"She had no dowry, no hope, not the slightest chance of being appreciated, understood, loved, and married by a rich and distinguished man; so she slipped into marriage with a minor civil servant..." (pg. 373) Mathilde Loisel came from a poor family and didn't have much hope for ever having a great life. She settled for what happened to be in her life and that was fine for her. She couldn't afford jewelry or very nice clothes and had a home of decency to say the least. "She had no proper wardrobe, no jewels, nothing." (pg. 374)
"Then one evening her husband arrived home looking triumphant and waving a large envelope." (pg. 374) She was excited and eager at first to open the letter, but when she found out what it was, she tossed it on to the table. Her husband asked her what was wrong and why she wasn't excited. She stated that she didn't have an evening dress and he offered to giver her the money for it, even though he had been saving that money for a rifle he wanted. She then brought up not having any jewels to wear. "No... there's nothing more humiliating than to look poverty-stricken among a lot of rich women." (pg. 375) Her husband suggests that she could possibly borrow a piece of jewelry from her rich friend. She loves the idea.
"The next day she went to see her friend and related her tale of woe." (pg 376) Her friend, Madame Forestier, allowed her to chose from her vast collection and yet, Madame Loisel couldn't chose or wasn't satisfied with the given options. She asked if her friend had anything else. Madame Forestier brings out a box lined with satin. Madame Loisel finds herself marveling over a specific diamond necklace; she can't take her eyes off of it. "Could you lend me this one- just this and nothing else?" (pg. 376) Her friend says she can, and Madame Loisel couldn't be happier. She hugged and kissed her with so much joy. She thanked her friend and left with her new prize.
She looked stunning when she got to the party. She had such an amazing time, feeling of elegance and luxury. "When she left the party, it was almost four in the morning. Her husband had been sleeping since midnight in a small, deserted sitting room..." (pg. 376) When it was finally time for them to take their leave, she quickly ran outside so the other women wouldn't have to see her casual wraps, for she was ashamed of them. When they got to the apartment, "She took off her wraps before the mirror so that she could see herself in all her glory once more. Then she cried out. The necklace was gone; there was nothing around her neck." (pg. 377) This caused a panic, as expected.
After searching for the necklace and coming up with nothing, they decided that the best option would be to just replace the necklace. They went from place to place trying to figure out how much a replicate would cost. Finally, they found a place that would sell it to them for 36,000 francs. "Loisel possessed 18,000 francs left him by his father. He would borrow the rest." (pg. 378) The brand new necklace was returned to Madame Forestier after a few days (maybe weeks) with no questions asked. The couple then worked to pay off the debt and interest. "And it went on like that for ten years." (pg. 379) They put their all into fixing the mess they felt they were in.
After ten years of hard labor had passed, Madame Loisel was on a walk and saw a beautiful, young women with a child whom she realized was Madame Forestier. She fought with herself over the decision to talk to her friend from the past. Madame Loisel got the courage and walked up to her. They talked, and the truth came out about the necklace. "You remember the diamond necklace you lent me to wear to the party at the Ministry?... Well I lost it." (pg. 380) Madame Forestier is confused because as she remembers, it was returned to her. Madame Loisel explains what happened and how she bought a new one to replace it. The next next words to come out of Madame Forestier's mouwere shocking. "...Mine was false. It was worth five hundred francs at the most." (pg. 380)