What are the differences and similarities between Madame Loisel and Monsieur Loisel in "The Necklace"?

Differences between Madame Loisel and Monsieur Loisel in "The Necklace" include their differing perspectives on life and feelings regarding the ball. Madame Loisel is not content with her current social status or living situation and is not excited about the ball. In contrast, Monsieur Loisel is satisfied with his life and looks forward to the party. The two characters share similar backgrounds, occupy the same social status, and suffer the consequences of losing Madame Forestier's necklace.

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Monsieur Loisel wants to please his wife, who he loves, whereas Madame Loisel is self-absorbed and indifferent to her husband. He has married a beautiful wife, who he sees as a prize, whereas she is frustrated by being married to a man of her own lower middle class status rather than a fabulous aristocrat. In short, Monsieur Loisel is satisfied with his life while Madame Loisel is tormented with discontent.

From what little we see of Monsier Loisel, his interests appear to be directed outward. He likes to hunt and looks forward to a hunting trip with a group of male friends. He make an effort to get an invitation to the ball with the intent of pleasing his wife. Madame Loisel's interest, however, are directed inward: her chief interest seems to be reading the romance novels that feed her discontent with her comfortable middle class life.

The two are alike in that they both work in an honest and dedicated way to pay off the diamond necklace they buy to replace the one of Madame Loisel's that they lost. It crosses neither one's mind to renege on that responsibility. Both show themselves to be honorable people, as it takes years of sacrifice and hard living to retire the loan that financed the new necklace.

Interestingly, too, Monsieur Loisel seems to be just as taken in by appearances as his wife is: They are alike in that neither one of them ever questions whether the diamond is real.

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Mathilde Loisel and her husband share the same income, social status, and middle-class background. They are not wealthy aristocrats, but they live in comfort. They also have similar ambitious thoughts and lofty goals. Monsieur Loisel's dreams are grounded in reality as he hopes to work his way to the top of the Ministry of Public Instruction. Mathilde, on the other hand, has unlikely dreams of being a member of the upper class and feels entitled to experience a privileged lifestyle.

Mathilde and her husband are both deceived and believe that Madame Forestier's necklace is genuine. They also share the same reactions when Mathilde loses the necklace.

Mathilde and Monsieur Loisel also have significant character flaws. Mathilde is materialistic, delusional, and selfish while her husband is dishonest and impulsive. He instructs Mathilde to lie to Madame Forestier and does not question the necklace's authenticity when the jeweler states that he only provided the case.

Monsieur Loisel and Mathilde also have dramatically different attributes and character traits. Monsieur Loisel is a hard-working clerk who enjoys his life and appreciates everything he owns. He is also selfless and demonstrates his giving nature by offering his wife four hundred francs to buy a new dress. Monsieur Loisel is also naive and does not recognize the extent of his wife's materialistic nature. Mathilde Loisel is delusional and entitled. She is difficult to please and unhappy because of her social status. She also expects her husband to solve her problems, and anything he does never seems to be enough.

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In Guy de Maupassant's celebrated short story "The Necklace," Mathilde Loisel and Monsieur Loisel both occupy the same social status and attempt to fulfill their dreams of climbing the social ladder. While Mathilde dreams of becoming an aristocrat and enjoying a luxurious lifestyle, Monsieur Loisel is primarily focused on attaining a better position in the Ministry of Education, which is why he is excited about attending the ball and meeting influential people. Both Mathilde and Monsieur Loisel come from humble backgrounds and are forced to suffer the consequences of losing Madame Forestier's necklace. After Mathilde loses the necklace, Monsieur Loisel spends his inheritance and acquires a significant amount of debt in order to pay for a new, authentic diamond necklace. The couple is forced to move out of their home and struggles for ten years to pay off their debts.

Despite their similarities, Mathilde and her husband have different personalities and do not share the same perspective on life. Mathilde is an entitled woman who genuinely believes that she deserves to enjoy a luxurious life. She resents marrying a lowly clerk and is not content with her humble lifestyle. In contrast, Monsieur Loisel is depicted as an ambitious, rational man who is relatively satisfied with his current life. Unlike his wife, Monsieur Loisel does not feel entitled to live in luxury, does not constantly complain, and does not flippantly dismiss their invitation to the ball. Monsieur Loisel is excited to attend the ball and has no reservations about attending. In contrast, Mathilde insists that she wear a new dress with fancy jewelry before she agrees to attend the party.

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The two main characters in "The Necklace" are Monsieur and Madame Loisel. These characters maintain some very poignant similarities and differences, the differences far outweighing the similarities.

Essentially, the only two similarities that the couple share is the fact that they are both to live within the constraints of being a family of clerks and they both strive for Mathilde's happiness.

Outside of that, the couple have many differences.

Mathilde is not happy with her circumstances. She believes that she should be living in a higher station (attending parties, spending lavishly, and admired by all). She is truly unhappy where she is.

M. Loisel, on the other hand, is happy with his circumstances. One can infer this based upon his comment made about dinner.

"Ah, the good soup! I don't know anything better than that."

As simple as soup is, M. Loisel is completely content (unlike his wife). She instead, seemed to detest the soup given she could only think of

dainty dinners, of shining silverware, of tapestry that peopled the walls with ancient personages and with strange birds flying in the midst of a fairy forest; and she thought of delicious dishes served on marvellous plates and of the whispered gallantries to which you listen with a sphinxlike smile while you are eating the pink meat of a trout or the wings of a quail.

M. Loisel is happy with getting his wife an invitation to an exclusive, and much sought after, party. Mathilde, on the other hand, is not happy with the invitation. Instead, she is upset by it. Her lack of proper clothes and jewelry force her to be saddened instead.

 

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