Gistave Flaubert's Madame Bovary

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In the novel Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, Flaubert uses the character of Emma to make love seem like a worthless concept. Emma, who wants to be loved, is loved by Charles, but she feels that he is not exciting enough and decides to pursue other romances. Flaubert uses infidelity as a way of dealing with ones emotions. Because she was not able to stay faithful to her husband, Emma deserves the consequences of her actions. Therefore, she does not deserve the reader’s sympathy.

When Charles and Emma first meet, one thinks that they will do well together. Of course she is demanding, but still they seemed to be in love. This statement is half correct. Charles is deeply in love with Emma, but Emma becomes disenchanted by Charles, because he does not live up to her idea of what love should be. In the novel, Flaubert talks about how when Emma was a child, she dreamt of a life full of love, wealth and happiness. (Flaubert, 56). This is all good, but she got her idea of love from romance novels. This is not to say that there is no truth to the novels, but one does not need to base their entire life around them. Emma should have known that people are different; everyone has their personality, their own likes and dislikes, and their own story for their life. The problem with Emma is that instead of being a good wife to Charles, she wanted more passion. So she went to find this passion and love in other men. This makes one think that she got married for all the wrong reasons. When one gets married, they do this out of love and respect for the other person. Emma did not have either for Charles.

Charles on the other hand was completely in love with Emma. He married her out of love. Just because he is not as exciting as those men in th...

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... The main man she went to was Rodolphe. She begged him for help and told him that she would give him her body in exchange. Rodolphe refused. Devastated and with nowhere else to turn, Emma committed suicide by eating arsenic. Emma’s death devastated Charles and he also died shortly after.

In conclusion, Emma is responsible for all of her actions in the novel. She knew exactly what she was doing and why. This made her a selfish and repulsive character. She should have treated Charles with more respect and love. When one enters into a marriage, it is because they love each other and a marriage is forever. If she was discontent with Charles she should have let him know and divorced. Because of the way she acted and the way she carried out her actions, Emma should not have the reader’s sympathy.

Works Cited

Flaubert, G. Madame Bovary. 2012. Amazon Digital Services

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