What are 3 characteristics of Mathilde Loisel? Please clearly identify with some proof from story.

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writergal06 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mathilde is lovely and tragic. Physically, she is attractive and charming. However, she is also unfortunate. One primary characteristic of Mathilde is that she is discontented. She feels that she has been kept out of her appropriate place in society, and that she is limited by her poor fortune and station. We know this both from the direct characterization in the first two paragraphs and from her frantic longing to appear more wealthy than she is. Mathilde is also selfish. Despite her husband's efforts to make her happy and give her what he can, she is always dissatisfied. Again, both her actions and the narrator confirm this: "She had no dresses, no jewelry, nothing. And she loved nothing else; she felt herself made for that only." Finally, Mathilde is proud. Her fear of appearing to others as less than perfect causes her to borrow the necklace, and to hide the fact that she lost it. It causes her to work to repay the debt, a debt that she need not have at all. Arguably, this is the most tragic trait of all.