"The Necklace" is a narrative about how human discontent and desires for luxurious lives can lead to trouble. The protagonist of the story is 'Mme Matilda Loisel.' Our heroine and her family are introduced at the start of the story. She was a beautiful young woman who, unfortunately, came from a lower-middle-class family of clerks. Because of her family's financial circumstances, she never had the opportunity to live a luxury lifestyle. She did not marry a wealthy person but was married to a clerk. Her marriage to a clerk was necessitated by the fact that her family could not afford to provide her with a dowry. Her spouse was a clerk working in the Board of Education's office. However, her financial situation following her marriage was not poor but sufficient, though simple. Despite this, she never seemed to have a happy life.

She never lived a happy or fulfilled life, and she was always unhappy with her financial situation since she yearned for a luxurious, sophisticated lifestyle. She was always irritated by the state of the apartment where she lived with her husband, which had shabby walls and worn chairs. She was always angry about her situation because she lived in a small apartment and wanted to be rich.
 
Matilda did not like to have simple dinners that were prepared at home, in contrast to her husband, who always enjoyed the delights of homemade soups, potpies etc. Instead, she wanted to have lavish feasts presented on exquisite plates. The above sentences vividly demonstrate Matilda's and her husband's opposing viewpoints.
 
Matilda was obsessed with living a luxurious lifestyle and wanted to wear rich-looking frocks, jewels, and other accessories. And she loved only those things in her life. As a result, she avoided paying a visit to her convent schoolmate. It was because Matilda wasn't as wealthy as her friend that she cried for several days after meeting her. After being married, Matilda had hoped that at least some of her wishes would come true, but when her fantasy of a lavish lifestyle didn't happen as she had planned, her life took a bad turn.
 
One evening, Matilda's husband came home in a happy and excited mood, with a large envelope in his hand.
 
Matilda's husband handed her an envelope meant for them (Matilda and her husband). She promptly retrieved and opened the envelope. It was an invitation card for the Minister's party, addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Matilda's family. It was written on the card,
    
"The Minister of Public Instruction and Madame George Ramponneau ask the honour of M. and Mme Loisel’s company. Monday evening, January 18, at the Minister’s residence".
 
M. and Mme. Loisel indicate Monsieur and Madame Loisel.
 
Matilda's husband had expected to see his wife happy and excited, and he eagerly waited for her to finish reading the card. Regrettably, events unfolded in an unanticipated manner. She was enraged after reading the card and tossed it aside, mumbling something about how she did not have good party wear and a jewel. She became enraged and demanded to know what her husband wanted her to do with the invitation.
 
When Matilda's husband saw his wife's behaviour, he did not become enraged or offended. He took care not to aggravate the matter any further by gently telling her that his intention in calling her to join the party was to make her happy. He also stated that Matilda rarely attends parties and that he wished she could come to that one. In actuality, just a specific group were invited, and Matilda's family was one of them. He also mentioned that it would be a good opportunity for her to meet his entire office staff there.
 
Matilda did not appear to be listening or convinced by her husband's words. In fact, listening to her husband made her even angrier. The reason for Matilda's rage was unknown for a few minutes throughout their chat. It was only when she remarked, "What do you suppose I have to wear to such a thing as that?" that it was disclosed. Things were starting to make sense to him. Matilda was enraged at being invited to such a lavish party because she lacked the appropriate party attire, jewellery, and other accessories.
 
Matilda's husband didn't even have any clue that his wife would be annoyed because of the dresses and jewels. In general, it happens that women give much importance to their physical attire, jewels, make-up, etc. But men rarely consider all these to get ready for festivals, parties, celebrations etc. And the same thing happens with Matilda's family as well. Matilda's husband thought his wife would be happy to attend the party, whereas she was more concerned about her outfits. 
 
As mentioned earlier, Matilda's husband was clueless as to why his wife behaved so weirdly, even after the cause of her anger was revealed. He still couldn't understand why his wife would consider an outfit a problem when she was given a chance to attend such a coveted party. Two reasons made him not understand Matilda's issues with attending the party. Firstly, he was a man. Secondly, Matilda's husband was a man of simplicity and practicality, unlike his wife, who constantly yearned for opulent things in her life.
 
As a result, he calmly replied to his wife that the outfit she had been wearing once when they went to a theatre show looked beautiful and fine. But he was taken aback and upset when he saw her crying. He couldn't figure out what was making his wife weep, so he asked her the reason for it.
 
Despite her inability to control her tears, Matilda made an attempt to calm herself for a few moments, wiped her tears, and told her husband that she couldn't afford to attend the party because she didn't have any nice dresses with her. As a result, she asked him to hand over the invitation to any of her husband's coworkers' wives who could dress better than her.
 
Matilda's husband couldn't take it when his wife cried and requested to return the party invitation to someone. He didn't want her to cry or miss the party. As a result, he asked Matilda how much a good, simple dress, which she could wear for other occasions, would cost.
 
Matilda had not expected her husband to make such a quick offer. In fact, it was a pleasant surprise for her, and so she thought about the offer for some time. She was well aware that her husband could not afford to spend a lot of money on her outfits. At the same time, she didn't want to lose out on her husband's offer, so she considered the amount of money she could ask him for her outfit for a while. She realised that asking for a large sum of money would cause her husband to reject his offer, so she asked for 400 francs to buy a nice dress for the party. Currently, 32,806.97 Indian rupees are equal to 400 francs.
 
Though Loisel agreed to pay for his wife's dress, he thought for a while when his wife stated that the dress would cost \(400\) francs. It's because he'd set aside that money to purchase a gun for himself so that he could join the hunting parties next summer. Still, as a loving husband, he refused to retract his words and instead told her that he would give her 400 francs, with which she must get a pretty dress.
 
Despite having her party outfit ready, Matilda remained dejected and unhappy as the ball day approached. After watching Matilda for two to three days, her husband asked her what was worrying her.
 
Her worry resulted from the fact that she lacked an appropriate jewel to wear to the party. As a result, she was concerned that it would ruin her party look. Finally, she informed her husband that she would not be attending the party.
 
When Matilda explained her problem that she had no jewels for her dress, her husband replied that she could wear some natural flowers. Matilda's husband told her so because he thought it might look elegant and attractive. But, Matilda replied, she could not do that as it might make her look cheap among the rich women at the party. Suddenly, an idea stuck with Matilda's husband. It was to get some jewels from Matilda's friend, Mme Forestier. On hearing her husband's idea, Matilda became very happy, as it seemed to be a great idea for her.
 
The very next day, she went to Mme Forestier's house to ask her to lend her jewels. When Matilda explained her pathetic situation to her friend and asked her for jewels, her friend did not hesitate to lend her jewels. She, at once, went into her closet, took out a large jewel case, brought it near Matilda and asked her to choose anything she liked.
 
Initially, Matilda's friend showed her some bracelets, then some pearl collars, and then a Venetian cross of gold and jewels. Matilda tried all the jewels with her friend in front of the mirror, but nothing seemed to satisfy her.
 
Matilda was disappointed since she couldn't find her best look among the jewels Forestier had shown. So she asked Forestier whether she had any other jewels apart from the ones she had tried. Mme. Forestier replied that Matilda could look around and pick anything suitable for herself.
 
Matilda then noticed a magnificent diamond necklace in a black satin box. She took it out with trembling hands and tried it on. It was because Matilda never had any chance to wear diamonds in her life, though she wanted to. And, when she wore that diamond necklace, she felt happy and satisfied with its aesthetic appeal. Hence, she asked Mme. Forestier whether she could borrow it, to which her friend replied, "yes." Matilda became very happy. She then hugged her friend with affection and left her house.
 
The ball arrived. Matilda's party wear, jewels, etc., added beauty to her pretty face. She was the prettiest, most gracious, and most elegant of all women in the party hall. All the men who attended the party noticed Matilda and wanted to dance with her. Matilda was so happy and danced with enthusiasm and excitement. Her dream of enjoying a luxurious party came true. In fact, she had been longing to have such a moment in her life. People admired her beauty, elegance, and gracious moves at the party. She enjoyed the party and was happy that people noticed, admired and danced with her.
 
Finally, she went home with her husband around 4 o'clock in the morning. Matilda's husband had been sleeping in one of the ballrooms since midnight along with the other husbands whose wives were also dancing like Matilda. She then made an effort to leave the party soon because her coat looked so modest, which did not go with her rich party look. She wished to hurry away in order not to be noticed by any rich woman who wrapped herself in rich furs. 
 
It might be due to the reason that he had drunk, Loisel did not want to walk. So he prevented Matilda from leaving the ball and told her he would get a cab for her. But she did not want to wait as she was worried that a rich woman would notice her wearing one of the inexpensive coats. So, she urged him to leave the place and quickly descended the steps.
 
As they got on the street, they were looking for a carriage that could take them home, but they could not find one. Then they saw a coach at a distance and started calling. The coachmen did not stop. They kept walking together and finally found a carriage, the kind one finds in Paris after nightfall. And when the couple reached their apartment, they felt very tired. The party mood was over by then.
 
Furthermore, Loisel was reminded that he needed to attend to his office the next day and that he needed to be there by 10 a.m.
 
Still, Matilda wanted to admire her look with her new party attire and the diamond necklace. So, she removed the wraps from her shoulders and looked in the mirror. Suddenly, she let out a loud cry. It was because the diamond necklace she was wearing was found to be missing.
 
Loisel changed out of his party attire halfway and started getting ready to sleep because he was already exhausted. At that time, he heard his wife screaming. Though he was exhausted and only partly asleep, he was shocked to hear her screaming. He soon asked for the reason for her cry, to which Matilda explained to him nervously that the diamond necklace she was wearing was missing. 
 
He was shocked by her words, "I no longer have Mme Forestier’s necklace." And immediately, the couple started to check in their dress folds, cloak folds, pockets, etc., for the necklace, but they couldn't find it.
 
Then, Loisel asked Matilda if she remembered putting the necklace when she left the Minister's house.
 
Matilda replied to her husband's query by claiming that she felt the necklace when she left the Minister's residence. As a result, her husband assumed it had gotten lost in the cab they took home. He reasoned so as, he felt, they might have heard the sound of the necklace if it had fallen on the ground.
 
Unfortunately, the couple did not take down the cab's number because they were in a hurry to get to their apartment and rest. Moreover, they did not expect such a tragedy to happen.
 
The couple looked at each other, depressed and not knowing what to do or where to search for the jewel. After a few minutes, Loisel dressed himself again and got out of his apartment to track down the jewel. And Matilda stayed awake as she waited for her husband to come home. She did not want to sleep until he got home because she was afraid of losing the necklace.
 
Matilda's husband kept searching for the jewels till 7 o'clock in the morning, but he couldn't find the jewel. He complained about the loss of his necklace to policemen and the cab offices and had also placed an advertisement in the newspapers offering a reward for those who brought their necklace. But, nothing seems to work out. Matilda waited all day long for her husband to return with the necklace, but it didn't happen. And so, Loisel told his wife to write to Mme. Forestier that they had given the necklace to be repaired as the hook of the necklace had broken. She did so with the hope that they would be able to find the necklace.
 
After looking for it for almost a week, they decided to buy another necklace for Mme. Forestier as they were not able to find the original one.
 
As the couple was about to replace the necklace similar to that of the original one, they did search for the same design and finally found a similar designed necklace in the shop Palais-Royal which cost around forty thousand francs. The tallest skyscraper in India, the Palais-Royal, is located in Mumbai. Though they could bargain it for thirty-six thousand francs, they didn't have that much money.
 
Loisel had eighteen thousand francs, which his father had left him, but the rest he borrowed from many of the lenders, though some of those lenders charged him a high interest. Finally, he bought the same designed necklace for thirty-six thousand francs from the shopkeeper. Finally, when Mme. Loisel took the necklace to her friend, her friend told her that she should have returned it earlier as she too needed it.
 
Thankfully, Mme Forestier did not open the jewel box, as Mme Loisel was worried. Mme Loisel was concerned that if her friend noticed the change in the jewel, she might think she had stolen the necklace.
 
Even though Mme Loisel was able to solve the issue with the aid of her husband, she was aware of the significant cost she had incurred. Most importantly, she realised that she would have to do something to repay her husband's debts.
 
In order to save money, they dismissed their maid from her job, changed their house, and rented rooms on the roof of a building. She started to wash and dry the clothes. She used to go down to the street each morning to get water. She had learnt to live her life more frugally as she used to dress like an ordinary person and go to the grocery shop, the butcher shop, and the fruit shop with a basket to buy the things of daily use.
 
Mme Loisel did not live a luxurious life before losing the necklace, but it was still a basic one, and she did not suffer greatly because her husband's salary was sufficient for them to live a respectable life. However, everything changed in a single night. Mme Loisel's life deteriorated into one that was even worse than it had been before, becoming dismal and pitiful.
 
Mr. Loisel's situation was even more, worse than Mme Loisel's. He started working extra time in the evenings and often did copying work at night for a small amount of \(5\) sou per page.
 
The couple suffered, working and living under hard conditions for nearly \(10\) years, and at the end of those ten years, they finished paying off all their debts. But, Mme Loisel's lifestyle had entirely changed, especially her appearance. By that time, Mme Loisel had become a hardworking woman of a poor household. She had started to look old with her hair badly kept, her dress awry, her hands red, and she used to speak in a loud voice. Though it was ten years ago that she missed that diamond necklace, she kept thinking about it when she was alone. If she had not lost that diamond necklace, she would not have had to live such an awful life. She always used to think about that worst incident (jewel loss) which ruined her life.
  
Mme Loisel began when she was walking down the Champs-Elysees on a Sunday after a long week at work and happened to see a mother with a child. The Champs-Elysees are in Paris, London, which is known for its theatres, cafes, and luxury shopping malls. And Mme Forestier was the woman Matilda had seen. Mme Forestier looked young, pretty, and attractive even after ten years, in contrast to Mme Loisel, who appeared elderly and dirty.
 
Mme Loisel considered conversing with Mme Forestier, but she hesitated whether or not she should. After giving it some thought, she decided to talk to Forestier because she had paid off all the debts related to the necklace she had bought for Forestier.
 
Mme Forestier couldn't recognise her because Mme Loisel's 10 years of hard work had entirely transformed her looks and made her appear older.  Mme Loisel addressed Forestier as 'Jeanne', thinking that she would recognise Mme Loisel because only her close friends addressed her as such. Still, Matilda's shabby clothes and appearance made Forestier assume that Matilda might have got the wrong person and that she might be looking for someone else.
 
Mme Loisel introduced herself to Jeanne Forestier since she didn't recognise her. Mme Forestier was taken aback to see her old friend Mme Loisel in such a miserable state. 
 
Mme Loisel began to explain to Mme Forestier what transpired to her following their last meeting \(10\) years ago as a response to Mme Forestier's question. To begin with, Matilda told Forestier that 'it was all because of her'. Mme Forestier was perplexed and questioned Matilda as to how she was to be blamed for her misfortune.
 
Matilda informed Forestier of the loss of the diamond necklace that she had borrowed from the latter ten years ago. Forestier was baffled as to how Matilda had managed to return the necklace despite having lost it because the necklace Matilda returned resembled the one Forestier had given her. Matilda then told her how she and her husband had piled on more debts in order to buy a new jewel that looked exactly like Mme Forestier's original diamond necklace. Matilda went on to explain how she and her husband struggled to repay their debt as a middle-class household. Matilda went on to say that their debt had been paid in full and that she was satisfied with that.
 
Mme Forestier had no idea what had transpired because Matilda had returned the diamond necklace to her without telling her anything about the missing jewellery. But it wasn't until she heard Matilda talk that she realised the pain behind Matilda's return of a jewel was the same as Forestier's.
 
Mme Forestier inquired if Matilda had purchased a diamond necklace to replace her lost necklace, to which Matilda responded affirmatively. For a moment, Mme Forestier was taken aback. She was holding Matilda's hands in her arms at that time. She then informed Matilda that the necklace she had offered to her was not a real diamond necklace but a fake one and that it was only worth \(500 \) francs. Matilda was taken aback since she had to give up ten years of her life to repay the money she had borrowed to purchase the diamond necklace.
 
The story comes to a conclusion with a moral lesson. Never keep your problems hidden, but rather share them with at least your closest friends, and above all, never be greedy; be content with what you have.