Mathilde is the unsatisfied, middle-class protagonist who covets the titular object in Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace.” From the first several paragraphs of the story, the narrator discusses how Mathilde perceived herself as someone deserving of all the luxuries life offered wealthier women. She felt she was better than her husband and her peers and that it was her destiny to have nice things.
Her shallow materialism is further demonstrated when she is upset upon being invited to her husband’s exclusive work-related party. She is troubled because she feels she has nothing suitable to wear to such an occasion, and she cares quite a bit about how others would perceive her if she showed up in an old theater-appropriate dress, as her husband suggests.
After buying a dress with the four hundred francs her husband gives her, Mathilde is still unsatisfied; she insists that she would need jewelry as not to look poor among a group of wealthy guests. At her husband's urging, she goes to Madame Forestier, her “friend.” At first, Mathilde is uninterested in any of the pieces she can choose that Madame Forestier offers.
Then, Mathilde notices the “black satin case” that houses the necklace, and “her heart [beats] covetously.” This indicates that Mathilde is excited by the necklace, which she believes must be expensive and authentic.
Her “hands trembled as she lifted it,” and she admires how she looks with the necklace in “ecstasy.”
The diction of these sentences indicates how much Mathilde admires the necklace. Maupassant indicates that Mathilde is most attracted to the necklace because of its opulence; she believes it will make her look like a woman of high status at the party.