Footprints Without Feet

The Necklace


This story is about a woman who does not know how to live within her means. Loisel belongs to a middle class family but wants to live a lavish lifestyle. Her husband is a clerk who cannot afford to fulfill all her demands.

For attending a party, Loisel decides to borrow a necklace from her friend who rich. Loisel loses the necklace while returning from the party. Loisel and her husband spend all their fortunes and borrowings to buy a similar necklace which cost them a fortune.

After that, they have to do everything which could be done so that they could repay the loan. It takes about 10 years of hard-work and lots of sacrifices before she is able to repay all her loans. The time and all the hard-work take their toll on her and she ages quickly.

After that tortuous period had passed she happens to meet her rich friend and tells the whole story. Her friend tells that it was not a diamond necklace but a cheap imitation jewelry.

NCERT Exercise

Question 1: The Course of Loisel’s life changed due to necklace. Comment.

Answer: Because of necklace Loisel fell in a debt trap which forced her to live like an ordinary lower middle class housewife. She started doing all the household chores which a lady of her status normally does. This was good for her as it taught her to cut her coat according to her cloth. People should always try to live within their means. Aspirations have no limits but one should never forget the ground realities.

Question 2: What was the cause of Matilda’s ruin? How could she have avoided it?

Answer: Matilda wanted to live life like a queen. Her family background did not permit this. She was not ready to accept her life’s realities. She was hell bent on showing off. She could have avoided it by learning to accept her current situation. Another way could have been to try getting a job or starting a business. One should either try to work hard to realise one’s dreams or stop dreaming altogether.

Question 3: What would have happened to Matilda if she had confessed to her friend that she had lost her necklace?

Answer: As the end of the story suggests it being a necklace made of fake diamonds so it was possible that Matilda and her husband did not have borrow beyond their means. Another angle worth attention is the good nature of her friend. The ease by which she showed all her jewellery to Matilda suggests that even if it was of original diamonds she would not have been angry at getting it lost.

Question 4: If you were caught in a situation like this, how would you have dealt with it?

Answer: : I would have probably behaved in the same way as Loisel and her husband did. Scarcity of money does not give confidence to most of the people to tell the truth. Most of the people would be caught in similar debt trap as the couple in this story.