Why did Monsieur Loisel expect his wife to be pleased to receive the invitation from the Minister of Education?

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jgeertz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Monsieur Loisel expects his wife, Mademoiselle Loisel, to be delighted about the invitation he managed to secure to the ministerial ball. He understands that his wife is not content with her simple, lower bourgeoise life. He knows that she dreams of luxury, wealth, and mingling amidst the upper class. He presents the invitation to her with anticipation that she will be utterly ecstatic about the opportunity to converse with dignitaries and dance under the admiring eyes of the upper class. Sadly, she quickly determines that she has nothing suitable to wear to such a formal event. Monsieur Loisel fails to see that his wife will only be happy if she can suceed in creating the false appearance of being one of the upper class. After all, Mademoiselle Loisel's beauty is only skin deep. She is consumed by appearances which will, in turn, be her downfall.

ravinderrana | Student

Monsieur Loisel had always felt guilty of not being able to provide a comfortable and luxurious life to his wife, Mathilde.

"She had no clothes, no jewels, nothing. And these were the only things she loved; she felt that she was made for them. She had longed so eagerly to charm, to be desired, to be wildly attractive and sought after."

Thus when this wonderful invitation came by, he thought it was one chance that Providence had provided him to make his wife feel happy. It was a "life-time opportunity" and he wanted to make use of it. He was obviously under the impression that his wife will be the centre of attraction at the party. Probably it would compensate for his neglect and inability to make her feel important and sought after. Little did he know then that this would make her even more unhappy.

The most important aspect that one must draw is that it is in the nature of women in general to feel that their life is incomplete without physical comforts of life; the more the better. And Mathilde was no exception to this philosophy. Hence, Mr. Loisel made  a grave error to think he was trying to make his wife happy by bringing home the invitation from the Minister of Education.

Read the study guide:
The Necklace

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