As a young, married woman, Madame Loisel is pretty and charming, but her vanity makes her feel entitled to more than what she has. In fact, because of her looks, she believes Fate has made a mistake, that she was destined for more. Envious of what others have and perpetually dissatisfied, she wants to be popular and admired in society in the ways attractive, rich women are. She thinks of little else but the trappings of wealth and shows scorn for all she does have in her basic but unadorned life. When her daydreams turn into a reality—an invitation to a ball given by her husband's superiors—she is noted as the prettiest woman there and admired as she has always hoped to be. But her dissatisfaction and vanity lead to her downfall, causing her to lose everything she has, including her youth, beauty, and modest way of life but at the same time causing her to grow, accept, and respect herself.
Monsieur Loisel appears easygoing, if not glamorous or charismatic, and eager to please his wife. Realistic about what he can do within his means, he saves money for special purchases and shows generosity when, slightly reluctantly at first, he gives that money to his wife for a new dress. He never complains about his wife's dissatisfaction and seems to do what he can to make her happy. His attempt to do so, however, initiates the couple's downfall; in obtaining the invitation to the ball he unknowingly stimulates his wife's fantasies into actions. Monsieur Loisel's depth of character and quiet heroism emerge after Madame Loisel loses the necklace. He takes control of the situation, does what he can and thinks is right, and ends up losing everything. Yet he never complains or blames his wife for their great loss.
Madame Jeanne Forestier is a rich young woman and lends her school friend, Madame Loisel, the necklace to wear to the ball.
Jeweler 1 is the person whose name appears on the box containing Madame Forestier's expensive necklace.
Jeweler 2 is the proprietor of the shop in which the Loisels find the same necklace as Madame Forestier's and with whom Monsieur Loisel arranges payment.