Did Mathilde Loisel deserve the punishment she received?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Whether she deserves her fate or not is largely a matter of opinion. One could argue that no one should never have to experience the life of unremitting drudgery and toil that Madame Loisel's forced to endure. Yet there's no denying that there's an element of poetic justice in what happens to Mathilde. It was her shallowness, her superficiality, her single-minded obsession with the trappings of wealth and high social status that ultimately led to her downfall and got her into this mess. Mathilde had a perfectly good life; she certainly enjoyed a much better standard of life than most people in France, including her servant. But she got greedy; she got ideas above her station and wanted more. Unfortunately for Mathilde, her sense of entitlement led to her making a bad choice that changed her life forever, and not in a good way.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial