With “awful trouble” Monsieur Loisel manages to get an invitation for a high profile party where not many clerks are being invited. He hands it over to his wife gladly expecting her to become overjoyed. But Madame Loisel’s response baffles him. Instead of becoming jubilant, she turns upset and begins to cry. She complains peevishly that she doesn’t have a dress decent enough to go to such a high-class party.
Monsieur has been saving four hundred francs to buy himself a gun. He wanted to go shooting larks with his friends in the upcoming summer. It really upsets him when he hears his wife asking for the same amount to buy herself a dress for the party. We are told that when his wife tells him that she “could manage it with four hundred francs,” he grows “pale.”
““He had grown a little pale…”
Monsieur Loisel wasn’t actually prepared for this. He, however, doesn’t express his dismay nor does reveal to her anything about his plans. Rather, he instantly agrees to part away with that sum of money just to make her happy. Without uttering any word of shock or distress, he asks her to get a “pretty dress” for herself. For a small clerk like him, four hundred francs was not a petty sum; it really meant something. But to Monsieur Loisel, his wife’s happiness was certainly much more than his own.
Monsieur Loisel is definitely a man who doesn't hesitate to compromise with his happiness in order to please and satisfy his wife. He is an understanding, selfless and sensitive husband who would not like to see his wife depressed.