Class 10 NCERT Solutions English Chapter 7 - The Necklace
The Necklace Exercise 39
Mme Loisel was a pretty, young lady, born as if through an error of destiny, into a family of clerks. She had no dowry, no hopes, no means of becoming known, loved, and married by a man either rich or distinguished. She allowed herself to marry a petty clerk in the office of the Board of Education.
She was simple, but she was always unhappy and suffered incessantly because she felt that she had been born for all the delicacies and luxuries and not to lead a simple life. She suffered from the poverty of her apartment, the shabby walls and the worn chairs. All these things tortured and angered her. At dinner while her husband genuinely appreciated the food served she would only think of elegant dinners, of shining silver and of the exquisite food served in marvellous dishes. She had neither frocks nor jewels, nothing and yet she loved only those things.
She had a rich friend, whom she did not like to visit simply because she suffered so much when she returned and wept for whole days from despair and disappointment.
Her husband was a clerk in the office of the Board of Education. He was a hardworking and a simple man who gave her the best from his humble earning. Unlike his wife he was always happy and content with his life. He genuinely appreciated every thing including the pot pie served to him for dinner.
He was delighted to be able to take his wife out to dinner at the minister of public instruction’s residence. He was silent and stupefied when he found her unhappy because she had no suitable dress to wear to the affair.
Although he was simple and economical he offered to give her four hundred francs to buy a pretty dress for the dinner.
His wife’s happiness seemed to be a top priority in his life.
The Necklace Exercise 41
The fresh problem that now disturbed Mme Loisel is that although she had a pretty dress for the ball she was still vexed as she did not have a jewel to wear with it .Since she had nothing to adorn herself with she was worried that she would have a poverty stricken look and so preferred not to go to the party.
Her husband tried to solve her problem by suggesting she wear some natural flowers as they looked chic in that season but she refused saying that there was nothing more humiliating than to have a shabby air in the midst of rich women.
Mme Loisel’s husband asked her to go to her friend Mme Forestier and borrow her jewels. The next day she visited her friend and related her story of distress .Mme Forestier showed her the jewel-case, and told her to take what she liked. At first she could not make up her mind but finally she looked into a black satin box, and found a superb necklace of diamonds which she decided to borrow.
The Necklace Exercise 42
When Mme Loisel returned from the ball she found Mme Forestier’s necklace was not around her neck. The couple looked in the folds of the dress, in the folds of the cloak, in the pockets, everywhere but they could not find it. They tried to recall where she could have lost it on the street or in the cab but they did not have the cab number. Loisel decided to go over the track where they had walked on foot, but still did not find it. He then went to the police and to the cab offices, and put an advertisement in the newspapers, offering a reward.
To gain some time in the search for the necklace, he asked his wife to write to her friend and state that she had broken the clasp of the necklace and that she would soon have it repaired. Finally at the end of a week, they had lost all hope and decided to replace the necklace.
In a shop of the Palais-Royal, M and M.me Loisel found a chaplet of diamonds, which seemed to them exactly like the one she had lost. It was valued at forty thousand francs. They could get it for thirty-six thousand. Loisel possessed eighteen thousand francs, which his father had left him. He borrowed the rest. He made ruinous promises, took money from usurers and the whole race of lenders. Then he went to get the new necklace, depositing on the merchant's counter thirty-six thousand francs .In this way Mme Loisel was able to replace Mme Forestier’s necklace.
The Necklace Exercise 46
The course of the Loisels' life changed due to the necklace because once Matilda had replaced the necklace she had to pay back all the money she had borrowed to purchase the new one. They sent away the maid, they changed their lodgings; they rented some rooms in an attic.
Matilda learned the odious work of a kitchen. She washed the dishes. She washed the soiled linen, their clothes and dish cloths, which she hung on the line to dry; she took down the refuse to the street each morning and brought up the water, she went to the grocer's, the butcher's and the fruiterer's, with her basket on her arm, shopping, haggling to the last sou of her miserable money all this clothed like a woman of the people.
Her husband worked evenings, putting the books of some merchants in order, and at night he often did copying at five sous a page. And this life lasted for ten years. At the end of ten years, they had restored all.
The cause of Matilda's ruin was her longing for a good life. She suffered from the poverty of her apartment, the shabby walls and the worn chairs. All these things tortured and angered her. She was always dissatisfied, always unhappy, always craving for all the delicacies and luxuries of life.
She could have avoided it by accepting her fate and like her husband, been happy, contented, satisfied and lived the life she was destined to live.Had she lived in this way she would not have had to borrow the necklace which changed the course of their life.
If Matilda had been truthful and confessed to her friend that she had lost her necklace it would have prevented them from taking the huge loan to replace the necklace that ruined their life for ten years.
Although her friend might have been upset or even angry with her in the beginning eventually she would have forgiven her.
She may have asked her to replace the jewels and told her from where she had purchased them. In that case Matilda would have found out that they were not real diamonds and she would have had to pay much less to replace them.
She and her husband would have been in less trouble and would not have had to suffer all the hardships she went through for the next ten years.
If I was caught in a situation like this, I would have gone straight to my friend and confessed the crime.
Although she would have been angry with me in the beginning being a true friend she would have eventually forgiven me.
If she was truly very upset with me because she liked the necklace a lot I would have offered to replace it. Had I then visited the store where she had bought the necklace I would have realised that they were not real diamonds and in this way I would not have suffered the way she did.