The Necklace, is a short story about the pride of a woman getting the better of her. Mathilde is a girl born into a middle class family in the early 1900's. Mathilde is not content to be where she is, but has eyes for living a wealthy life. She goes to school with many girls whose prospects are to live that sort of life. At any rate, Mathilde is forced to marry a clerk for the Education Department. He doesn't make a lot of money. They are invited to a fancy ball, and poor Mathilde realizes that she doesn't have anything fancy to wear.
She visits a friend of hers that has married very well and borrows a necklace from her. Mrs. Forestier (her friend) gives her a diamond necklace and tells her that she can return it at a later date. During the course of the ball, however, Mathilde loses the necklace. They try to find it, but it is gone. They go to the second hand stores around town and find an identical one, but it will take all of their savings to replace it. They purchase it and it puts them into incredible debt. They lose their house and everything that matters to Mathilde. They are plunged into stark poverty for almost 10 years.
At the end of the ten years, Mathilde is walking in the park and meets up with her old friend Mrs. Forestier. Mathilde, now a broken woman, confesses to her friend what had happened so long ago and what sent them into such poverty. Mrs. Forestier is apalled and explains to Mathilde that the necklace she loaned her was a replica and was not worth a 1/10 of what Mathilde paid to replace it.