In “The Necklace,” Mathilde Loisel is characterized as selfish, immature, spoiled, materialistic, envious, and entitled.
She resents not being born into wealth and considers herself unfortunate for having to settle for marrying a clerk. She does not care that her husband loves her and does all in his power to make her happy; she only cares about his lack of money and social prominence.
She hates her plain clothes and plain house and dreams of living in luxury. She believes she is entitled to the finer things in life, although she has done nothing to deserve them.
When she and her husband are invited to a party, Mathilde cries because she does not have a nice dress to wear. She carries on in a childish, manipulative manner until her husband tells her to buy a new dress. Mathilde is a sharp contrast to her selfless husband, who sacrifices the money he had been saving for a new gun, so his wife can buy a new dress.
Spoiled and unpleasable, Mathilde buys a new dress and then laments about not having jewelry. She is constantly longing for more. Her husband is content and appreciative of what he has, while Mathilde is never happy or satisfied.
Mathilde changes drastically by the end of the story. After putting herself and her husband into debt by losing the necklace she borrowed from a friend, she is forced to work to help pay off the debt. The couple gives up what little they have and work tirelessly to make enough money to cover the supposed cost of the necklace. After a decade of a life without frills, Mathilde becomes humble and realizes that the life she once thought was terrible really was not so bad in comparison to the life she lives now.