Friday, December 17, 2010

Gustave Flaubert - Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary is the story of Emma Bovary, an unhappily married woman who seeks escape through forbidden relationships with other men. The book could be viewed as an expose of the situation of women in the 19th century; women who had not yet been emancipated and were expected to obey their husbands, to stay in their homes while the men went to work, or left for months on end to fight in wars. Emma Bovary also serves as a voice for Flaubert, who patterned the character's personality after his own. Emma Bovary's "rebellious" attitude against the accepted ideas of the day, reflects Flaubert's views of the bourgeoisie. Ultimately, Madame Bovary's indiscretions and her obsession with Romance lead to her downfall, which not only appeases the guardians of morality, but shows us Flaubert's view of the world wasn't one of naive optimism: source

Comment: I was surprised to have enjoyed this book. The theme is one I usually stay away from in books. I despise infidelity and it annoys me to see a character make fun of other and explit the other's humiliation for selfish reasons.
In this novel I didn't feel it because I didn't see infidelity as a source, but a result. I mean, Emma was an adulterous woman but it's her personality that's at fault, she did it knowing exactly what she's after and the only reason I don't despise her totally is because I think she's weak. It doesn't escuse her behavour but it atones for her idiocy.
I feel pity for Charles, he is portrayed as a waekminded man, but he doesn't deserve betrayal. I undertand the author's aim with this novel and I thought I was going to hate it all but I soend the reading with a bit of distance from the characters, therefore the likeliness.
Still, it didn't reach the level of favourite.

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