The setting of the story described in the exposition was a small, middle class home in Paris. The main characters are Mathilde, her husband, and Forestier.
Mathilde's husband brings home an invitation to the ball, but she realizes that she has nothing to wear to it.
To please his wife, Mr. Loisel went out and bought his wife a new dress for the ball. Then she went over to her friend Forestier's house and borrowed a diamond necklace from her to go with her outfit. She then finally felt confident when she was at the ball and ended up dancing and having a good time.
As Mathilde was exiting the coupe to go home after the ball she realized that she did not have the necklace anymore.
The Loisels' go out searching all night for the necklace and after a week of searching they decide to give up and buy Forestier a new necklace. They found the perfect necklace but it turned out to be forty thousand francs. That purchase eventually put them into debt.
It took the Loisels 10 years to finally pay off their debt. Then one day when Mathidle ran into Forstier she ended up admitting to her that she had lost the original one and Mathilde ended up finding out that the neckalce was actually fake.