In "The Necklace," Mathilde Loisel learns a lesson on success the hard way. She begins the story with a negative attitude. She feels she was born for the finer things in life. She desires luxuries and expensive jewels. Although she has so much to be grateful for, she sulks and complains about not having a rich lifestyle.
Truly, Madame Loisel has a husband who loves her. She has a maid and lives a middle-class lifestyle. Still, she complains and grumbles and lives a depressed life. Even when her husband brings home an invitation to a fancy ball, she is upset because she has no fine jewels to wear to the ball.
At this point, Madame Loisel should have been thankful for the things she has in life. However, she feels she is unsuccessful. She does not appreciate the blessings that she has.
After losing the necklace, Madame Loisel has to borrow money to replace the necklace. She becomes acquainted with hard work. She has to scrub floors. She ages tremendously:
Madame Loisel looked old now. She had become like all the other strong, hard, coarse women of poor households. Her hair was badly done, her skirts were awry, her hands were red. She spoke in a shrill voice, and the water slopped all over the floor when she scrubbed it.
Now, Madame Loisel has learned a valuable lesson. She finds enjoyment in simple things such as a walk outdoors. On one of her walks, she runs into Madame Forestier. She tells Madame Forestier the truth about replacing the necklace. Madame Forestier reveals that the necklace she borrowed was a fake. But it doesn't matter because Madame Loisel has become "decently content." She has learned to be content and accept life with all its hardship. She is successful in the end. She now understands what is really important in life. She no longer has to rely on others for her sense of being "decently content."