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Gistave Flaubert's Madame Bovary Essay

1243 words - 5 pages

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 the romance novels doesn’t mean that he is any less of a human being. The way Emma treats him is so ghastly, that it makes her repulsive as a character. Some would argue that the society that Emma lives in is the reason for her faults. This could be a reason, but upon further examination one finds that Emma’s problems are hers and hers alone. In the novel, Flaubert describes her distaste in Charles as a need to be richer. (Flaubert, 62 ). For example, when she has the affair with Rodolphe, she dreams of living a lavish life, a life where she would be free to treat herself to anything imaginable. This is something that Charles cannot give her so she finds it in other men. Emma also accumulates an enormous amount of debt.
Emma should have stuck her marriage out with Charles. When she first got depressed and was expecting a child, Charles did what he had to do to make her feel better. Charles does everything he can to make her feel comfortable, but she keeps thinking of him as the dull and boring person she thinks he is. Though he is dull, something he has been since his child hood, Charles is a decent husband. Emma repays him by meeting Leon, and starting an emotional affair. Some would say that this was because of the time...

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