Created in 1884, «Necklace» came as an excellent example of a novel with an unexpected ending, forcing the reader to comprehend the narration in a new way. In this novel Maupassant pays reader’s attention to several issues of real life: conflict of desires and possibilities, the discrepancy between the spiritual organization of human and social conditions of the existence, the ruinous influence of bourgeois society upon the soul, human weakness and fear of the more socially-successful people.
Composition «Necklace» is based on the classical principles for the novel. In the exposition the author introduces the circs of life and the personality of the main character — Madame Mathilde Loisel. The girl is drawn as weak, beautiful creature, striving after a better life and surrounded by elegant things and people. The plot of the novel is both a continuation of exposition, and an independent element: aspiring to the expensive and fashionable things, Mathilde bitterly realizes that she has nothing to get on for the evening in the ministry of her husband.
Conflict of the novel is bidirectional: constantly wrestling with herself, Madame Loisel forced to struggle against adverse external circs — at the beginning there was not any worth attire, and then — jewelry for the decoration. The husband gives money to Mathilde for the dress, the rich friend, Madame Forestier, gives the diamond necklace. Happy girl goes to the ministerial party, overshadows everybody and absolutely enjoys the attention, about which she has dreamed all her life. The culmination of the novel comes, when Mathilde and her husband return home and realize that the necklace is lost. Further events happen on the ascending line. At the beginning they try to find the original necklace then they decide to order a replica. Giving the necklace back to Madame Forestier, couple Loisel lives a beggarly life — one moment of happiness they pay for years of hard work. An unexpected meeting with Madame Forestier on Champs-Élysées is surprise for everyone and gladdens the reader with catching ending: the diamond necklace was a fake, as that world, which was so desired for Mathilde at the beginning of her life.
By implication «Necklace» consists of (and is graphically divided by the author) three parts: the first one, the biggest, tells about quiet and well-provided life of Madame Mathilde Loisel as the wife of a low-paid clerk; the second one, medium-sized, tells about the scene of the party and following misadventures of the main characters; the third one, the smallest, describes heavy workdays of Madame Loisel, forced to lead a dog’s life.
The character of Madame Loisel is psychologically adjusted and changeable: delicate, tender, with sense of beauty and wealth, suffering outside the range of things and people, which are her soul, she eventually turns into a strong woman, time-tested by work and the natural life. Erstwhile modesty (fear to show herself publically only in a dress with natural flowers, fear to confess to lost necklace her best friend) is replaced by a simple, working honesty of a human, who has already paid his bills.From the beginning of the novel her husband comes as a whole-hearted character: he is proud of his work, his environment is comfortable for him (he has friends, with whom he wants to go hunting this summer, and he eats gladly cabbage soup, at which Matilda turns up her nose), he loves his wife and is ready to give her all, that he has. Loss of the necklace he takes with due humility and, as a man of exceptional honesty, he solves the problem by giving away his inheritance and ordinary life in the apartment with servants for the moment of happiness of his wife.
Madame Jeanne Forestier comes as pronounced bourgeois character: she is rich, indulgent and always kind to her female friend. But all her wealth in actual way turns out to be a mirage: her necklace is made of fake diamonds and she gets so accustomed to this lie, that she does not consider it necessary to tell Matilda the truth.