes clear that the necklace played a significant role in altering the path that Loisel’s life took. Since they were unable to locate the missing necklace anywhere, they made the decision to replace it with a new one of the same exact design and give it to Mme. Loisel. On the other hand, the necklace was priced at 36,000 francs, but they only had 18,000 francs to spend. They obtained loans from a number of different people to cover the remaining amount. They were forced to go through excruciating pain in order to pay back the money they had borrowed. They decided to get rid of their maid and rent out some space in the attic so that they could save some money. Mme Loisel was responsible for washing the dirty dishes, linens, and all of their clothing. Mme. Loisel became a coarse woman as a result of her poverty and the shift in her way of life. Her once-glorious appearance was gradually obscured by the effects of difficult years.
2. What was the cause of Matilda’s ruin? How could she have avoided it?
Answer: Matilda’s lack of contentment with her life and the opportunities it presented led to her downfall and destruction. She was a fanciful woman who was convinced that she deserved all of the pleasures and luxuries that life had to offer her. She never experienced joy in her life. She was unhappy with the way things were. She could have avoided the disaster if she had just been happy with what she already had. Everything went wrong because of her obsession with wearing the jewel, which she would never be able to afford in her lifetime.
4. If you were caught in a situation like this, how would you have dealt with it?
Answer: Personally, I think it’s best to stop complaining about the things we don’t have and instead focus on appreciating the things we do have. Our goals in life should never be purely material. If I were in a similar situation, I would have carefully considered all of my options. I would have been honest about it with my friend. It’s better to always tell the truth, even if it means upsetting a friend. When we want to conceal a single truth, we frequently resort to telling several lies.
Additional/extra questions and answers/solutions
1. What set Matilda apart from other women? What kind of aspirations did she have?
Answer: In contrast to other women of her status, Matilda was stunningly beautiful, sophisticated, and refined. She fantasised about lavish parties with all the fine china, silverware, jewellery, and clothing that money could buy.
2. Why did Matilda marry a petty clerk, despite the fact that she believed she was born for luxuries?
Answer: Despite coming from a long line of clerks, Matilda felt she was destined for a life of finery and married a petty clerk anyway. She came from a poor family and therefore had no chance of marrying into the upper class or gaining social status by association with her husband.
14. What was Matilda afraid of when she returned the necklace to Mme Forestier?
Answer: Matilda was nervous that Mme Forestier would open the jewellery box and discover the change when she returned the necklace to her. Or, she could label her as a thief and make a snide remark.
15. How has Matilda spent the ten years since she returned from the ball?
Answer: To pay off their debt, the Loisels needed ten long years. Matilda displayed heroic resilience during that time. She dismissed the maid, took on all the housework herself, and rented out space in the attic. She helped her husband pay off the debt by dressing modestly and saving money by haggling with the grocer and butcher.
16. How did M. Loisel repay the debt?
Answer: To pay off his debt, M. Loisel put in extra hours at work. He also did nighttime copying for five sous per page and helped organise the merchants’ books. It took him ten years, but he eventually paid off his debt through this approach.
17. What changes occurred in Matilda’s emotional state after ten years of hard work?
Answer: Due to her ten years of hard labour, Matilda is now an emotionally resilient woman. She no longer felt sorry for herself or bitter about her circumstances. The crisis had made her stronger, and she was proud of herself for making it through. Despite her past insecurities, she now presents herself with confidence.
18. Why didn’t Mme Forestier recognise Matilda near the end of the story?
Answer: After ten years of relentless toil, Matilda had lost all of her enchantment and sophistication. Somehow, she went from being a refined beauty to a stout, crony-like housewife. Such was the extent of Matilda’s transformation that Jeanne Forestier no longer recognised her as her friend.
19. What would have happened if Matilda had told her friend she had misplaced the necklace?
Answer: Matilda could have been put in an extremely difficult and humiliating situation if she had confessed to Mrs Forestier. But the Loisels could have avoided that tedium for ten years by simply paying the necklace’s actual value.
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