Sunday, 29 May 2016

BSc BA English Notes Short Stories The Necklace (Guy de Maupassant) Summary and Questions Answers

BSc BA English Notes Short Stories The Necklace (Guy de Maupassant) Summary and Questions Answers


The story “The Necklace” is about the fact that even a small thing can change the life of a person. Chance or fate plays very important role in human life. It is more powerful than human resolution. It is man’s destiny.
Mathilda is the central character of the story. She was very pretty. She thought that she was born in the family of clerks by the error of destiny. Her husband, Losiel was also a clerk.
She believed that she was born for all the luxuries of life. She did not like her poor house. She always dreamed of a big house.
One day her husband brought an invitation card for a ball at the residence of the Minister of Education. She was not happy at the invitation because she had no good dress to wear at the party. Loisel gave her 400 francs to buy the dress. However, she was still unhappy. Now she wanted some jewels to wear.
She went to her friend to borrow some jewel. She borrowed a necklace. She went to the party and enjoyed it. On her return, she lost the necklace. Her husband tried to find it but failed. Later they borrowed money and bought a new necklace to replace the lost one.
Now Loisel worked day and night to return the borrowed money. Mathilda discharged the maidservant and did everything of the household by herself.
They were able to return the money after ten years. Now Mathilda had lost all her beauty. She had changed so much that her friend could not recognize her. Mathilda told her the whole story but her friend told her that the necklace she had borrowed was not real.

Question Answers

The Substance of The Story

Mr. Loisel, a clerk, got an invitation to a party at the Ministry. His beautiful young wife was in tears because she had no jewelry for the great occasion. She did not like to miss this chance to show off. So she borrowed a beautiful necklace from a rich friend, Madame Forestier. Unfortunately she lost the necklace at the party. She had no choice but to replace it with an identical necklace. She bought one for 36000 francs on credit, and give it to Madame Forestier. The lady took it as her own necklace.
The poor clerk and his wife had to live in abject poverty for 10 years to repay the heavy loan. Then one day it came out that the lost necklace was an imitation worth only 500 francs. The disclosure came as a shock to the clerk?s wife but it had come too late.
Like a true Maupassant story, this story also has a surprise-ending. This was the writer?s famous trick by which he used to expose social or moral blunders committed by simple, honest people of this age---- the irony of fate and the irony of situation. The trick became widely popular. People loved to read his stories. Many of the well known writers followed his example. In Urdu fiction Saadat Hassan Manto was one of the most popular followers of Maupassant. Some of the other best writers of today also follow this good tradition. In real life, too, we often come across such sudden surprises.

Character Sketch of Matilda

Matilda is the young and beautiful wife of Mr.Loisel, a clerk in the board of Education. She is proud of her elegant beauty. She is unhappy with her poor lot. She thinks she is a victim of social injustice and irony of fate. She is unhappy with her husband?s small house and old furniture. She feels she has been deprieved of the comforts and luxuries which she might have enjoyed by marrying a rich man. In short she is sick and ashamed of her present miserable life. But all this does not mean that she does not love her husband. Of course she loves him deeply though much of the credit for this love goes to the husband. He does his best to make her as happy as he can afford. He puts up with her foolish demands, and yields to all her stupid whims. Matilda is a simple, child like immature girl until she finds her self face to face with the bitter consequences of her folly. The loss of the necklace proves a turning point in the development of her character. It makes her a careful and responsible woman. Her grumbling over the poor lot of her husband gives way to respect and gratitude for his tolerance and generosity.
Matilda thus plays two different roles in the story. Before the loss of the necklace she is a thoughtless, ungrateful, proud beauty, unhappy with the poverty of her husband. After the loss she becomes a mature, humble and grateful wife who can gladly sacrifice every pleasure to get her husband out of his financial misery. This change in her character makes her a lovable character in spite of all her faults and follies.

The Husband's Character

Mr. Loisel is a clerk in the board of Education. His role in the story is a role of a noble hero. His love and sacrifice for his proud, ungrateful wife make him a lovable character. He knows that his wife does not respect him. Still he loves and obeys her. He does his best to make her life comfortable. He never rebukes her for her insulting attitude. He does not reproach her for the loss of the necklace. His behaviour after the loss is the behaviour of an ideal partner--- a really great man. He does not grumble. Instead he manfully besides to face the misfortune. He almost sells himself away to pay for the loss. He works day and night to repay the heavy loan. He goes through the worst for his ungrateful wife. And yet he never complains, never blames her for his misery. In short he is an ideal life partner. He is surely a character to be loved and remembered.
Loisel is one of the few ---- very few lovers who remain lovers even after marriage. Usually a love marriage soon leads to disillusionment resulting in dissolution. Matilda is lucky to have Mr. Loisel as her husband. He loves her so much that none of her foolish pranks annoys him. He gladly faces the bitter consequences of his foolish wife?s acts of folly. He is a character to be admired and loved.

Written by: Asad Hussain

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