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 content.I 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 nauseumliterally I 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. 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 Adultery But Even Her Affairs Bring Her Disappointment, And When Real Life Continues To Fail To Live Up To Her Romantic Expectations, The Consequences Are Devastating Flaubert S Erotically Charged And Psychologically Acute Portrayal Of Emma Bovary Caused A Moral Outcry On Its Publication In It Was Deemed So 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 Mich Le Roberts 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 to be so good about it.I won t waste any of my precious reading time on this It s about a self absorbed young wife who longs for anyone else s life except her own When she s in the city, she dreams of the farm When she s in the country, she dreams of the city When she s at a social gathering she imagines that everyone else s life is so much exciting than her own Blah, blah, blah Too many wordy descriptions of what people were wearing, what the buildings looked like, etc If you re going to take a long time to tell a story, it had better be a good story This one is NOT 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 her in books Mia Wasikowska plays Madame Bovary in the 2015 movie.Before she is Madame Bovary, Emma is keeping house for her father on a remote farm I wonder what would have happened to her if Doctor Charles Bovary had not been summoned to set her father s broken leg It is inconceivable to think of her married to a farmer or a tradesman or being swept away by a travelling peddler She is beautiful enough to be a duchess or a marquise, a pretty bobble for the dance floor, or an elegant adornment for the dinner table, and certainly, the perfect fine drapery for a night at the theatre Charles just expects her to be a wife A woman to manage his household A woman to uplift him and give him confidence to keep trying to better himself He is successful in a dull and conservative way, and whenever he tries to raise himself up further, perhaps in an attempt to win the respect of his pretty wife, he is met with utter failure There is nothing romantic about him He is steady and completely devoted to her Whenever he tries to express grand passions, somehow these attempts lack the ability to ignite the flames of desire or evoke the effervescent emotions that her novels tell her are the indications of true love Her frustrations, once contained in a heavy ball beneath her heart, begin to unravel like many hissing snakes, and her docile nature becomes viperousShe no longer hid her scorn for anything, or anyone, and she would sometimes express singular opinions, condemning what was generally approved, and commending perverse or immoral things which made her husband stare at her wide eyedOther men desire her, even Charles s father, who is a retired army officer and a man of the world, who will take any opportunity to pull her to him in a deserted hallway or tug her into a dark alcove for a reasonably platonic cuddle Men can sense her dissatisfaction behind the cute dimple of her smile and the twinkling stars in her eyes She is ripe for the plucking Being a man well experienced with the betraying beguilement of beauty, I would like to think that I would be impervious to her charms I would only have to clutch the slenderness of my wallet to realize that a woman of her insatiable need for material things would only lead me to disaster and ruin Of course, there is thisAnd she was ravishing to look at, a tear trembling in her eye like water from a rainstorm in the blue chalice of a flowerMost men will meet many beautiful women in their lifetimes, but of course, the crux of the matter with a woman like Madame Bovary is knowing that with a little effort she can be yoursat least for a time Two men are led into catastrophic affairs with Emma These indiscretions prove even disastrous for herThere are souls who endure endless torment They are driven now to dream, not to take action, to experience the purest passions, then the most extreme joys, and so they hurl themselves into every sort of fantasy, every sort of follyRecklessness can prove too exhilarating, even intoxicating, but rarely does it lead to long term happiness The other problem that Madame Bovary has is a lack of funds Her husband makes a good living, but he can not even begin to keep up with her need to possess fine things, or to conduct a lifestyle better suited to an aristocratic pocketbook This is a theme of particular interest to Gustave Flaubert In fact, he wrote a whole book called Dictionary of Accepted Ideas, condemning the very worst detrimental aspects of having too much money and not enough curiosityWhat he despised, really, was a certain type of bourgeois attitude It included traits such as intellectual and spiritual superficiality, raw ambition, shallow culture, a love of material things, greed, and above all a mindless parroting of sentiments and beliefsAn immoral, grubbing moneylender sinks his talons into Emma s soft pale skin like a blood sucking leech He takes advantage of her naivete concerning the truth worth of hard currency and plays upon her covetous nature for decadent things She is so close, with an extended line of credit, to living a life of frivolous fun, buoyed by a series of passionate, heart fluttering affairs, that she can almost see it, almost taste it, and almost believe she can obtain the life she has only read about As Vladimir Nabokov says,The ironic and the pathetic are beautifully intertwinedEmma s mother in law believes the books she has been reading are the reason for the faults in her daughter in law s characterWouldn t one have the right to alert the police if, despite this, the bookseller persisted in his business as purveyor of poisonI have to admit I laughed out loud As much as booksellers would like to claim to have diabolical control over readers, we have to defer to the writers In fact, Flaubert had to defend himself in court for charges of immorality regarding the publication of Madame Bovary Nothing drives book sales like a court of law trying to deem a book too scandalous for people to be trusted to read it To me, this book encourages morality and fiscal responsibility I don t see how, given the tragic nature of the book, someone would read this book and want to emulate Madame Bovary However, I do understand the feeling that some women have of being trapped in a cage, even if it is a gilded one The responsibilities of life can make one feel the itch to be reckless, unfettered, and pine for romantic assignations that will awaken youthful desires Maybe this book is of a how to manual on how not to conduct oneself with torrid affairs and fiscal carelessness This novel is considered the first example of realistic fiction This translation is 311 pages long Flaubert had over 4500 pages of rough drafts that this relatively slender volume emerged from The lyrical nature of the writing attests to the stringent diligence that Flaubert insisted upon to craft each page of this novel I couldn t help, of course, but think of Anna Karenina as I read this book I read and reviewed Tolstoy s masterpiece earlier this year It is easy to condemn both of these women, but who among us has not had destructive desires which we have either indulged in or at least coveted Both women are fully drawn characters, completely exposed to our critical judging eye, and at the end of the day, deserving of our pity Either woman would have made a wonderful heroine for a Shakespearean drama I can hear the gasps from a 17th century audience If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at . . James Whitcomb Riley biography 5 5 2 2 3 400 7 10%.. Three and a half stars, uprated to 5 stars because I can t get it out of my head 9 April 2012.Not sure what to make of it The self obsessed Emma Bovary was obviously to me a side of Flaubert himself She feels that there is so much but her limited life fences her in and instead of drawing into herself, seeing what she has to offer, how to make the best of herself, she wants happiness to come to her just as it does in the romance novels she, and Flaubert, read.I understood that spiritual flailing around, turning this way and that, using looks to make up for depth, using sex to pass for love, and enjoying fooling those she lived with into believing what they saw was what they got We ve all been a bit shallow at times, but to have made a whole career, a whole life of it, no But then Emma departs from the author and becomes entirely his creation She doesn t think forward, thinks her beauty will solve all Thinks that those who say they love her don t mean they love having an affair, having sex, with her but that they love her deeply and for all time Not that she is capable of loving that way herself either, so maybe she really didn t know what it meant Her idea of love is the bodice ripper, secret affair, always exciting, happily ever after variety, except her affairs die when the men are satiated with this demanding woman She can t even conceive of real life nurturing of her child or being supportive, that s for fools like her husband She always thinks someone will be there to pamper her and indulge her and that there will never be any consequences, that the piper will not call round to be paid for his pretty tune Such a sad story, so beautifully written and it deserves a far better review than these few lines but I felt like writing down my first reaction on finishing the book, I don t want the emotions to wear off and have to analyse it critically, it wasn t that sort of experience for me. 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 sayYou cannot find peace by avoiding lifeWhat did you have to dive head first before she even professed this truth But you might have overdid it, don t you agree with meThe 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 placesitting on the grass that she dug up with little prods of her sunshade, Emma repeated to herself, Good heavens Why did I marry She 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 quo, 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 astrayThen 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 talkingDo 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 lives Yet she is always busy, said Charles Ah 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 badly So 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 allowed.In 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 pregnantShe 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 tAmbushes 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 movedIntrigue, 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 behaveHer 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 lifeAfter 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 consequences 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 quite 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 beThus, 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 trickster.Later 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 Bovarys he is very pretty , he said to himself, she is very pretty, this doctor s wifeAnd 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 afterwardsHe 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 beforeI 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 destinyCould 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 linesIt seemed to her that the ground of the oscillating square 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 him You 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 heroineit 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, quivering, 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.
Gustave Flaubert December 12, 1821 May 8, 1880 is counted among the greatest Western novelists He was born in Rouen, Seine Maritime, in the Haute Normandie Region of France.Flaubert s curious modes of composition favored and were emphasized by these peculiarities He worked in sullen solitude, sometimes occupying a week in the completion of one page, never satisfied with what he had composed,
- 329 pages
- Madame Bovary
- Gustave Flaubert
- 08 February 2017 Gustave Flaubert