Suppose Madame Loisel never lost the necklace. How would her life have ended up?

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Lorraine Caplan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Sadly, I think Madame Loisel would not have had a very happy life even had she not lost the necklace. Let's suppose for a moment that as the belle of the ball, she had been able to parlay her popularity into a more elevated social life or even a better job for Monsieur Loisel and that the couple did not need to strain under the burden of the debt for the necklace.  Madame Loisel seems like the kind of person who would always have wanted more and more, someone who was not going to be contented with anything she already had, a real "material girl." She is not exactly living in the streets as the story begins. Their place seems to have reasonably comfortable furnishings, and they have servants, too.  Furthermore, Monsieur Loisel strikes me as the kind of man who was not going to always go along with his wife's status-seeking agenda, for example, thinking that flowers were as good as jewels, as he suggests when the invitation comes. While he placated her for the one event, giving up his savings for her dress, I think he would have had his limits.  (His going into debt to replace the necklace was a matter of honor, not of pleasing his wife.) If this story were taking place today, I would go so far as to suggest that Madame Loisel might leave her husband for a wealthier man, but this was Catholic France, so that seems impossible.  Had that been the case, my thought is that she still would have been unhappy, always wanting more than she had.  Madame Loisel thought her face should be her fortune, but ultimately, I think, her fortune lay in her character, which was one of discontent.

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