Set in the Nineteenth Century Paris. The two main characters are Mathilde and Monsieur Loisel are dearly defined Mathilde was pretty, delightful but had no dowry, no expectations of marrying well because of this fact but nevertheless had aspirations to be more than she would become Mathilde married Monsieur Loisel as she had “No means of meeting some rich, important man who would understand love and marry her. ” So when Monsieur Loisel a junior clerk of the Ministry of Education Proposed she accepted.
Mathilde was unhappy all of the time as she felt she was intended for something better life a higher social position of refinement and luxury. Mathilde noticed the peeling paint the run-down apartment the lack of furniture to the point of depression and anger. Monsieur Loisel however was more of an optimistic who made the best of things one example of this is when he sits at the table and declared delightedly “Ah, Stew! Splendid! ” Mathilde dreams of elegant dinners, expensive tableware, exotic tapestries adorning the walls.
Mathilde is a very discontented woman instead of using her energy to change her current circumstances, she uses what energy she has lamenting how hard done by she really is or perceives she is. When her husband tries to surprise her with a night out instead of being happy that it would make a nice change Mathilde can only focus on the embarrassment she would feel not having the right clothes or jewellery Monsieur Loisel on seeing his wife’s tears agrees to give her the 400 francs she asks for sacrificing the gun and the trip with his friends he had planned to buy for the following year.
Still this is not enough as the evening draws near Mathilde is still unhappy even though she has her elegant dress, she feels she needs jewels Monsieur Loisel again offers a solution by advising Mathilde to go and see an old convent friend to see if she can borrow some for the evening, which she does. Mathilde had a much better time at the reception dancing with everyone she could including the minister until dawn, whilst Monsieur Loisel is sleeping in an armchair in a small empty side room.
Even after dancing enthusiastically still this wasn’t enough for Mathilde on leaving having to put on an ordinary housecoat as opposed to the furs the other women wore she ignores her husbands plea to wait for a cab for fear the elusion she has created is shattered and runs down the stairs. As they both reach outside there is no cab in sight so they end up walking the streets of Paris. When they both reach the apartment different thoughts run through their heads, his is of his early start at the ministry at ten a mere 5+ hours away Mathilde’s thoughts were of glory and elegance that was now but a memory.
On finding the necklace missing Monsieur Loisel is “thunderstruck” saying, “What… but… you can’t have lost it. ” After searching Monsieur Loisel goes to moneylenders, borrowing small and large amounts which take ten years to clear the debt, this changed their lifestyle forever they sack the maid Mathilde takes odd jobs scrubbing and cleaning Monsieur Loisel works in the evening doing accounts for a shopkeeper as well as his ministry work in the office in the day. Mathilde is dressed like any other working woman counting and watching every penny, she no longer dreams away her day on fanciful ideals, she is working to survive.
Monsieur Loisel is a strong character although we never know his name the descriptions of his actions is strong enough for us to forge an opinion of him, I believe he loves his wife due to the extraordinary lengths he goes to, to right the debt never once holding Mathilde’s Vanity against her. I don’t believe Mathilde loved her husband she had made do since the beginning of the marriage always dreaming for money, she had aged badly in the last ten years perhaps she deserved this as surely her own selfishness and vanity to be something she wasn’t had brought around her was her own demise.