Exposition: Madame Loisel was a beautiful young woman who believed she deserved more in the world. She lived a less than rich life and was pained everyday by it. "She suffered constantly, feeling that all the attributes of a gracious life, every luzury, should rightly have been hers." (373)
Rising Action: Her husband sees her discontent and feels bad that he can't give her the life that she wants. He pulls some strings, and manages to obtain an invitation to an evening party. He expects her to be ecstatic, but her response is that of sadness. She cannot go, because she does not have a dress!
"What do you expect me to do with that?"(374)
Rising Action: Madame Loisel visits her old schoolmate who happened to become rich, and asks to borrow jewelry for the party. Madame Forestier was very happy to help and allowed Loisel to borrow a necklace.
"Take your pick, my dear." (376)
Climax: Loisel goes to the evening party and has the time of her life. Eventually, she has to go back home and leaves the party in a rush so as not to be seen with her shabby looking wraps. They leave in the cab and arrive home where Loisel discovers she has lost the necklace!
"The... the... necklace- it's gone."(377)
Falling Action: She and her husband desperately look for the necklace, but are unable to find it. Unable to bear the shame of telling her friend that she lost it, they decide to buy a replica. It costs 36,000 francs, money that they did not have that must be borrowed. She resigned herself to a life of poverty. "The crushing debt had to be paid. She would pay it."(379)
Resolution:After 10 years of living in poverty, they finally pay off the debt. Loisel sees Forestier walking in the streets one day and tells her about the necklace. Loisel looks very old and tough from all the years of hard work. Forestier doesn't recognize her at first and is shocked that Loisel would do this for her.
"Oh, my poor, poor Mathilde! Mine was false. It was worth five hundred francs at the most!"(380)