Discuss the unrealistic fantasies that Emma Bovary battles throughout the novel Bhavya Jain
When one confuses luxuries and desires with true love, one creates unrealistic fantasies and results. This can be seen in the character of Emma Bovary throughout the novel Madame Bovary. “Emma confuses her desires, sensual luxury with true joy, elegance of manners with delicacy of sentiment”. Emma picked up all these traits, which affected her adult life, as a child when she was sent to a convent. At the convent she began reading novels about romance, which affected her later relationships with Charles, Leon and Rodolphe as an adult, in religion, where she searched for the unusual, the mystic and the beautiful instead of the real essence of the church. Hence she did not develop the realities of life and developed habits such as daydreaming and sentimentalizing about her life. She believed that the fantasies in the novel can actually be experienced in the real world too. Hence this thought of hers hurt and destroyed her in many ways throughout the novel in matters such as: love, status of women and conflict in classes of societies.
Love to Emma was one of the biggest unrealistic fantasies she had, “Love, she believed, had to come, suddenly, with a great clap of thunder and a lightning flash, a tempest from heaven that falls upon your life, like a devastation, scatters your ideals like leaves and hurls your very soul into the abyss”. Emma was always finding for her one true love. The men who won her heart for some period of time were Charles, Rodolphe and Leon. She dreams of the most purest, most impossible forms of love and wealth, ignoring whatever beauty is present in the world around her.
Charles, Emma’s husband, is someone she fell in love with when Charles came to treat Emma’s father at her house. After marriage, Emma realizes that Charles is nothing but a dumb show, “He responded lamely to the quips, the puns, the word-play, the compliments, and the ribaldries which were dutifully hurled in his direction as soon as the soup appeared”. Charles in the novel, is unimaginative, stupid and incompetent. Emma conducts the same sorts of conversation with him that she does with her dog. Charles is an unsuccessful doctor in the town of Yonville. He performs a worse than unsuccessful surgery on Hippotyle’s club-footed leg. Emma is very embarrassed by Charles’ failure in his profession instead of being supportive as a wife. Emma did not expect her husband to be so dumb and dull she wanted someone rich, elegant, and someone from the upper classes of society. She did not find any of this in Charles hence disregarded love towards him. Despite his unimaginative nature, Charles is one of the novel’s most moral and sincere characters. He truly loves Emma, forgiving her even when he finally recognizes her infidelities. He does everything he can to save her when she is ill, and he gives her the benefit of the doubt whenever her lies seem to fail her. Charles is...