2. [F]rightened by the pains yet to come, by the black misery which was about to fall upon him, by the prospect of all the physical privation and of all the moral tortures which he was to suffer, he went to get the new necklace, putting down upon the merchant’s counter thirty-six thousand francs.
This quotation, which appears close to the end of the story, marks the beginning of the Loisels plunge into poverty. Doomed to work for years to pay off his many loans, Monsieur Loisel nonetheless buys the replacement necklace so that Mathilde does not have to admit to her wealthy friend that she lost the original. Without complaining and with only this sick feeling in his gut, Monsieur Loisel faces the bleak future and moves forward. Unlike Mathilde, who cannot see the consequences of her actions and is oblivious to the sacrifices that her husband has made on her behalf, Monsieur Loisel can see clearly what is in store. This passage reveals the extent of his love for Mathilde—he knows he is giving up everything for her, and it has all been for a goal he never understood. Where Mathilde is selfish, Monsieur Loisel is selfless, and this purchase is his ultimate sacrifice.