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 Feminist Approach

In the story, women are proven to be materialistic. They’re fond of

acquiring things which are not mere commodities but are just wants or
that which stem from impulsive desires. To prove, these lines from the
story are presented: “Natural ingenuity, instinct for what is elegant, a
supple mind are their sole hierarchy, and often make of women of the
people the equals of the great ladies.”

Mathilde is the embodiment of these characteristics. As these lines

reveal: “All those things, of which another woman of her rank would
never even have been conscious, tortured her and made her angry.”
Furthermore, the story portrays of a married woman’s tendency to be
complacent to her husband. The bible holds specific truths that prove
the claim that wives should submit to their husbands. It can be found on
Ephesians 5:24 which says, “As the church submits to Christ, so you wives
should submit to your husbands in everything”.

Instead of submitting to Loisel’s request that she’ll join the grand ball
with only simple garment on, Mathilde insisted not to because of the
pathetic thinking that she might just embarrass herself. Not just that, the
story vividly shows a woman’s social competition with other women. As
Mathilde went to the ball, she felt as if she was victorious. These texts
prove this claim: “…in the glory of her success, in a sort of cloud of
happiness comprised of all this homage, admiration, these awakened
desires and of that sense of triumph which is so sweet to woman’s

 Gender Approach

But the story unveils a deeper concept of respect towards women.

Mr. Loisel proves that women deserve man’s utmost care, love and
understanding despite their vulnerability to intimidation. In the story, Mr.
Losiel depicted how a responsible husband should treat his wife even if
she’s done everything to piss him and got the best of his patience. He
managed to set aside what’s for himself just to pay Mathilde what she
wanted. He gave his wife the amount he’s supposed to spend in
“buying a gun and treat himself to a little shooting next summer on the
plain of Nanterre, with several friend who went to shoot larks there of a

He even allowed himself to sleep “in a little deserted anteroom with

three other gentlemen whose wives were enjoying the ball”, including
his very wife, Mathilde. Not just that, after his wife lost the necklace, he
volunteered to find the jewelry himself, “on foot, over the whole route.”

Furthermore, as if he’s the one to suffer the consequences of

Mathilde’s negligence, he decided to use the amount which his father
has left him to buy the necklace which seemed exactly like the one
they (Mathilde) had lost. He also borrowed the rest of the needed
amount. “He compromised all the rest of his life, risked signing a note
without even knowing whether he could meet it; and, frightened by the
trouble yet to come, by the black misery that was about to fall upon
him, by the prospect of all the physical privations and moral tortures
that he was to suffer, he went to get the new necklace…”

Mr. Loisel “worked evenings, making up a tradesman’s accounts,

and late at night he often copied manuscript for five sous a page.” And
this lasted for ten long years. Truly, Mr. Loisel depicts the qualities of a
real gentleman and a husband.

 Psychological Approach

At first, the couple decided to lie to Madame Forestier but this act
was not justified because: 1.) Mathilde was a friend to Madame
Forestier and 2.) they’re bounded by fear.
1.) Mathilde was a friend to Madame Forestier

This claim can be proven in the following texts taken from the story:
Mr. Loisel said to Mathilde, “Go look up for your friend, Madame
Forestier, and ask her to lend you some jewels. You’re intimate enough
with her to do that.” Because of this very fact, the couple decided not
to lie to Madame Forestier. Another proof of this intimate friendship is
when Mathilde “threw her arms around her friend’s (Madame Forestier)
neck, kissed her passionately, then fled with her treasure.”

2.) They’re bounded by fear.

In the story, to describe this particular emotion, Mathilde “waited all

day, in the same condition of mad fear before this terrible calamity.”
Their situation was even compared to a calamity and this goes to show
that the couple was truly bounded by fear to lie to Madame Forestier
who didn’t have the slightest clue on what happened.

The story reveals to us that there are hundreds of reasons to tell the
truth but billions of others not to. These hundreds of reasons may include
upholding of morals, desire for truth, among others. But clearly, there’s a
manifold number of reasons to rather tell a lie and this includes fear of
breaking bonds of friendship and trust.

 Impressionistic Approach

To sum it up, what we learned is that it takes a lady to be outwardly

beautiful and reap for herself all the compliments she wanted but it will
require a woman to realize that these things don’t truly matter but those
which mean the same to the people around her. It’s between earthly
yearning and maturity to keep one’s relationship with other people in
perfect harmony. Mathilde could’ve appreciated the efforts of her
husband in dealing with her insatiable nature and decided to stop
everything -the pretense, anxiety over petty stuffs like being
appreciated for who you are not, etc. -but she still pursued what she
wanted to happen which resulted to her, most especially her husband,
suffering the consequences.

On a different perspective, the story implicitly teaches us to respect

women. As men, we should understand that even though God has
created us equal, women are still more vulnerable and are well
comparable to fragile things to which ground they deserve this
understanding. Mr. Loisel perfectly demonstrated this all throughout the

Finally, one must not allow him/herself be lured by any earthly

deception that beauty is relative to one’s physical attributes but rather
be enlightened by the wisdom that it is this glow that sparks from within.
Most probably, the reason why Mr. Loisel suggested to her wife to wear
natural flowers which are stylish but affordable instead of expensive
jewelry is because he knew within himself that Mathilde didn’t need
those anymore. This is apart from, of course, their economic status.
Indeed, beauty is mostly seen on the people we love, not on the things
that catch our temporary pleasures.

1. What are the lines or sentences proof of the couple’s poverty?

- “She had no dowry, no expectations, no way of being known,

understood, loved, married by any rich and distinguished man; so she
let herself to be married by any rich and distinguished man; so she let
herself be married to a little clerk of the Ministry of Public Instruction.”

- “She was distressed with at the poverty of her dwelling, at the bareness
of the walls, at the shabby chairs, the ugliness of the curtains.”

2. What are the lines proof of the ambitious nature of the wife?

- “She would have liked so much to please, to be envied, to be

charming, to be sought after.”
- “It annoys me not to have a single piece of jewelry, not a single
ornament, nothing to put on. I shall look poverty-stricken. I would almost
rather not got at all.”

- “She thought of dainty dinners, of shining silverware, of tapestry that

peopled the walls with ancient personages and with strange birds flying
in the midst of a fairy forest; and she thought of delicious dishes served
on marvelous plates and of the whispered gallantries to which you listen
with a sphinxlike smile while you are eating the pink meat of a trout or
the wings of a quail.”

3. What are the lines that proves the husband’s supportive nature and
understanding the whims of his wife?

- “He grew a little pale, because he was laying aside just that amount to
buy a gun and treat himself to a little shooting next summer on the plain
of Nanterre, with several friend who went to shoot larks there of a

- “Very well. I will give you four hundred francs. And try to have a pretty

4. Was it love that motivated the husband to give what the wife wanted?
Provide proof.

Yes. (Same with number 3)

5. Did Mathilde get what she wanted to happen at the ball? Provide

- Yes. “…in the glory of her success, in a sort of cloud of happiness

comprised of all this homage, admiration, these awakened desires and
of that sense of triumph which is so sweet to woman’s heart.”

6. Was the decision of the couple to lie about the lost necklace
- No. Mathilde saw a necklace with the same features as that of the lost
one and that’s when the couple decided to buy it through borrowing
certain amounts from friends and later bought it as a replacement.

7. What motivated the couple to keep the truth from Madame


- Madame Forestier’s friendship with Mathilde and fear of breaking this

bond of friendship and probably shame of being accused with theft.

8. How are the women character depicted in the story? (Mathilde and
Madame Forestier)

- Women were depicted as naturally introspective and intimidated in

the story. They’re shown to be conscious on how they look and allot
much concern with people’s impression about them. These were
depicted by Mathilde Loisel.

- On the other hand, Madame Forestier depicted a rather generous

friend to Mathilde.

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