The character of M. Loisel in The Necklace from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes

The Necklace

M. Loisel is married to Mathilde and works as a clerk in the Ministry of Education. He cares very much for his wife, and it is to make her happy that he procures an invitation to the party hosted by the Minister of Education. M. Loisel’s generosity contrasts sharply with his wife’s vanity and selfishness. For instance, he sacrifices his dream of buying a rifle to go hunting with his friends on the plains of Nanterre in order to buy a new dress for Mathilde. He searches tirelessly for the necklace when it is lost, and he sacrifices his inheritance, his honor, and takes on an enormous amount of debt to replace it.

M. Loisel Quotes in The Necklace

The The Necklace quotes below are all either spoken by M. Loisel or refer to M. Loisel. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Reality and Illusion Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of The Necklace published in 2003.
The Necklace Quotes

Whenever she sat down for supper at the circular table covered with the same tablecloth for three days, she faced her husband, who, removing the lid from the tureen, ecstatically declared: “Ah! A good stew! I don’t know of anything better!”

But she fantasized about elegant dinners, about shiny silverware, about tapestries filling the walls with ancient figures and exotic birds in the midst of a magic forest; she fantasized about exquisite courses served in wondrous vessels, about gallantries whispered and listened to with sphinxlike smiles, while the diners consumed the rosy flesh of a trout or the wings of a grouse.

Related Characters: Mathilde Loisel, M. Loisel
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:
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The night of the ball was approaching, and Madame Loisel appeared sad, worried, anxious. Still, her gown was ready.

One evening, her husband said to her: “Listen, what’s wrong? You’ve been acting funny for three days now.”

And she replied: “I’m annoyed that I don’t have any jewelry—not a single gem, nothing to put on. I’ll look downright poverty-stricken. I’d almost rather not go to the ball.”

Related Characters: Mathilde Loisel (speaker), M. Loisel (speaker)
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

Monsieur Loisel, bringing the wraps for their exit, tossed them over her shoulders: they were the modest garments of ordinary life, their poverty clashing with the elegance of the ball gown. She sensed the discord and wanted to flee, to avoid being noticed by the other women, who were bundling up in expensive furs.

Related Characters: Mathilde Loisel, M. Loisel
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile

[The carriage] brought them to their front door on Rue des Martyrs, and they sadly trudged up to their apartment. It was all over for her. And as for him, he knew he had to be at the Ministry by ten a.m.

Related Characters: Mathilde Loisel, M. Loisel
Page Number: 8
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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M. Loisel Character Timeline in The Necklace

The timeline below shows where the character M. Loisel appears in The Necklace. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Necklace
Women and Beauty Theme Icon
Ambition, Greed, and Material Possessions Theme Icon
...or a point of entry into high society, she is unable to find a wealthy husband, and so she marries M. Loisel, a clerk who works for the Ministry of Education. (full context)
Reality and Illusion Theme Icon
Ambition, Greed, and Material Possessions Theme Icon
Happiness Theme Icon
Her husband, on the other hand, seems much more content, declaring over dinner, “Ah! A good stew!... (full context)
Happiness Theme Icon
One day, M. Loisel comes home with an invitation to an elegant party hosted by the Minister of Education.... (full context)
Women and Beauty Theme Icon
Ambition, Greed, and Material Possessions Theme Icon
Seeing how unhappy Mathilde is, her husband asks what it would cost to buy her an outfit. Mathilde contemplates for a moment,... (full context)
Ambition, Greed, and Material Possessions Theme Icon
Sacrifice, Suffering, and Martyrdom Theme Icon
Happiness Theme Icon
Turning briefly pale, M. Loisel agrees to give Mathilde the money, even though he had been saving 400 francs to... (full context)
Reality and Illusion Theme Icon
Ambition, Greed, and Material Possessions Theme Icon
Happiness Theme Icon
...of the party, Mathilde’s new dress is ready but she is still unhappy. When her husband asks her why, she says that she is embarrassed not to have a jewel to... (full context)
Reality and Illusion Theme Icon
Women and Beauty Theme Icon
Ambition, Greed, and Material Possessions Theme Icon
Happiness Theme Icon
At her husband’s suggestion, Mathilde decides to pay her wealthy friend Mme. Forestier a visit in order to... (full context)
Reality and Illusion Theme Icon
Ambition, Greed, and Material Possessions Theme Icon
Happiness Theme Icon
As they are leaving the party, M. Loisel covers Mathilde with the wraps that he had brought from home, “modest garments of ordinary... (full context)
Happiness Theme Icon
Unable to find a carriage, Mathilde and her husband walk towards the Seine, “desperate and shivering.” They eventually find a carriage but it is... (full context)
Reality and Illusion Theme Icon
Women and Beauty Theme Icon
...time in the mirror, Mathilde suddenly realizes that the necklace is gone. She and her husband search everywhere for the necklace, but without any luck. Eventually, M. Loisel decides that they... (full context)
Sacrifice, Suffering, and Martyrdom Theme Icon
M. Loisel has 18,000 francs that he inherited from his father but he is forced to borrow... (full context)
Ambition, Greed, and Material Possessions Theme Icon
Sacrifice, Suffering, and Martyrdom Theme Icon
Happiness Theme Icon
The following years are difficult for both Mathilde and her husband as they are forced to “experience the horrible life of necessity.” After dismissing their maid... (full context)