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Madame Bovary: Part II Chapter 8-14 April 5, 2007

Posted by Han in Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert.
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Wrapping up Part II of Madame Bovary

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1. bethany3boys - April 5, 2007

This quote from chapter 10 stuck out to me where Emma was reflecting back on her life before marriage her life with her father. It is interesting to me that she talks about being so happy in those days enjoying her illusions but now with reality and each choice she has made she has lost this happiness she once had. Yet she doesn’t realize it is her perspective and thoughts and of course her destructive behavior that has robbed her not the events such as marriage in and of themselves…it is how she has approached her life. It is funny to me that she doesn’t realize WHY she is unhappy…and will probably never be truly happy.

“What happiness there had been in those days! What freedom! What hope! What an abundance of illusions! She had none left now. Each new venture had cost her some of them, each of her successive conditions: as virgin, wife and mistress; she had lost them all along the course of her life, like a traveler who leaves some of his wealth at every inn along the road.

But what was making her so unhappy? Where was the extraordinary catastrophe that had wrecked her life? She raised her head and looked around, as though trying to find the cause of her suffering.”

2. Michelle - April 5, 2007

What is this brush with religion/spirituality/God in Chapter 14? I must be cynical because the whole time I’m reading it I’m rolling my eyes. She’s been so selfish the entire book then one day at the height of her “illness” she believes herself dying and wants to become a saint?!? Perhaps I’m cynical because I know it won’t last. But really, I’m a hippocrite because I’m a selfish person who does know God’s grace and still sins. So maybe I should be doing a little more soul searching instead of criticizing of Emma.

3. bethany3boys - April 5, 2007

I was thinking the same thing Michelle while reading that section. Emma is soooooo the drama queen it just seems part of her drama. Isn’t it funny though how this book is so convicting. Flaubert has this character that is so over the top and yet there are so many aspects to her that I feel I struggle with maybe not to her extreme but his writing pricks me constantly. I find myself saying I can’t believe her then am suddenly reminded of a similar fault or weakness I carry.

4. Nicole - April 7, 2007

I loved the part at the opera. The way he wrote it, describing the story, who sang what, and Emma’s emotions with it. I felt like I was there, really there! I also thought it was interesting how Emma was immediately drawn in, while Charles was not, however, Emma quickly lost interest, while Charles grew in his interest. I thought that contrast was interesting and telling at the same time. Anyway, I LOVED this part of the book, I think Flaubert was really showing off his writing style.

5. heather - April 7, 2007

Bethany,

In the first part of the book, right after they were married, I think I remember Emma reflecting on how boring her life in the country had been, and how she wished she could go back to her life at the convent. She reminds me of the Israelites, wandering in the desert, and thinking they had it so good back in Egypt.


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