Oct 6, 2012

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Madame Bovary
Author:  Gustave Flaubert
Published: June 1st 1982 (first published January 1st 1857)
Publisher:  Bantam Classics

Spoilers galore

Madame Bovary really took me by surprise, honestly I wasn't sure how I was going to feel reading about a selfish manipulative women, what I found was a special place for Emma Bovary. This review will probably go off on tangents but I have so much to say.  Emma is a women that runs on her emotions, forget her daughter, her husband Charles, her lovers and the people from her community that are in her life, she is all about herself. All they do is deter her from the glorious life she should be living.  Her life is too small for her imagination.  She seeks excitement, adventure, and passion and finds her life is lacking in all of these aspects that mean more to her than her virtue.  Instead of laying the fault in herself she decides that it must be Charles fault.  She recites poems to him under the moonlight and gets nothing in response.  Can a girl get a little passion, please. 

First, I believe there is a little of Emma in everyone.  The basics of Emma's emotions and thoughts are genderless.  Seriously, Emma could  have easily been an Edward.  I've heard many things said about the character of Emma, and most aren't great and I can definitely see why, but her feelings aren't really foreign, are they?  Most of the things Emma is feeling towards her life, husband, children are all to some degree thoughts we have felt.  Some of us have done outrageous, wrong things to gain what we seek in our lives, and some of us have complained yet persevere through to be able to live with ourselves.  That's what it comes down to in the end.  Is it easier to live with yourself while accepting your life, even when your not happy.  Was there a nicer more compassionate way to gain happiness,  one that would not require taking advantage of people, or manipulating them? Of course there was/is. We all do it.  I guess it's just not Emma's style.   Emma's lack of responsibility money wise really does her in in the end.  Yes, it's not the men or the lack of an exciting life, but her excessive spending that is the tank that takes Emma down.  She's exhausted her ploy of using her feminine wiles to get the men in her life to come to her rescue, and  is basically left to figure out how to get out of the financial mess she's in.  And of course, Charles is completely unaware of the severity of the financial issue.  In the end though she shows how truly weak she is, when the only thing she can come up with is killing herself and leaving all the mess to Charles.  Ahh, Charles...you truly are gullible.  I can't understand my disdain for Charles, when Emma is the true culprit, but honestly I think Emma was just too much for Charles.  A man like him has no idea where to begin loving a women like Emma.  What happens to Charles when Emma dies, well, he puts Emma on this pedestal and I realized he loves a women he never ever really even knew.

Madame Bovary has become my favorite classic.  Love it.

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