MHS AP Lit. 2012-2013 discussion

Madame Bovary
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Choice > Madame Bovary Part 3 (post #1)

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Ryan Gallagher (RyanGallagher) | 24 comments Mod
Madame Bovary Part 3 (post #1)


Rumana Papia | 8 comments As Emma Bovary enters womanhood, her dreams for the future grows, so does her passion for extraordinary love, and her desire for a life of luxuries. She believes that in order to achieve these dreams, she will need the companionship of an intelligent and courageous man much like the ones she reads about in her novels. As a result of being a woman “she is restricted by her physical weakness and her legal subjection” hence the need for a male accomplice to aid her and act as a medium through which she can fulfill her desires. After her marriage to a widow whom she believes could be the answer to her prayers, she discovers that Charles Bovary is not the man who can help her accomplish her life goals, thus forms her disgust, pity, and lack of love towards the man who is ready to sacrifice his life for her.
This woman who dreams of immersing herself in fantasies subconsciously takes the men who show some interest in her and builds them up as characters from her romantic novels and right when they start to show signs of being human, she feels frustration and anger. On one occasion, while her and Rodolphe are off engaging in one of their rendezvous, she hears Charles approaching and asks Rodolphe if he’s got his pistol. In her head, she convinces herself that Rodolphe carries jealousy in his heart while he in reality he doesn’t see why he should feel any different towards Charles. All Rodolphe is really bothered with is that Emma is his mistress. He realizes what her mind concocted, “she had made him a solemn vow in this connection,” which he thought was pretty foolish. In another situation, when Leon tells her that he doesn’t have the money she needs to pay back her loans, she accuses him of “acting like a coward.” Just because he isn’t equipped with all the wealth and luxuries that the men in Madame Bovary's novels have to save their distressed lover, she feels another slap from reality which upsets her even more. Each time reality strikes, Emma feels even more anxious, she refuses to acknowledge the line between reality and fantasy.
When life with Charles and his family got too difficult to bear, Emma runs to Rodolphe begging him to run away with her. She turns to these men during her times of weakness. Unlike Emma Bovary, Rodolphe and Leon think with their heads, they prefer to be practical rather than mix up fantasy with reality. Rodolphe won’t run away to Paris with her because it would be too much “trouble and expense.” Leon refuses to go since it would put his career at risk, plus he had many others advising him that he was “ruining himself with a married woman.”
Madame Bovary contemplates on why life “was so unsatisfying” while she’s the one who keeps chasing fantasies. She has these high expectations from men like Rodolphe and Leon, believing that they will do everything in their power to fulfill her desires. When reality and the men’s priorities lead them astray from the path Emma wants them to tread on, she accuses them of being “incapable of heroism, weak, commonplace, spineless as a women.”
Her unsatisfied life is a result of her personality. Right when Flaubert introduces Madame Bovary he mentions that “she liked the sea only because of its storms,” so when life falls into a rhythm, Emma gets anxious. It even came to the point where “she was beginning to feel in adultery all the dullness of marriage.” For her, life was expected to be like a novel with never ending twists and turns and when this doesn’t happen, she ventures out to find someone or something that will make her feel whole and content.


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