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  • Exposition
  • Rising Action
  • Rising Action #2
  • Mathilde Loisel is a woman who was not born into a rich family, so instead of being able to marry into rich family she must settle for a minor civil servant. She suffers from always wanting more than she has and is jealous of the other woman who have more than her. "She suffered constantly, feeling that all the attributes of a gracious life, every luxury, should rightly have been hers." (373)
  • Climax
  • One day, her husband brings home an invitation to a prestigious ball, knowing that the life of glamour is one that she wants. Instead of being grateful however, Madam Loisel complains about not having a proper dress. "I haven't a thing to wear. How could I go?" (375)
  • Falling Action
  • After Mathilde buys a dress, she realizes she has no jewelry to wear. Her husband suggests going to her friend to borrow from. She does this and comes home with a diamond necklace that must have a very high value. "All at once,in a box with black satin, she came upon a superb diamond necklace, and her heart started beating with overwhelming desire." (376)
  • Resolution
  • After a wonderful and long night at the ball,  Mathilde and her husband return home only to realize that the diamond necklace is missing. Her husband searches everywhere to try and find it, only to come home empty handed. "He want to the police station, to the newspapers to offer a reward, to the offices of the cab companies- in a word, wherever there seemed to be the slightest hope of tracing it." (377)
  • In order to replace the lost necklace, they must take out many loans and borrow a larger amount of money. To pay these off, they live poverty stricken for 10 years and they must work harder than they ever have to survive. "They dismissed the maid; they moved into an attic under the roof." (379)
  • After 10 long years, Mathilde runs into her friend and tells her the story of her trials. Her friend finally explains that the necklace was fake, and only worth a very small amount. "Oh, my poor Mathilde! Mine was false. It was worth five hundred francs at the most!" (380)
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