Why is Madame Loisel still unhappy after buying a dress? What does her husband suggest?

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cldbentley | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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Madame Loisel, whose first name is Mathilde, is the main character of "The Necklace," a short story written by Guy de Maupassant.  Madame Loisel, who is ungrateful for what she has and apparently spends the majority of her time pining away after luxuries she and her husband cannot afford, is unhappy when she and her husband receive an invitation to a party that will be attended by many wealthy people.  Although Mr. Loisel sacrifices the money he had saved to buy a rifle so that Madame Loisel may buy a dress, Madame Loisel is not satisfied; she believes that she must wear jewels in order to look presentable.

Mr. Loisel suggests that his wife buy and wear some flowers, since it's inexpensive and considered trendy.  However, his wife feels that doing so would make her look like she was "poverty-stricken among a lot of rich women."  At that point, Mr. Loisel realizes he has the perfect solution.

"Wait--you sill thing!  Why don't you go and see Madame Forestier and ask her to lend you some jewelry.  You certainly know her well enough for that..."

Madame Loisel is thrilled by the suggestion and does follow her husband's advice.  Unfortunately, doing so results in a great deal of trouble.

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