Study Guide

The Necklace What's Up With the Title?

By Guy de Maupassant

What's Up With the Title?

The story revolves around the spectacular diamond necklace that Mathilde borrows from Mme. Forester for a ball. That set of jewels gives Mathilde the best night of her life...but it also ruins it when she loses the necklace and spends the next ten years paying to replace it.

And it's also thanks to the necklace that we get the final, gut-wrenching twist at the end—the necklace was a fake, and if Mathilde had just humbled herself and told her friend that the necklace was lost, she'd only have been five hundred francs (instead of thirty-six thousand) poorer.

Interestingly, the original French title, "La Parure," doesn't exactly mean "The Necklace," although that's how it's always been translated. It actually means something more like "the finery," or "the set of jewels."

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