The desire to have romance, rapture, and passion can often times be fleeting and momentary where as the foundation of true love and commitment generally stands solid throughout many trials. In Madame Bovary (1857), a novel written by Gustave Flaubert, the main character of the story, Emma Bovary, finds both passion and commitment in different facets yet she chooses to yield herself to the desires of her heart and seek out passion in other men instead of staying in the comfort of commitment offered to her by her husband.
Emma is first introduced in the story when her ailing father needs tending from a local physician. The doctor is Charles Bovary, whom Emma will later marry. Charles is married at the time he first visits Emma's father. However, Charles wife is old and frail and passes away shortly after he meets Emma. Charles then marries Emma and they move to a small town in France named Yohnville, where Charles sets up his practice. Early in their marriage, Charles takes Emma to a party held by the Secretary of State of France in a large château. After a small taste of royalty, Emma is enamored with the romantic feel of living a royal life. She begins feeling unhappy with her marriage, complaining her husband is boring and dull compared to some of the men she had met at the party. She soon seeks out companionship with other men and eventually becomes two different men's mistress. They, however, tire of her romantic ideas and leave her. Throughout her marriage to Charles, and the different relationships she has, all Emma can see is hopelessness and despair, so she eventually eats poison and dies, leaving her husband and her young daughter, Berthe.
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...irs (441). Though she may not have realized it, Emma's actions affected many more people than just herself.
All Emma Bovary wanted in her life was to be loved with a passionate love, and she eventually was both loved with commitment and loved with passion, but neither of those satisfied her longings. She compromised her standards for the one thing she desired most and eventually paid the ultimate consequence with her life. The need to feel passion and romance is not nearly worth the price of a human being's life. Madame Bovary truly discovered that the desire to have romance, rapture, and passion is often times a fleeting satisfaction whereas the foundation of true love and commitment stands solid throughout many trials.
Flaubert, Gustave. The World's Great Classics: Madame Bovary. New York: Grolier Incorporated. 1968.
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