The Diamond Necklace: BSEM Class 10 English Literature answers
Get summary, textual solutions, questions, answers, notes. pdf, extras to the chapter “The Diamond Necklace” by Gay-de-Maupassant which is a part of Class 10 English Literature Reader syllabus for students studying under Manipur Board (BSEM).
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A. On the basis of your understanding of the text complete the following statement:
I. The little Breton girl who helped Mathilde in her household work filled her mind ______.
Answer: The little Breton girl who helped Mathilde in her household work filled her mind with despairing regrets and bewildering dreams.
II. Mr. Loisel brought the invitation from the ministry thinking that it ______.
Answer: Mr. Loisel brought the invitation from the ministry thinking that it would make his wife delighted.
V. When Madame Loisel took the necklace to Madame Forrestier, Madam Forrestier said ______.
Answer: When Madame Loisel took the necklace to Madame Forrestier, Madam Forrestier said she could have returned it sooner as she might have needed it.
VI. Madame Loisel experienced the horrible existence of poor family. She, however ______.
Answer: Madame Loisel experienced the horrible existence of poor family. She, however, bore her part with sudden heroism.
B. Answer the following questions in a sentence each:
I. Why did Mathilde suffer ceaselessly?
Answer: Mathilde suffered ceaselessly because she always thought that she was born to enjoy all luxuries.
II. Why did Mathilde not like to go to see her former schoolmate?
Answer: Mathilde did not like to go to see her former schoolmate because she felt sad when she came home after seeing her rich friend.
III. What was in Mathilde’s mind when she saw the invitation her husband brought for her?
Answer: When Mathilde saw the invitation her husband brought for her, she was upset thinking she had nothing suitable to wear.
IV. What was Mathilde’s objection to wearing roses to the party?
Answer: Mathilde’s objection to wearing roses was that there was nothing more humiliating than looking poor among rich women.
IX. “But sometimes, when her husband was at the office, she sat down near the window and she thought of that …….” What did Mathide think of?
Answer: Sometimes Mathilde thought of the evening when she looked beautiful and was admired by all at the party.
X. At the Champs Elysees why could not Madame Forrestier recognise Mathilde?
Answer: At the Champs Elysees Madame Forrestier could not recognise Mathilde because she had changed completely after years of poverty.
C. Answer each of the following questions briefly:
i. What circumstances forced Madame Loisel to marry a clerk?
Answer: Madame Loisel had no dowry, no expectations, and no way of being known or married by any rich and distinguished man. So she let herself be married to a little clerk of the Ministry of Public Instruction.
ii. Mathilde had no gowns, no jewels, nothing. What was her feeling at her own condition?
Answer: She felt unhappy as if she had really fallen from a higher station. She felt she was made for luxuries but had to live a petty and simple life.
iii. What was M. Loisel’s expectation when he brought the invitation?
Answer: He thought his wife would be excited and glad to have the opportunity to go out, as she never went out and it was a select invitation.
iv. “She threw her arms round her friend’s neck, kissed her passionately, then fled with her treasure.” Why did Madame Loisel behave in such a way after she borrowed the necklace?
Answer: Madame Loisel was overjoyed and grateful to her friend for lending her the beautiful diamond necklace. She was passionate to have the necklace to wear to the ball.
ix. Madame Loisel loved to be an elegant lady. How did she look like after she had paid for the necklace?
Answer: After 10 years of poverty and hard work, she looked old, strong, rough, and shabby with untidy hair and worn clothes.
x. “What would have happened if she had not lost that necklace?” Try to guess what Madame Loisel’s life would have been if she had not lost the necklace.
Answer: If she had not lost the necklace, her life would likely have continued normally and happily without having to endure 10 years of poverty and hardship.
D. Answer the following questions in about 80 words:
i. Bring out the character of Madam Mathilde as revealed in the opening paragraphs of the story.
Answer: The opening paragraphs reveal Madame Mathilde to be a pretty and charming young lady who is deeply discontented with her simple life as a clerk’s wife. She dreams of living a life of luxury, elegance, and sophistication, constantly longing for beautiful clothes, lavish dinners, and an affluent lifestyle. Mathilde believes she is suited for and deserves a life among the rich even though she has no dowry or prospects due to an accident of fate. She feels it is unfair that she has to live such a modest existence and it makes her ceaselessly unhappy.
ii. Why was Mathilde always unhappy? Do you think she was right in being unhappy? Justify your answer.
Answer: Mathilde was always unhappy because she lived a middle-class life that could not satisfy her cravings and illusions about luxury. While she was pretty and had a loving husband and decent lifestyle, her dissatisfaction stemmed from valuing status, riches, and material things over the genuine relationships and comforts she did possess. Her unhappiness was not justified since true contentment comes from within, not external circumstances, and she failed to appreciate the positive aspects of her life.
iii. From the way Mathilde behaved from receiving the invitation to the end of the party, comment on Mathilde’s character.
Answer: From start to end, Mathilde’s behavior reveals her vanity, materialism, arrogance, and selfishness. She is upset rather than grateful for the invitation, complains about having nothing to wear, sacrifices her husband’s needs for her own, and borrows a necklace in a conceited manner. Her delight comes from being envied and noticed at the party, and being dressed in finery, rather than the company. This shows her character values appearance, attention, and luxury over deeper fulfillment.
iv. How did M. Loisel try to retrieve the lost necklace?
Answer: M. Loisel desperately tried every avenue he could think of to retrieve the lost necklace. He retraced their path home, searched the cab they took, reported it to the police and cab company, placed notices in the newspapers offering a reward, and made enquiries at every shop and business along the way. His efforts show his devotion to his wife despite the carelessness that caused the loss.
viii. Why did Moupassant entitle the story ‘The Diamond Necklace’?
Answer: Maupassant titled the story “The Diamond Necklace” because the necklace is the central object and symbol of the plot. Its borrowed charm triggers Mathilde’s downfall, and its supposed value motivates her and her husband’s steep sacrifices. The false diamonds of the necklace also symbolize Mathilde’s deceptive and flawed values based on luxury and appearances rather than truth and integrity.
ix. Write how M. Loisel is a contrast to Madame Matilde.
Answer: M. Loisel contrasts with his wife in his simple needs, selfless devotion, and quiet resignation. While she is unhappy and demanding, he is satisfied with their modest life. He generously indulges her desire for finery and attention at his own expense. And later, he shoulders the brutal labor without complaint to pay her debts, showing his steadfast commitment despite her selfish flaws. His character represents modest virtues while hers exposes corrupted values.
Think and Write
i. A symbol is something which means some other thing, like an idea or an abstract thing. For example, a red cross means things like a hospital. Again, a pigeon may mean ‘peace’. Writers and poets often create their own symbols and use them to mean a different thing or concept, other than the words usually do.
Do you think Maupassant has used the necklace as a symbol to mean something else, say a concept or an idea? Think about it and write a small paragraph. Here is a clue:- Necklace stands for a thing after which Mathilde ran after. You may also note that Mathilde always yearned for the necklace and such other things.
Answer: Maupassant’s uses the necklace as a symbol. The necklace does not just represent material possessions and luxuries. It symbolizes Mathilde’s superficial desires, vanity and her illusion of belonging to a higher class than she actually did. The necklace represents Mathilde’s obsession with appearances and her belief that only expensive things can make her happy and give meaning to her life. Losing the necklace shatters this illusion and forces her to confront the emptiness of a life based solely on appearances. Through this symbol, Maupassant criticizes superficial vanity and the belief that material things define one’s worth. The necklace is a symbol of false priorities that can lead to one’s downfall.
ii. Do you think the story has any moral to teach? Is the moral connected with Madame Lousel’s essential character? Write a paragraph about it.
Answer: Yes, the story has a moral to teach. The moral is connected with Madame Lousel’s essential character of constantly craving for things beyond her means. This leads to her ruin. The story teaches that one should be content with what one has instead of always longing for what one doesn’t have.
iii. “How small a thing is needed to make or ruin us.” Do you think the statement is true? In what sense Madame Lousel’s borrowing the necklace is the cause of her ruin?
Answer: Yes, the statement is true. Madame Lousel’s borrowing the necklace that was very expensive led to her trying frantically to replace it after she lost it. This completely ruined her life for the next ten years as she struggled to pay off huge debts. The minor act of borrowing an expensive necklace she could not really afford became the cause of her downfall.
iv. Suppose Madame Mathilde did not wish to borrow the necklace. Write a paragraph about what her life would have been.
Answer: If Madame Mathilde did not wish to borrow the necklace, her life would have continued normally after the ball. She would not have lost an expensive necklace that did not really belong to her. There would have been no need to replace it with another costly necklace. She and her husband would not have had to borrow large amounts of money and ruin their lives trying to repay the debt. She could have lived her modest life in contentment.
I. In life we should be content with what our life provides us. If we yearn for what is beyond us we will fall on bad days.
Answer: The debate should cover both sides of whether one should remain content or aspire for more. Madame Mathilde’s discontent and aspirations beyond her means led to ruin. But if people do not aspire for better things, society may not progress. The class should look at both sides and then decide whether Madame Mathilde was right or wrong in always being discontent.
II. If we do not long for what is good in life we may not ever get them. If the above statement is true, what went wrong with Madame Mathilde?
Answer: Madame Mathilde kept longing for things beyond her means which led to her downfall. The right attitude would have been to value what she had and live within her means, while gradually trying to improve her life. Aspiring is good, but one must not lose touch with reality and crave for the moon.
A) Look at the word ‘possess’. ‘Loisel possessed eighteen thousand francs ………………’
The word ‘possess’ can be turned into a noun – possession.
“All his possessions were burnt down in the fire.”
Now, give the noun forms of the following words and make sentences of your own using them:
Answer: knowledge – She gained a lot of knowledge from her experiences.
Answer: movement – The movement of the train made me feel dizzy.
Answer: celebration – There were celebrations all over the city for the festival.
Answer: arrival – We awaited the arrival of the chief guest with excitement.
Answer: success – Hard work is the key to success.
Answer: envelope – She sealed the letter in an envelope before posting it.
Answer: admiration – He looked at her with admiration for her achievements.
Answer: hesitation – I noticed a slight hesitation in his voice.
Answer: exclamation – She gave an exclamation of joy on seeing her result.
Answer: choice – We have the freedom to make our own choices in life.
Write an informal letter to a friend of yours about what you have learnt from your reading of “The Diamond Necklace”.
13th November, 2023
I recently read an interesting short story called “The Diamond Necklace” written by Guy de Maupassant. It is the story of a girl named Matilda who marries a clerk and craves luxury, though she can barely afford her lifestyle.
One day her husband gets invited to a high society party. Matilda borrows a diamond necklace from her friend to wear to the party. After showing off at the party, Matilda loses the necklace. She secretly replaces it with a similar looking one and works for 10 years along with her husband to pay off its huge cost, ruining their lives. In the end she discovers the necklace was fake all along!
Through this ironic story, I learnt that one should be content with what one has in life, rather than craving for more. Aspiring for things beyond your means can lead to unhappiness. Honesty is also important – Matilda should have confessed the truth to her friend rather than replacing the necklace secretly. Deception can lead one into deeper trouble. Overall, the story was enjoyable and left me with many lessons to ponder over.
Do read this interesting story when you get the chance. Let me know what you think about it.
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