Mme. Loisel is a very beautiful girl that has everything that she needs, but is with no doubt, miserable with her average life. She envies others who are superior than her and longs for a life of luxury. Her wish is to be adored by everyone and be someone important. In her soul, she feels that all the riches in the world belong to her. Being considered the best is her goal, no matter what the price. Mme. Loisel only cares about material objects. Mathilde fantasizes about beautiful gowns, precious jewels, lavish homes, and dainty dinners. She is not thankful for what she already has. Her desire for the finest things makes herself feel discontent and unhappy. The young woman is ungrateful and does not appreciate what her husband provides for her. Her only thought of luxury blinds her from seeing reality. After losing the necklace, she learns what real work is. She loses her natural beauty and morphs into an aged, worn out, shabby drudge.
The small clerk is a very zealous and hard working man who does not care about deluxe, ostentatious matters. The life that he lives is perfectly fine with him. He does not completely understand his wife, but tries desperately to please her in every possible way. He loves his wife dearly that he gives up his savings for a gun, so that Mathilde can buy a fancy dress. At the ball, he lets his wife enjoy herself while he slumbers in an anteroom with three other married men. When the necklace is lost, M. Loisel takes the responsibility in finding it even though it was not his fault. Later he uses his inheritance, puts his life in pawn and assumes heavy obligations to buy a replacement diamond necklace. Unfortunately, the one night that his wife was happy with joy destroyed the rest of his life.
Mme. Forestier is an old school mate of Mme. Loisel. Mathilde is very jealous of her and loathes the fact that she lives in luxury. Jeanne is a very wealthy woman and is kind enough to let Mathilde borrow one of her necklaces. She is astonished when she finds out poor Mme. Loisel worked ten years to pay for a thirty-six thousand franc, diamond necklace when the original was a five hundred, fraud necklace.