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The Necklace Lesson Plans

My students' reactions after reading "The Necklace" always excites me! When the students realize, at the end, that the necklace is fake, I usually get a riot of hypothetical questions. One of these questions is always, “Why didn't she tell the woman she lost the necklace in the first place?!” Just like a good piece of gossip, short stories are notorious for stimulating readers, and keep us questioning.

Student Activities for The Necklace

Essential Questions for “The Necklace”

  1. Is it okay to want more than you have?
  2. Are material possessions important in a relationship?
  3. What would you do if you borrowed something from a friend and you lost it?

The Necklace Summary

The story is set in Paris in the 1880s. The protagonist Mathilde Loisel, a young middle-class woman, and her husband, a modest clerk, are invited to a prestigious ball. Mathilde, being very vain, complains to her husband that she cannot go without a new dress and some jewelry. To appease her, her husband gives her money he had been saving so she can buy a dress. However, she still feels poor without a bauble to wear. Thinking quickly, she goes to a wealthy friend, Mme. Forestier, to borrow a necklace.

At the ball, Mme. Loisel is a success, and has the evening of her life. Her happiness dissipates when she realizes she has lost the necklace. The couple struggles to find it to no avail. They are forced to replace it with an identical looking piece, so expensive that they'll have to work ten years to pay it off. Mme. Loisel runs into her friend at the market years later, and finds out that the necklace was fake - merely costume jewelry.

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How To Explain the Meaning Behind The Necklace


Read Carefully

Read the story carefully with students. Explain the meaning behind every word and symbol used in the short story. Ask the students to read the story once more at home, highlight important points, and list down any questions they have in mind.


Ask and Answer Questions

Begin by posing some open-ended questions to students which can lead to a guided discussion. Remind the students to participate and give their input as much as possible. Then move towards the questions of the students from earlier. This process will clarify any confusion in the minds of students.


Research Context

In order to understand the story and the motives of the characters in a better way, ask the students to do some research regarding themes presented in the story. They can perform some research regarding social class and the meaning behind wearing glamorous clothes at a ball in the 1880s.


Connect to Real Life

Aid students in making connections between the ideas and characters in the novel and potential real-life scenarios. Talk about the story's message's applicability in the modern world. Discuss how even today people pretend to enhance their social class.


Give Out Reflective Exercises

Give the students homework assignments that call for them to evaluate the significance of the narrative and how it pertains to their own life, such as journaling, essays, or group discussions.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Necklace

What role does the necklace play in the narrative?

The necklace represents the desire for material goods, affluence, and good looks. It is a crucial component of the narrative, symbolizing the unreal nature of Mathilde's wishes. It also reflects the desire to look expensive and luxurious in the eyes of other people.

What do the key themes of "The Necklace" involve?

The narrative examines issues including consumerism, pride, dishonesty, the results of decisions, and the notion that genuine pleasure originates inside. One of the main themes of the story is irony. This irony is reflected by the ending of the story and the consequences Mathilde has to face because of her actions.

Why is "The Necklace" ironic?

Irony abounds throughout the narrative, especially given the shocking conclusion. The jewelry Mathilde and her husband spend so much time and money replacing turns out to be a fake, highlighting the cruel irony of their predicament.

Why did Mathilde first borrow the necklace?

At a lavish ball, Mathilde wants to seem more trendy and wealthy, so she borrows the necklace. She wants to impress the other visitors since she is unhappy with her simple life and humble background.

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