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Madame Mathilde Loisel, the heroine of Guy De Maupassant's short story "The Necklace," is definitely a round character rather than a flat one. The main feature of a round character is that he or she changes as a result of the experiences depicted in the literary work. Madame Loisel is described as a beautiful young woman who is unhappy with her life as a lower-middle-class housewife because she believes her beauty and charm entitled her to better things. After she loses the necklace she borrowed from her wealthy friend Madame Forestier she starts to develop a more serious attitude toward life. The disaster brings out her latent strength of character. She works hard, along with her devoted husband, to pay off the debts they incurred in replacing the necklace. In the end she is described as a woman who has lost her charm as well as her illusions and has become hardened by years of privation and toil.
The whole impact of Maupassant's story is achieved by his emphasis on the contrast between the young Madame Loisel and the older one. She does not seem particularly bitter when she meets Madame Forestier and tells her about the incident of the lost necklace; rather she seems proud of the fact that she and her husband have been able to keep their sense of personal integrity by replacing the one she lost on that memorable night of the minister's ball. Maupassant does not describe how Mathilde Loisel reacts to the stunning information that the lost necklace was a fake, but by this point the reader must feel that she is strong enough to sustain any kind of emotional blow.
Besides being dissatisfied with her life when she was a young housewife, Mathilde was dissatisfied with her husband. In fact, it was because of her poor marriage that she was forced to be dissatisfied with everything else it entailed. Over the years, however, the great misfortune husband and wife both experienced has strengthened their marriage by forcing them to work and plan together.
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