Guy de Maupassant’s story does not provide specific details about where or when Mathilde Loisel loses the expensive diamond necklace borrowed from her wealthy friend Joanne Forestier. Mathilde, the wife of a clerk, wants to fit in with the wealthy crowd she hopes to meet at a ball, and the necklace is essential to achieving this goal. She enjoys the evening but eventually loses the piece of jewelry, which could have happened at the ball or during the trip home with her husband.
Mathilde recalls that the necklace was on her until they left the ministry, suggesting that she most likely dropped it in the cab. Despite her husband’s efforts to find it, they cannot locate the necklace. To replace it, they go into debt, which ruins their lives for the next ten years. This hardship ages Mathilde and dashes all her hopes for a wealthy lifestyle. She later learns that the diamonds in the necklace were fake, making her loss even more devastating.
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Mathilde’s decision not to tell her friend about the loss highlights the importance of honesty. Had she admitted the loss, she could have avoided the decade of hardship that followed. Her pride was greater than her honesty, and she paid a severe price for it. Thus, the story emphasizes that honesty is the best policy and that the cost of dishonesty can be far greater than we imagine.
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