The Necklace Mme. Loisel




  1. After reading the first five paragraphs of the story, how do you feel about Mme. Loisel? Do you like her or not? Why? Does your opinion of her change by the end of the story?
  2. What is the conflict in the story?
  3. Locate the climax in the story. Is there a resolution to the conflict?
  4. What role does French society play in the story?
  5. How well does paragraph 105 sum up the point of the story? What do you think is the story’s theme?
  6. Does this story have a moral? If so, what is it, and is it stated explicitly or merely implied?
  7. What do you think is Mme. Loisel’s response to Mme. Forestier’s telling her that the necklace was merely paste? Write a conclusion to the story that describes her response.
  8. Read: Write  comparing the ending of “The Necklace” with that of Raymond Carver’s “Popular Mechanics”. What is the effect of the ending on your reading of each story?
  1. Using steps 1-7, write out your thoughts specifically on steps 1-3 based on the story, write out what you believe the theme is to this story, “The Necklace.” Make sure your statement of theme follows steps 4-7.

There is no precise formula that can take you to the center of a story’s meaning and help you to articulate it. However, several strategies are practical and useful once you have read the story. Apply these pointers during a second or third reading:

  1. Pay attention to the title of the story. It often provides a lead to a major symbol or to the subject around which the theme develops.
  2. Look for details in the story that have potential for symbolic meanings. Careful consideration of names, places, objects, minor characters, and incidents can lead you to the central meaning.
  3. Decide whether the protagonist changes or develops some important insight as a result of the action. Carefully examine any generalizations the protagonist or narrator makes about the events in the story.
  4. When you formulate the theme of the story in your own words, write it down in one or two complete sentences that make some point about the subject matter.
  5. Be certain that your expression of the theme is a generalized statement rather than a specific description of particular people, places, and incidents in the story.
  6. Be wary of using clichés as a way of stating theme. They tend to short circuit ideas instead of generating them.
  7. Be aware that some stories emphasize theme less than others. Stories that have as their major purpose adventure, humor, mystery, or terror may have little or no theme.
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