Compare Mathilda's life before and after the fateful dinner?
Before the fateful night of the fancy party, Mathilde Loisel's life is actually pretty good, though she doesn't know it and is not exactly grateful for what she has. She is "pretty and charming," and married to a good man with a good job, but she is not satisfied. She "suffer[s] ceaselessly" because she feels that she was "born for all the delicacies and all the luxuries" that she cannot afford. Another woman, the narrator tells us, would not even have been conscious of the deficiencies Mathilde sees in her home, her possessions, and so on. She actually has a "little Breton peasant who did her humble housework," though the sight of the girl also makes Mathilde feel badly because she cannot afford better. Her husband is happy with her, happy with their food and their lives, but "she loved nothing" but dresses and jewels which she could not buy.
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