La Parure, illustration of the title page of the Gil Blas, 8 October 1893
|Author||Guy de Maupassant|
|Original title||"La Parure"|
|Published in English||1982|
|Preceded by||"The Necklace"|
"The Necklace" or "The Diamond Necklace" (French: La Parure) is a short story by Guy De Maupassant, first published on 17th February 1884 in the French newspaper Le Gaulois. The story has become one of Maupassant's popular works and is well known for its ending. It is also the inspiration for Henry James's short story, "Paste". It has been dramatised as a musical by the Irish composer Conor Mitchell; it was first produced professionally by Thomas Hopkins and Andrew Jenkins for Surefire Theatrical Ltd at the Edinburgh Festival in 2007.
"The Necklace" tells the story of Madame Mathilde Loisel and her husband. Mathilde always imagined herself in a high social position with wonderful jewels. However, she has nothing and marries a low-paid clerk who tries his best to make her happy. Through lots of begging at work her husband is able to get a couple of invitations to the Ministry of the Public Instruction party. Mathilde then refuses to go, for she has nothing to wear.
Her husband is upset to see her displeasure and, using money that he was saving to buy a rifle, gives Mathilde 400 francs and lets his wife buy a dress that suits her. Mathilde goes out and buys a dress, but even with the dress she is not happy, since she has no jewels to wear with it. The pair does not have much money left, so her husband suggests that she buy roses to wear with it. After Mathilde disagrees he suggests borrowing something from her friend, Madame Jeanne Forestier. Mathilde picks out the fanciest diamond necklace that she can find. After attending the Ministry of Public Instruction party, Mathilde discovers that she has lost the necklace. She has to find a quick way to replace it. She goes to a shop and discovers the price of necklace to be 36,000 francs. She gets the necklace after borrowing the money, but the long path of her struggle begins.
Ten years later, while in a park, she suddenly sees Madame Jeanne Forestier and was shocked to find that the original necklace which she lost in the ball was an imitation, worth 500 francs at the most.
In 1921 the story was adapted into a British silent film The Diamond Necklace directed by Denison Clift and starring Milton Rosmer, Jessie Winter, and Warwick Ward. It was also adapted in 1926 into the Chinese film A String of Pearls (Yichuan Zhenzhu) directed by Li Zeyuan.
- Roberts, Edgar (1991). Writing Themes About Literature (7th ed.). Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall. p. 4. ISBN 9780139710605.
- Rudden, Liam (15 August 2008). "Mathilde makes it to the stage". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
- Dillon, Michael (2010). China: A Modern History. London: I. B. Tauris. p. 207. ISBN 9781850435822. OCLC 705886007. Retrieved 9 July 2012.