“The Diamond Necklace,” written by Guy de Maupassant, narrates the story of Mathilde Loisel, a woman who longs for a lavish lifestyle. Borrowing a necklace for a high-society event, she loses it, leading her and her husband into years of hardship as they replace it. The twist comes when they learn the original necklace was fake. This poignant tale highlights the consequences of vanity and materialism, offering insights into human desires, choices, and the irony of fate. Read More English Summaries.
The Diamond Necklace Summary
The Diamond Necklace Summary in English
Mathilde Loisel was a beautiful, young lady. She was born in a middle class family. She was very ambitious. She thought that she had nothing to feel proud of. It was not possible for her to marry a rich man. So, she got married to a clerk. This clerk was serving in the Ministry of Public Instruction. Mathilde, being highly ambitious, was not happy because she could not lead a luxurious life. She had to wear simple clothes and had to live in a mediocre apartment with shabby walls and shabby furniture and curtains. She was jealous of her own schoolmates who were rich.
She felt small and would weep after visiting them.One day, her husband brought her an invitation card. But she was not very happy because she had no good and beautiful clothes to wear on the occasion. So, her husband arranged to buy a gown for her for 400 francs. He had saved this money to buy a gun for himself. As the date for the party came near, she looked sad again. It was because she had no jewellery befitting the occasion. She thought that she would be considered a poor lady in the party. Her husband advised her to borrow some ornaments from her rich friend Madame Forestier. Poor Loisel liked this suggestion. Next day she went to her friend’s house and borrowed a diamond necklace.
She attended the ball with her husband and everyone was paying attention to her. She was the prettiest of all the women present there. All the men were fascinated with her charm. They wanted to be introduced to her. All the officials of the Ministry expressed their desire to dance with her. Even the minister took notice of her.
She was intoxicated by pleasure. She was greatly excited and happy. She danced with passion. She forgot everything in the victory of her beauty and felt elated over her success. She danced and danced in the hall till about four o’clock in the morning. When she had finished, her husband threw the modest shawl he had brought for her. After reaching home, she stood before the mirror. She wanted to see herself once more in all her glory. However, she was shocked to see that there was no necklace around her neck and then cried in dismay.
Mathilde informed her husband that she had lost the necklace. Her husband was bewildered. They looked for the necklace everywhere but all in vain. Mr. Loisel went out to search it on the way. She was waiting in her ball dress. She had no more strength left to go to bed. Her husband returned at about seven o’clock but he could not find the necklace anywhere.
On the advice of her husband, Mathilde wrote a letter to her friend Madame Forestier saying that the clasp of the necklace was broken, so it had been sent for repairs. In this way they got some time to buy another diamond necklace. After going from, one shop to the other, at last they found a necklace similar to the lost one. The shopkeeper demanded 40,000 francs as its price. The bargain finally was settled for 36,000 francs. Mathilde’s husband had only 18,000 francs with him. He borrowed the remaining 18,000 francs on high rate of interest. They bought the necklace and sent it to Madame Forestier. She did not care to see it.
Summary The Diamond Necklace
Now a life of hardship began for Mathilde and her husband. They had to pay off the debt of 18,000 francs. For this, they had to shift to a very cheap room. They removed the servant. Now Mathilde did the household work herself. She fetched water, washed the floor of the house, utensils and dirty clothes all by herself. She did shopping by herself. Her husband worked in the evening and late at night to pay back 18,000 francs. They had paid the entire amount at I the end of tenth year. But Mathilde had to pay a heavy price for it.
She look ed like an ordinary woman. She looked old now. She was now a tough and rough woman. One Sunday, Mathilde went out to take a walk. She saw Madame Forestier there and went up to her. Madame Forestier was surprised to see her so much changed. Mathilde told her that she had to lead a very tough life and it was because of her. Madame Forestier was puzzled to hear it. Then Mathilde explained to her how she had lost her diamond necklace and had to buy another for 36,000 francs to replace it. It had taken them ten years to pay for it. Madame Forestier was moved to hear Mathilde’s tragic story. She revealed to Mathilde that her necklace was worth” only five hundred francs and the diamonds were artificial and not real.