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Dultery But even her affairs bring her disappointment and when real life continues to fail to live up to her romantic expectations the conseuences are devastating Flaubert's erotically charged and psychologically acute portrayal of Emma Bovary caused a moral outcry on its publication in 1857 It was deemed so. 886 Madame Bovary Gustave FlaubertMadame Bovary is the debut novel of French writer Gustave Flaubert published in 1856 The story focuses on a doctor s wife Emma Bovary who has adulterous affairs and lives beyond her means in order to escape the banalities and emptiness of provincial life One day Charles visits a local farm to set the owner s broken leg and meets his patient s daughter Emma Rouault Emma is a beautiful daintily dressed young woman who has received a good education in a convent She has a powerful yearning for luxury and romance inspired by reading popular novels Charles is immediately attracted to her and visits his patient far often than necessary until Heloise s jealousy puts a stop to the visits When Heloise unexpectedly dies Charles waits a decent interval before courting Emma in earnest Her father gives his consent and Emma and Charles marry The novel s focus shifts to Emma Charles means well but is plodding and clumsy After he and Emma attend an elegant ball given by the Maruis d Andervilliers Emma finds her married life dull and becomes listless Charles decides his wife needs a change of scenery and moves his practice to the larger market town of Yonville traditionally identified with the town of Ry There Emma gives birth to a daughter Berthe but motherhood proves a disappointment to Emma She becomes infatuated with an intelligent young man she meets in Yonville a young law student L on Dupuis who shares her appreciation for literature and music and returns her esteem Concerned with maintaining her self image as a devoted wife and mother Emma does not acknowledge her passion for L on and conceals her contempt for Charles drawing comfort from the thought of her virtue L on despairs of gaining Emma s affection and departs to study in Paris 1982 1341 386 1357 1362 366 1369 1380 648 9644530055 1381 1386 19 1395 392 9789640016985 1388 726 9786005541533 1394 444 9786001062957 1395 432 97860083940389 1396 440 9786007241691 21061399

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Madame Bovary

'Oh why dear God did I marry him'Emma Bovary is beautiful and bored trapped in her marriage to a mediocre doctor and stifled by the banality of provincial life An ardent devourer of sentimental novels she longs for passion and seeks escape in fantasies of high romance in voracious spending and eventually in a. This is one of the books that has had a profound effect on my life The moral Be happy with what you have and where you are Mme Bovary fritters away her entire life with thoughts of If only X would happen THEN I could be truly happy and yet she never is She gets everything she thinks she wants only to find out she s still not contentI read this while I was engaged and at the time thought Well I ll be happier when I m married but once I am then life will be fabulous After a few years I found myself playing the same role as Mme Bovary Once I can get pregnant and have kids then I ll be happy Once I m not pregnant and sick any THEN I can be happy Once we get out of this apartment and into our house then I will surely be happy Once the baby starts sleeping through the night I can definitely be happy Once the baby is out of diapersetc etc ad nauseumliterallyI want to be content with my circumstances whatever they may be and Mme Bovary is a reminder of what happens to those who are unable to find contentment in the journey and are continually seeking yet another unsatisfying destination

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Lifelike that many women claimed they were the model for his heroine; but Flaubert insisted 'Madame Bovary c'est moi'This modern translation by Flaubert's biographer Geoffrey Wall retains all the delicacy and precision of the French original The edition also contains a preface by the novelist Michèle Roberts. Before marriage she thought herself in love but the happiness that should have followed this love not having come she must she thought have been mistaken And Emma tried to find out what one meant exactly in life by the words felicity passion rapture that had seemed to her so beautiful in books You might be surprised to learn that I was mesmerized by Emma s life story I was mesmerized and suffered along with her as she capsized further and further into the ambushes life presented her Yes I felt like I was in a trance and could not escape Oh Emma dear Emma why do people hate you so Why did you make them feel that way I am sorry for being so blunt You and your seemingly shallow priorities gave your critics plenty of ammunition You did the unthinkable What excuse did you have for such a selfish impulsive and futile behavior Did you by any chance hear Virginia Woolf say You cannot find peace by avoiding life What did you have to dive head first before she even professed this truth But you might have overdid it don t you agree with me The horror of being a woman with no choices As I read on I kept coming back to one thought the most terrifying thing I can think of is getting caught in Emma Bovary s life She was not alone in her infidelity did you know that Not in her time not today What about the reason for marriage She married to escape I know And she hoped for a better life I don t believe she loved Charles not even in the beginning Maybe she romanced him what woman would not do it in her place sitting on the grass that she dug up with little prods of her sunshade Emma repeated to herself Good heavens Why did I marryShe asked herself if by some other chance combination it would have not been possible to meet another man and she tried to imagine what would have been these unrealised events this different life this unknown husband All surely could not be like this one He might have been handsome witty distinguished attractive such as no doubt her old companions of the convent had married But she her life was cold as a garret whose dormer window looks on the north and ennui the silent spider was weaving its web in the darkness in every corner of her heart And I remembered Jane Austen who opened the door for woman to search for happiness in their marriage Why did women marry in those times Women married only to increase their social standing or for money but with Austen they start to have a chance at happiness Flaubert does something similar with Madame Bovary I believe He accuses the status uo the position of women in a circumvented way by showing us Emma s deep unhappiness and how her actions condemned her and society Poor Emma I pitied her for each time she fixed her gaze on some scheme of happiness and how her eyes led her astray Then the lusts of the flesh the longing for money and the melancholy of passion all blended themselves into one suffering and instead of turning her thoughts from it she clave to it the urging herself to pain and seeking everywhere occasion for it She was irritated by an ill served dish or by a half open door bewailed the velvets she had not the happiness she had missed her too exalted dreams her narrow home The only pastime she could enjoy without guilt was reading From that she built fantasies it is true But did she not have the right at least of her own fantasies It seems not as we overhear Charles and her mother in law talking Do you know what your wife wants replied Madame Bovary senior She wants to be forced to occupy herself with some manual work If she were obliged like so many others to earn a living she wouldn t have these vapours that come to her from a lot of ideas she stuffs into her head and from idleness in which she livesYet she is always busy said CharlesAh always busy at what Reading novels bad books works against religion and in which they mock at priests in speeches taken from Voltaire But all that leads you far astray my poor child Anyone who has no religion always ends up turning badlySo it was decided to stop Emma reading novels As if she had the choice of earning a living being a female What hypocrisy The only choice they see to avoid her turning badly is to forbid her reading her novels One of the few pleasures she was allowedIn a time that judged everyone by their wealth that breathed a suffocating morality deceptively reinforced mainly by women themselves society would be horrified by women s pursuit of anything than their obligations On top of all that isn t it understandable that Emma would pray for a son when she got pregnant She hoped for a son he would be strong and dark she would call him George and this idea of having a male child was like an expected revenge for all her impotence in the past A man at least is free he may travel over passions and over countries overcome obstacles taste of the most far away pleasures But a woman is always hampered She was so right men at least were much free than women I not only comprehend her reasons but commiserate with her So why look at a baby girl she knew had been born with the wrong gender It all went against her most heartfelt dreams Emma might have towards the end had a touch of evil brought by desperation But who wouldn t Ambushes and pitfalls Oh she tried to renounce all her dreams through moments of fervent religious devotion At mass on Sundays when she looked up she saw the gentle face of the Virgin amid the blue smoke of the rising incense Then she was moved Intrigue however had already tempted her and kept coming her way Why would she be invited and attend a ball in a house so out of her reality Was it not a trap After that you could not help yourself but wish you had access to that fairy like life What an ambush when she was attempting to behave Her journey to Vaubyessard had made a hole in her life like one of those great crevices that a storm will sometimes make in one night in mountains Still she was resigned She devoutly put away her beautiful dress down to the satin shoes whose soles were yellowed with the slippery wax of the dancing floor Her heart was like these In its friction against wealth something had come over it that could not be effaced Such a fortuitous event served only to stress the undesirability of her life After the ennui of this disappointment her heart once remained empty and then the same series of days recommenced So now they would thus follow one another always the same immovable and bringing nothing Other lives however flat had at least the chance of some event One adventure sometimes brought with it infinite conseuences and the scene changed But nothing happened to her God had willed it so The future was a dark corridor with its door at the end shut fast Another bait would present herself in the person of Monsieur Lheureux He began cajoling Emma uite innocently for the first time when offering her to buy some scarves I wanted to tell you he went on good naturedly that it isn t the money I should trouble about Why I could give you some if need be Thus another temptation felt into her lap like a dream come through The endless line of irresponsible credit was not than an option offered her that she could not have imagine existed if were not for this tricksterLater we witness how she tries to reform to be tolerant and wishing to endure her life as it was taking responsibility for her daughter and taking interest in the housework Just then up comes Monsieur Rodolphe Boulanger who after first meeting Madame Bovary she is very pretty he said to himself she is very pretty this doctor s wife And he goes on I think he is very stupid She is tired of him no doubt She is gaping after love like a carp after water on a kitchen table Yes but how to get rid of her afterwards He decides so easily to seduce her Oh yes she went along with it and of her free will But it was too much temptation for someone so thirsty I imagined that if it was not Rodolphe it would be another And later on came Leon After the affair with Rodolphe begins Emma marvels at how much she had lacked living before I have a lover a lover delighting at the idea as if a second puberty had come to her So at last she was to know those joys of love that fever of happiness of which she had despaired She was entering upon marvels where all would be passion ecstasy delirium An azure infinity encompassed her the heights of sentiment sparkled under her thought and ordinary existence appeared only afar off down below in the shade through the interspaces of these heights Thus Flaubert puts all these temptations in her way It is as if Emma when walking down a meadow starts to stumble on beautiful ripe apples that lie on the ground and cannot resist but pick some and take a few bites Could she have resisted them all But could Emma have escape her destiny Could she have simply accepted life as it was offered to her with all its constraints and no reward I believe all that she lived was utterly inevitable Could she have run away from her own behavior and avoided her ultimate destiny Emma was on the same boat as Oedipus found himself in I felt after reading Oedipus Rex that there was not really anything that Oedipus could have done to get himself out of his destiny Could Emma have done it differently It seemed to me that the Oedipus attempted to get out of it the deeper he was immersed in its inevitability It is simply that there was no way for him to avoid doing it all and facing his fate Was Emma s destiny any less inevitable I do not believe so There was no chorus to declare that to us but Flaubert himself serves the role even if it is not so explicit and you have to read between the lines It seemed to her that the ground of the oscillating suare went up the walls and that the floor dipped on end like a tossing boat She was right at the edge almost hanging surrounded by vast space The blue of the heavens suffused her the air was whirling in her hollow head she had but to yield to let herself be taken and the humming of the lathe never ceased like an angry voice calling her And so it all ends But as in the beginning in the end you beguiled me Emma I was with you from the start and you could not escape me even in death Seriously I tell all your critics your tragic story would not leave me alone It still doesn t You had no choice like Oedipus could not escape killing his father or marrying his mother So why people do not stop condemning you when they pity himYou were clever and wanted to exercise your intellect Imagine the frustration of nothing to do Perhaps your mother in law was right you were fated to end badly What a tragedy of never finding someone that could begin to understand you Flaubert with his impressive prose evokes her thoughts and feelings throughout the novel and I had no choice but be enticed by his heroine it seemed to her that Providence pursued her implacably she had never felt so much esteem for herself nor so much contempt for others She would have liked to strike all men to spit in their faces to crush them and she walked rapidly straight on pale uivering maddened searching the empty horizon with tear dimmed eyes and as it were rejoicing in the hate that was choking her Finally I think I was able to grasp the reasons that make Madame Bovary a classic a modern tragedy where a soul is doomed because she appreciates and battles against all that comes her way Despite her limitations in life and as a product of her time Emma has an unbridled passion and ends pursuing her fantasies That ends condemning her Nevertheless Emma Bovary is brave in her irresponsible choices because it brings her closer to the happiness she wants even if doing so she is able to attain only a glimpse of her dreams Even if for that she had to die And she died so that other women could strive for a compassionate fate


10 thoughts on “Madame Bovary

  1. says:

    This is one of the books that has had a profound effect on my life The moral? Be happy with what you have and where you are Mme Bovary fritters away her entire life with thoughts of If only X would happen THEN I could be truly happy and yet she never is She gets everything she thinks she wants only to find out she's still not contentI read this while I was engaged and at the time thought Well I'll be happier

  2. says:

    Oy the tedium the drudgery of trying to read this book I tried to get into this story Really I did It's a classic right? And everyone else likes it I kept making myself continue hoping I could get into the story and figure out what's supposed

  3. says:

    ”Before her marriage she had believed that what she was experiencing was love; but since the happiness that should have resulted from that love had not come she thought she must have been mistaken And Emma tried to find out just what was meant in life by the words bliss passion and intoxication which had seemed so beautiful to he

  4. says:

    886 Madame Bovary Gustave FlaubertMadame Bovary is the debut novel of French writer Gustave Flaubert published in

  5. says:

    Three and a half stars uprated to 5 stars because I can't get it out of my head 9 April 2012Not sure what to make of it T

  6. says:

    My 3rd reading of this masterpiece written with irony and finesse The eternal story of Emma Bovary and her broken dreams is heartbreaking every timeThe narration is actually uite modern in that the perspective changes uite often from a mysterious first person in the beginning a schoolmate of Charles Bovary? to the interior

  7. says:

    Before marriage she thought herself in love; but the happiness that should have followed this love not having come she must she thought have been mistaken And Emma tried to find out what one meant exactly in life by the words felicity passion rapture that had seemed to her so beautiful in books You might be surprised to l

  8. says:

    Since I read uicksand by Nella Larsen this week Emma Bovary started haunting my mind yet again We are old friends Emma and II spent hours and hours over a dictionary at age seventeen in high school trying to read about her agonies in original French with only the Isabelle Huppert film as a guidance In fact I actually think I owe it to Emma Bovary that I finally made it over the threshold to understand written French Tha

  9. says:

    Henry James once said Madame Bovary has a perfection that not only stamps it but that makes it stand almost alone; it holds itself with such a supreme unapproachable assurance as both excites and defies judgmentThat's right Defies judgment I don't know he looks kind of judgy to meUnfortunately I had to read a translation as my French is nowhere near good enough to read the original Though I am assured that the prose in the origina

  10. says:

    Emma is a rather silly very passionate too much so bored uneducated to the reality of the real world young woman who believes in the romantic novels she reads moonlight walks eerie forbidding castles dangerous flights into unknown and strange lands always trying to escape their frightening captors brave handsome men that are faithful to their beautiful virtuous women fighting the evil monstrous corrupt but attractive

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