The Necklace

Jeanne Forestier Character Analysis

Mme. Forestier is a well-to-do friend of Mathilde’s from her convent-school days. She has a marvelous collection of jewelry and lets Mathilde borrow an expensive-looking necklace for the party. Mathilde loses and replaces the necklace but Mme. Forestier does not notice the substitution, although she is annoyed that her friend took so long to return the jewelry. Ten years later, Mme. Forestier barely recognizes Mathilde when they run into each other on the Champs Elysées, and is dismayed to inform her that the necklace that Mathilde sacrificed ten years of her life to replace was in fact made of paste. The fact that Mme. Forestier owns a fake necklace despite being wealthy enough to afford a real one shows that she understands the illusory nature of class and status.

Jeanne Forestier Quotes in The Necklace

The The Necklace quotes below are all either spoken by Jeanne Forestier or refer to Jeanne Forestier. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Reality and Illusion Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of The Necklace published in 2003.
The Necklace Quotes

Madame Loisel looked first at some bracelets, then at a pearl necklace, then at a marvelously crafted Venetian cross made up of gold and precious stones. She tried the pieces on before the mirror, wavering, unsure whether to keep them or leave them. She kept asking: “Don’t you have anything else?”

“Of course. Keep searching. I can’t tell what you’ll like.”

All at once, in a black satin box, Madame Loisel unearthed a superb diamond necklace, and her heart began pounding with unrestrained desire. Her hands trembled when she picked up the necklace. She placed it on her throat, against her high-necked dress, and remained ecstatic in front of her reflection.

Related Characters: Mathilde Loisel, Jeanne Forestier
Related Symbols: The Necklace, The Mirror
Page Number: 6-7
Explanation and Analysis:
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“You say you bought a diamond necklace to replace mine?”

“Yes. You didn’t catch on, did you? They were fairly alike.”

And she smiled with proud and naïve joy.

Madame Forestier, deeply moved, took hold of Madame Loisel’s hands. “Oh, my poor Mathilde! My necklace was paste. It was worth at most five hundred francs!”

Related Characters: Mathilde Loisel (speaker), Jeanne Forestier (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Necklace
Page Number: 12
Explanation and Analysis:
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Jeanne Forestier Character Timeline in The Necklace

The timeline below shows where the character Jeanne Forestier appears in The Necklace. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Necklace
Women and Beauty Theme Icon
Ambition, Greed, and Material Possessions Theme Icon
Mathilde Loisel is a pretty and charming woman who was born, “as if through some blunder of... (full context)
Reality and Illusion Theme Icon
Women and Beauty Theme Icon
Ambition, Greed, and Material Possessions Theme Icon
Happiness Theme Icon
At her husband’s suggestion, Mathilde decides to pay her wealthy friend Mme. Forestier a visit in order to borrow some jewelry. She looks through every item... (full context)
Ambition, Greed, and Material Possessions Theme Icon
After buying the replacement, Mathilde returns the necklace to her friend. Mme. Forestier doesn’t even open the box and so she does not notice the substitution. (full context)
Reality and Illusion Theme Icon
Women and Beauty Theme Icon
...sees Mme. Forestier, who is still young-looking and beautiful. Mme. Forestier barely recognizes her old friend, remarking how much she has changed. (full context)
Reality and Illusion Theme Icon
Ambition, Greed, and Material Possessions Theme Icon
Sacrifice, Suffering, and Martyrdom Theme Icon
Now that the debt has been settled, Mathilde decides to tell Mme. Forestier the whole story, proud that she had been able to replace and pay for such... (full context)