How does Madame Loisel change at the end of "The Necklace" from how she was before she lost the necklace?

At the end of "The Necklace," Madame Loisel changes into a humble, industrious woman, who no longer dreams about being rich and works hard for everything she earns. After losing the necklace, Madame Loisel sacrifices her comfortable lifestyle and loses her entitled attitude. She experiences the hardship of being poor and transforms into an old-looking, frugal woman.

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When the story opens, Madame Loisel is described as "pretty" and "charming." Despite having a comfortable home, she finds herself endlessly bored, always believing that she deserves more than her modest life affords her. She therefore spends entire days weeping with misery at the thought that her friends live more...

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luxurious lives than she does, and she longs to charm men and have them desire her. When she is invited to the ball, her fantasies become reality for one night. Wearing her new dress and borrowed necklace, Madame Loisel is indeed as captivating as she's always dreamed she could be. Men ask to be introduced to her, and she notes their eager stares. Madame Loisel is ecstatic in the "triumph of her beauty."

Having to engage in hard labor transforms both Madame Loisel's outer appearance and sense of endurance. At the end of the story, her beauty is gone, and she is described as looking old. Her hair reflects her poverty, her clothes are "awry," and her hands are red from the harsh elements she works in. Yet because of her conflict, Madame Loisel gains a strength that she lacks early in the story. Instead of endlessly suffering in boredom, Madame Loisel engages in the "heavy work of the house." She does her own shopping and haggles for every halfpenny with various vendors. After dismissing her servants, she becomes intimate with taking care of her household duties herself.

Although her beauty has vanished, Madame Loisel gains a sense of self-efficacy. Because of her financial struggles, she demonstrates a courage and inner strength that she lacks when financially comfortable.

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At the beginning of the story, Madame Loisel is depicted as a selfish, ungrateful woman, who dreams of living a luxurious life and is unhappy with her humble social class. She is also an attractive, entitled woman and desires to experience the life of an aristocrat. Nothing pleases Madame Loisel, and she dismisses her husband's invitation to the Ministry's magnificent ball when she first hears about it. After Madame Loisel loses Madame Forestier's diamond necklace, she and her husband go into extreme debt to pay for an authentic necklace to replace it. For ten years Madame Loisel toils and engages in arduous manual labor to pay off their debts.

The narrator comments that Madame Loisel came to know the "horrible life of the very poor" but "played her part heroically." Madame Loisel made sacrifices, took on housework, dressed like a commoner, and worked hard to save every "miserable sou." In addition to transforming into a hardworking, frugal individual, Madame Loisel also loses her beauty and looks old after ten years of intense labor. By the end of the story, Madame Loisel no longer dreams of riches or feels entitled. She develops into a humble, industrious woman, who appreciates everything she earns. Madame Loisel's transformation is so dramatic that her friend Madame Forestier does not recognize her when they meet in the street.

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Mathilde was a very materialistic person at the beginning of the story and wanted to appear to be rich and sophisticated. By the end of the story she was no longer materialistic and no longer cared about appearances. She was simply happy to have her debt repaid.

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Madame Loisel, from Guy du Maupassant's short story, "The Necklace," is a dynamic character (this means she undergoes dramatic change over the course of the story--unlike a static character who does not change).

In the beginning of the story, Madame Loisel is a person who is not accepting of her place in the soc ail structure of life. She believes that she should be a woman who lives a luxurious life, attending parties and wearing the best jewels and clothing.

Her tastes were simple because she had never been able to afford any other, but she was as unhappy as though she had married beneath her.

In trying to make his wife happy, M. Loisel is able to obtain an invitation to a party. Instead, of being happy, Madame Loisel states that she cannot go on the account that she has no dress or jewels. She is able to purchase a dress (from her husband's savings) and borrow a necklace from a friend. Unfortunately, she loses the necklace. In order to replace the necklace, she and her husband worked for ten years to pay off the multiple loans it took to purchase a replacement.

Over the ten years, Madame Loisel realized what it meant to be truly poor. Her mindset regarding poverty and what it meant to work changed. She, too, was required to work. In the end, Madame Loisel did not only change mentally, she also changed physically (from the demanding work she had to do).

Therefore, Madame Loisel changes dramatically over the course of the story. She no longer expects the life of the rich. She realizes that she did have a good life when looking back. One could assume that she would have taken back the night at the party if she would not have had to come to know real poverty.

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In "The Necklace," what was Mme. Loisel's life like before and after she lost the necklace?

"The Necklace" tells us that Mme. Loisel's life before she lost the necklace was by no means a terrible life.  For example, she had a maid, a "little Breton girl" (1), who did the work around the house. She had a house, she had a husband who worked, and she had food on the table.  We are told that she had worn out furniture and curtains that were "ugly" (1), but we are also told,

All these things, of which other women of her class would not even have been aware, tormented and insulted her (1).

What was terrible was Mme. Loisel's perception of her life. Because she was "pretty and charming" (1), she felt that she deserved more in life, a wealthy husband, a fancy home, and 

...vast saloons hung with antique silks, exquisite pieces of furniture supporting priceless ornaments, and small, charming, perfumed rooms, created just for little parties of intimate friends, men who were famous and sought after, whose homage roused every other woman's envious longings (1).

We can see from this and the other vivid descriptions of what she longed for that Mme. Loisel had a sense of entitlement that her life could not satisfy. 

When Mme. Loisel's husband gets them an invitation to a fancy event, her first response is not to be happy, but to rebuke her husband because he has not provided her with the fancy clothes and jewelry she would need to be seen in.  When she is able to borrow the necklace from her friend, though, she feels she is able to make the best of things, and indeed, she is a huge success at this dance.   

After the necklace is lost and she cannot bring herself to tell her friend the truth, her life becomes far more miserable than it had been before.  She and her husband have to borrow a large sum of money to replace the lost necklace and give it to her friend.  This puts them in debt, and to pay back the debt, they lose what little they had. They take a small apartment in an attic and get rid of the maid. Mme. Loisel now has to do all the laundry, housework, and cooking herself, and the couple scrimp and save on everything possible, bargaining at the market to save a little here and there, so they could pay off the indebtedness.  Her husband takes a second job at night, as well.This ages both of them. It is a very hard life. And it takes them ten long years to pay off the debt completely. Mme. Loisel is no longer so pretty or so charming, and she has paid dearly for her discontent, her fantasies of wealth, and her sense of entitlement. 

It is not so dreadful to yearn for a better life, and I do not think that is the moral of this story. What is dreadful is to think that beauty and charm should entitle a person to a better life, rather than being thankful for what one has and being willing to use one's intelligence and skills to get more.

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In "The Necklace," compare and contrast what Madam Loisel was like before she lost the necklace and years later after she lost it.

In considering comparison and contrast, it is useful, after identifying the similarities and differences, to ask the “so what?” question.  In other words, what is the thematic significance to how she is described at the beginning and how she is described at the end as a result of her experiences, namely, losing the necklace and living in poverty to pay for it?  Or, what is the significance in character?  Does she really change?  Madame Loisel tells her friend, "Yes, I have had a pretty hard life, since I last saw you, and great poverty--and that is  because of you!"  If she has lived a life of poverty, has she become more humble, changed her understanding of what is important in life, changed her values?  The irony of course is that she suffered to pay back something that she thought had value and did not.  Does this sentence, then, suggest to us that she now understands the meaning of value? While you need to think this out for yourself, I think that she does not, that her voice is full of resentment, and so her values in fact have not changed at all, she is every bit as superficial and vain at the end of the story as she is at the beginning.

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In "The Necklace," compare and contrast what Madam Loisel was like before she lost the necklace and years later after she lost it.

Prior to losing the necklace, Madame Loisel wanted to be part of the upper class, feeling that money and nice things would somehow make her a better person. She's beautiful and feels she is "born for every delicacy and luxury" life has to offer. When she's invited to the ball, she's afraid her drab wardrobe isn't good enough to wear to the ball. She borrows a necklace from Madame Forestier for the ball and has the best night of her life at the ball. She loses the borrowed necklace and is afraid to tell her friend she lost the necklace. She replaces it with a diamond necklace that takes Madame Loisel many years to pay off. During that time, she lives in poverty. She loses all of her physical beauty due to all of her hard work.

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In the story "The Necklace," what were the changes in Mme Loisel before and after she lost the necklace?

Prior to the loss of the necklace, Madame Loisel is famously described at the very beginning of the story as of those pretty and charming young creatures who sometimes are born, as if by a slip of fate, into a family of clerks.

Although she is pretty enough, and should be thankful to have a decent husband who keeps her at home with a young, peasant Breton girl for a maid, Mathilde is quite unhappy.  She isn't satisfied with any of her surroundings. She has huge dreams of fancy and elaborate ceremonies, dinners, tea parties, and the likes of that.

Not only is she sad, but also ungrateful. When her husband finally manages to get them to a ball sponsored by his workplace in the Ministry of Education, she is sad that she does not have a new dress, or jewels, to go.

Here is when her husband proposes the borrowing of the necklace. When she gets her hands in that huge, flamboyant and shiny piece of pure extravagance, she realizes that this is it for her.  At the party, she is ravishing, and wants to make sure she shines as brightly as her borrowed necklace. All the excitement is over after the ball ends, and she realizes that the necklace is gone.

After the loss of the necklace

Since the Loisels decide to hide the fact that the necklace is lost, they had to make up for it in a short period of time. After they found the replica to purchase it, they had to sacrifice their entire lifestyle to be able to afford paying for it.

Now, Madame had every reason to complain. This is the first time she came to know what it is to really sacrifice and what true problems really look like. If she was ever angry and disillusioned about her life, things were just about to get worse. We know this in the way that she changes physically, socially, and even behaviorally, after so many years working cleaning floors, moving to a smaller place, haggling the prices of things, and having to live like the lowest peasant she could have ever imagined to become.

Madame Loisel looked old now. She had become the woman of impoverished households--strong and hard and rough. With frowsy hair, skirts askew and red hands, she talked loud while washing the floor with great swishes of water.

She was no longer cute; no longer dainty, nor delicate. She was "loud", and rough, having lost the flower of femininity that is so unique to a fragile woman of the household. She even had the courage of showing herself up to Madame Forestier, who was less than pleased to have seen her, but was equally shocked at the state of her friend's appearance.

Perhaps this was not too bad for Mathilde. After all, she did learn to appreciate the value of money, in the end. Her vanity is presumably gone and certainly there are no more dreams of exquisiteness ruling her day. We never get to know what is her reaction when she finds out that the necklace was fake, but it is quite easy to imagine that her shock was quite intense.

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