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Madame Bovary

Since young, Emma Bovary had always dreamt about having a utopic marriage with her “prince charming”. After becoming Charles Bovary’s wife, she soon discovers he is not able to fulfill her unreal expectations. Her idealistic dream life soon becomes a nig

Sofia Heinemann

on 13 May 2011

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Transcript of Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary What is Happiness? Emma Bovary had always dreamt about having a utopic marriage with
her “prince charming”. After becoming Charles Bovary’s wife, she soon
discovers he is not able to fulfill her unreal expectations. Her idealistic
"dream life" soon becomes a nightmare she can no longer run away from. Her affairs, her religion and death will serve as escapes from her depression into romantic fantasies (however temporary they might be). "Happiness is a monstrosity!
Punished are those who seek it." -Gustave Flaubert "Love is a springtime plant that perfumes everything with its hope, even the ruins to which it clings."
- Gustave Flaubert "The heart, like the stomach, wants a varied diet."
-Gustave Flaubert "Woman is a vulgar animal from whom man has created an excessively beautiful ideal."
-Gustave Flaubert PROJECT DUE: FRIDAY MAY,13 definition: a state of well-being and contentment "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."
-Mahatma Gandhi "Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values."
-Ayn Rand Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.
-Aristotle How happy were
Charles and Emma? blessed blissful bright cheerful elated golden felicitous joyful fortunate cheerless unfortunate discontent uncheerful wretched unhappy suffering sad dejected sorrowful . . . 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 (chapters) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 (level of
happiness) "Mon Dieu,
why did I
get married?"
chp.7 1.“When she was thirteen,
her father himself
took her to town to place her in the convent.”
(Part I, chp.1) . “Sitting back in an arm-chair, while her things were being unpacked, Emma's thoughts strayed to her own wedding bouquet, which was stowed away in a band box, and she wondered in avague sort of way, what would happen to it, if by chance she came to die." (Part I, chp.5) “Before she married, she thought she was in love; but the happiness that should have resulted from that love, somehow had not come.” (Part I, chp.5) 3.“If Charles had willed it, however; if it had occurred to him, if, just once, his eyes had read her thoughts…” (Part I, chp.7) “… Wasn’t it a man’s bussiness to know things, to shine in all sorts of activities…”(part I, chp.7) “…Mon Dieu, why did I get married?” (Part I, chp.7) 4. “Her heart was like the soules of those shoes. Wealth and luxury had rubbed against it and left upon it something that would never wear away. (Part I, chp.8) . . . . . . . . . . . 5. “Emma lost flesh, grew pale and haggard with her dark plaited hair her large eyes, her straight nose, her bird-like arm ever-silent tread, she seemed like one passing through the world without so much as touching it.” (Part I, chp.14) 6.“Thus side by side, while Charles and the chemist chatted, they entered into one of those vague conversations where the hazard of all that is said brings you back to the fixed centre of a common sympathy.” (Part II, chp.2) 7. “Then she asked herself, "Isn’t he in love with someone? Who could it be? […] Why, it’s me!" All the evidence immediately became clear to her and her heart leapt. … Then began the eternal lament: "Oh, if only fate had willed it! Why can’t things have been different? What would have been wrong with it?” (Part II, chp.5) 8.“Why had she not seized this happiness when it came to her? Why not have kept hold of it with both hands, with both knees, when it was about to flee from her? And she cursed herself for not having loved Leon. She thirsted for his lips.” (Part II, chp. 7) 9.“She noticed in his eyes small golden lines radiating from black pupils; she even smelt the perfume of the pomade that made his hair glossy. Then a faintness came over her; she recalled the Viscount who had waltzed with heart Vaubyessard, and his beard exhaled like this air an odour of vanilla and citron, and mechanically she half-closed her eyes the better to breathe it in.” (Part II, chp. 8) 10.“She escaped, smiling, palpitating, undressed. Rodolphe had a large cloak; he wrapped her in it, and putting his arm round her waist, he drew her without a word to the end of the garden.” (Part II, chp.10) 11. “She was seized with giddiness, and from that evening her illness recommenced, with a more uncertain character, it is true, and more complex symptoms. Now she suffered in her heart, then in the chest, the head, the limbs; she had vomitings, in which Charles thought he saw the first signs of cancer.” (Part II, chp.13) 12. “She did not confess that she had loved another man; he did not say he had forgotten her.”(Part III, chp.1) 13.“ “Yet I love him,” she said to herself. No matter! She was not happy- she never had been.” (Part III, chp.6) 14.“ “I impolore you, Monsieur Lhereux, just a few days more!” She was sobbing. “There! tears now!” “You are driving me to despair!” “What do I care?” said he, shutting the door…. She was stoical the next day when Maitre Hareng, the bailiff, with two assistants, presented himself at her house to draw up the inventory for the distraint.” (Part III, chp. 6 and 7) 15. “And he followed her. The key turned in the lock, and she went straight to the third shelf, so well did her memory guide her, seized the blue jar, tore out the cork, plunged in her hand, and withdrawing it full of a white powder, she began eating it.” (Part III, chp.8 . . . . - . . . . . . . . . . - CHARLES . EMMA “Madame Bovary” was a very controversial book by the time it was published. Its themes about extra marital affairs, depression and the depiction of women in the novel, was definitely not what people in the 1800s were used to. The novel is considered one of the first feminist novels even though it was (ironically) written by a male writer. Emma is sometimes portrayed with male characteristics. She was surely not the perfect female figure of her time. She does not really take care of her home or daughter and –selfishly- all she cares about is her own happiness. Having affairs, aside from the thrill of doing something out of the ordinary, means making her own decisions (something that men where the only ones to do in the French 1800s society). People in the village talked about her behaviour, yet she did not care or think about changing her attitude. Lheureux once told Emma: “The things I've witnessed! The cheating, the lying, the insatiable greed! What ininquities! What sordid passions! Your child and husband deceived! All morals abandoned! Every loyalty forsworn while you indulged yourself with any man that came your way!” Emma longed for freedom. She wanted to make her own decisions, to do whatever she wanted to and to be with whomever she wanted to. As Flaubert says it, “she had learned to be a woman for whom experience would always be a prison, and freedom would lie always beyond the horizon.”
The author often describes women as weak, emotion-guided, feeble, materialistic and unrealistic. As Flaubert wrote in chapter 12, “But a woman is checkmated at every turn. Flexible yet powerless to move, she has at once her physical disabilities and her economic dependence in the scales against her. Her will, like the veil of her bonnet, is tied to a string and flutters in every wind. Whenever a desire impels, there is always a convention that restrains." Emma herself hoped her baby would be a son, for example. Flaubert gives out details like these one that often seem insignificant because his intention is to highlight the gap in liberty that men and women had in the French society at that time. His ability to not only notice that but also describe this problem so suddenly, long before the feminist movements even started, is what makes “Madame Bovary” such a masterpiece in literature. THE END Alessandro Boscolo and Sofia Heinemann Kittens
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