Sunday, November 25, 2007

Madame Bovary Period 5


Members:

Casie S5
Stephanie P5
Angela S5
Janelle C5

Monday November 26th

Read the first 173 pages of the book.
First blog check will be on this day if it is set up. If not set up by this day, the blog check will be on Wednesday the 28th.
Monday December 3rd
Read up to page 225.
Blog Check.
Monday December 10th
Read up to page 255
Blog Check
Monday December 17th

Read up to page 303
Final Blog Check

30 comments:

CasieS P5 said...

Cassie S5

there is only one s in my name please.

Mr. G said...

Sorry...I got a little jumpy while typing....my bad.

Angela S5 said...

I have read the first 173 pages of Madame Bovary and I really love the book. Madame Bovary is such an incredible character and I feel that I can relate to some of her feelings. I also love the way that Gustave Flaubert writes, especially the parts of the text when Charles and Emma meet for the first time. I like that we are reading a tragedy which has a tragic heroine rather than hero. A tragedy through a female’s perspective is different and interesting. Madame Bovary seems to be crazy at times and she is extremely needy which sometimes can be annoying. It is funny to me that she always is “suffering” when in reality she lives a tragic free life. She wants more than what she has and can not “accept her destiny” like all tragic heroes.

There is a passage at the end of Chapter IX which I found to be symbolic and contains foreshadowing:
“One day as she was tidying up a drawer in preparation for her departure, she pricked her finger on something. It was a piece of wire on her bridal bouquet. The orange-blossom buds were yellowed with dust and the silver-edged satin ribbons were frayed. She threw it into the fire. It blazed up like dry straw then it was consumed more slowly, lying on the ashes like a glowing red bush. She watched it burn. The little cardboard berries burst open, the brass wire twisted, the braid melted; and the shriveled paper petals hovered along the back of the fire place like black butterflies, then finally flew up the chimney. When they left for Tostes in March, Madame Bovary was pregnant”(59).

I didn’t look at this passage closely until I had read to page 173, but I think that Flaubert’s writing sets a certain mood and suggest that in the future Madame Bovary will not be happy. The fact that she “pricks” her finger on wire found in her bridal bouquet suggests that her marriage will cause her grief and unhappiness which so far in the story it has. Also the fact that she throws the bouquet into the fire also reveals that her marriage will be unhappy .Towards the end Flaubert personifies the flowers petals which “hovered along the back of the fire place like black butterflies”. That sentence is interesting and gives the feeling that this marriage is doomed and that Emma will not be satisfied with Charles. Also, Emma is pregnant after she burns her bouquet revealing that she will not have a loving relationship with the child. I found that passage interesting, but let me know what you thought or if you found passages with a similar writing style.

I also have a few questions. I want to know what everyone thinks about Madame Bovary’s love interests. Also, does anyone else feel that after her marriage with Charles Emma constantly observes every man in her town, no matter their age or occupation?

Angela S5 said...

I found this passage interesting and it reveals Madame Bovary’s ridiculous thought process.

“How could she have misjudged him so seriously once again, she who was so intelligent? Furthermore, what deplorable mania had driven her to ruin her life with constant self-sacrifice? She recalled all her yearnings for luxury, all the privations of her soul, the degradations of marriage and housekeeping, her dreams fallen into the mud like a wounded swallows, everything she had desired, everything she had denied herself, everything she might have had! And Why? Why?” (159).

This passage is when Emma is wondering how Charles failed to repair the servant’s clubfoot. She is embarrassed of him once again and feels that he can not do anything right. In this passage Madame Bovary reveals all of her reasons for “suffering”. She says that she experiences “constant self-sacrifice”, but in reality she has not sacrificed anything and has only made others’ lives harder, due to her ridiculous behavior. She keeps discussing the “degradations of marriage”, which is an untrue statement, because Charles has done nothing but love her and she can never recognize that he is a human and makes mistakes. Also, I keep wondering why she doesn’t leave her family if they are causing her immense pain. I feel that she does not have the courage to leave because deep in her soul she knows that it is wrong.

There is another passage which occurs shortly after the previous.

“Charles sank into his chair overwhelmed wondering what could be wrong with her, imagining some sort of nervous malady, weeping and vaguely feeling that there was something ominous and incomprehensible in the air. When Rodolphe arrived in the garden that night he found his mistress waiting for him at the bottom of the steps. They embraced and all their rancor melted like snow in the warmth of their kiss”(160-161).

This passage happens after Charles tries to embrace Emma and she runs out of the house to Rodolphe. This passage reveals the grief and confusion that Emma is causing Charles. I have no sympathy for her and feel that she is almost crazy. Emma runs out to the garden with her lover instead of consoling Charles who is sad due to his failed surgery. I also find it interesting that Emma and Rodolphe’s affair happens in her garden and think that it may be symbolic. A garden is a place where flowers and vegetables grow and is a rather peaceful place. But, the fact that Emma is having a secret love affair in the garden seems as if she is going against the laws of nature and is committing a sin. Also, in the beginning of the book when Charles and Emma first arrive to their new home, someone asks if Emma likes to garden. And Charles replies, “My wife isn’t interested in gardening” “I keep advising her to get some exercise but she’d rather stay in her room and read” (72). This is interesting because Charles said this at the beginning of his marriage when things were not falling apart, but now instead of gardening in her garden as Charles had hoped she is cheating on him with another man.

Angela S5 said...

This passage is when Emma went to talk to the priest about her suffering.
“How are you?” he went on.
“Not well at all,” relied Emma. “I’m suffering”.
“So am I,” said the priest. “These first hot days make you feel terribly faint, don’t they?...”(97).
The Priest and Emma continue you to talk while he never addresses Emma’s suffering. Finally the priest returns to preparing his boys for their First Communion. Emma hears the priest talking to them. Emma could “hear the booming voice of the priest and the lighter voices of the children:
“’Are you a Christian?”
“Yes I am a Christian.”
“What is a Christian?”
“A person who, having been baptized…baptized…baptized”(99).
This passage is interesting because it is the first time in the story when Emma chooses to tell someone about her suffering. The priest does not quite understand that a woman may be unhappy with her marriage and unhappy doing house chores. I feel that Flaubert puts the priest in this chapter to reveal that during this time period women were not expected to suffer and they were thought to always be perfect. Emma is the exception to this society and she wants more than this society has planned for her. I looked up the name Emma and found that it means “whole, or universal”. Flaubert possibly named her “Emma” to show that at this time there were many women feeling this way and that Emma’s story is “universal” and that many women can relate to it.
At the end of the passage as Emma’s leaving she hears the boys say that a Christian is someone who has been baptized. This must have meaning because baptized is repeated three times. I feel that this passage reveals that the French Church and society at this time were backwards. A Christian is much more than someone who is baptized and that reveals that the priest and the church are not correctly teaching these boys.

“The whitish light coming in through the windowpanes wavered as it slowly died away. The furniture, standing in its usual place, seemed somehow more motionless, and lost in the shadows as in an ocean of darkness. There was no fire in the fireplace, the clock was still ticking, and Emma felt vaguely amazed that all those things should be so calm when there was so much turmoil inside her. Then she saw little Berthe between the window and the sewing table, tottering in her knitted shoes as she tried to approach her mother and take hold of her apron strings”(100). Emma tells her to leave her alone and than she shoves “her away with her elbow. Berthe fell at the foot of the dresser, cutting her cheek on one of its brass ornaments. She began to bleed; Madame Bovary rushed over to pick her up”(100).

This passage reveals the pain and suffering that Emma is feeling. I like Flaubert’s word choice in this passage especially when he says that she is “lost in the shadows as in an ocean of darkness”. The fact that Emma is wondering why everything else in her house is normal while she is suffering reveals her selfishness. She feels that just because she is hurting that everything and every one else must feel pain as well. Than Emma becomes so worked up that she takes all of her stress and pain out on her poor daughter. She ends up hurting someone else due to her pain. Also I looked up the origin of the name Berthe and it means “famous or bright”. I found this interesting because it seems that this baby is the only “light” in Emma’s life, but instead of embracing and loving the baby, she hurts her.

Stephanie P. 5 said...

I�m currently past 173 pages of the book �Madame Bovary�. In the beginning it seemed extremely slow to me but the past has changed. One scene that stood out to me in the book was when Emma continues to take out that green silk cigar case and admire it, �She would look at it, open it and sniff its lining, which was impregnated with an odor of verbena and tobacco.�(Flaubert, pg.49) The green silk cigar case stands out as a symbol especially the color.
Green symbolizes growth and change. When Emma gets involved with Charles it�s like she doesn�t know the situations she�s getting and it�s obvious as her story continues. Even though she makes Charles happy the feeling is not mutual, it was in the beginning but even in the beginning readers can tell she�s unsure. Her life with Charles is dull and the party just emphasizes the obvious. The color green is brought up constantly; When the Bovary�s move to Yonville-l�Abbaye the pharmacist is �Wearing green leather slippers� (pg, 64) and when her child is born the author takes time to describe the disheveled grass and the warmth of the greenhouse window. These situations are very huge changes but I think readers have to wonder if they are good or bad changes.

CasieS P5 said...

Angela, when you said "Madame Bovary is such an incredible character and I feel that I can relate to some of her feelings." I completely agree, and I personally believe that her character is created in order to relate to or in a way portray the female mind, and I believe that is a main reason why we can relate to her character.
Angela, also you said "Also, does anyone else feel that after her marriage with Charles Emma constantly observes every man in her town, no matter their age or occupation?" yes I do believe that she constantly observes every man in her town, I believe that she enjoys observing these men/boys because she watches their actions to figure them out.

“How are you?” he went on.
“Not well at all,” relied Emma. “I’m suffering”.
“So am I,” said the priest. “These first hot days make you feel terribly faint, don’t they?...”(97).
Exactly! Angela it is almost as if in this time period men did not believe that women could honestly suffer.

Janelle C. 5 said...

I still don't know how I feel about Madame Bovary as a character yet. I think she is written so that women, in general, will be sympathetic and able to relate to her, which to some extent I can, but to another extent I can't. I mean in general women fantasize about this great, passionate, story book love life that they want for themselves, that's normal, so I can relate to Madame there. But a lot of girls also want to feel loved and safe and like they are not being taken advantage of or over looked, which it doesn't seem, most of the time, that Chrales is, "And he finally began to esteem himself more highly for having such a wife. He proudly showed his visitors two of her little pencil sketches which he had placed in very wide frames and hung on the papered wall of the parlor with long green cords," (36). He adores her, he finally feels good about himself but he's married to her. But at other times he does take her for granted, "and as incapable of understanding what she did not feel as she was of believing in anything that did not manifest itself in conventional forms, she easily convinced herself that there was no longer anything extraordinary about Charles's love for her. His raptures had settled into a regualr schedule; he embraced her only at certain hours. It was one habit amoung many, like a dessert known in advance, after a monotonous dinner,"(37). Love is supposed to be the most spontaneous and passionate aspect of life, who would want their love life scheduled? That's why I can't really blame Madame for feeling...under stimulated, but at the same time I feel bad for Charles, he means well and he really does love her. So I'm still undecided about the story and Madame as a character.

Angela S5 said...

I agree with Stephanie about her observation Flaubert uses green a lot to describe certain things. I never noticed it before but now that she pointed it out it has helped me.
I also agree with Janelle about Madame Bovary. She is this crazy character but she acts this way for a reason and it is true that her husband is not as passionate as she would like. Emma is a difficult character because one minute I agree with her and the next she drives me crazy.

This is a passage that was weird and I feel contains a lot of symbolism.

“At each bend in the road she could see more of the city’s lights, whose reflections formed a luminous haze above the solid mass of houses. She would kneel on the cushions and let her eyes wander over that bright glow. She would sob, call out to Leon and send him sweet words and kisses that were lost in the wind.

There was a poor devil who roamed up and down the hill with his stick, in the midst of the coaches. His shoulders were covered by a mass of rags, and a battered old beaver hat, rounded into the shape of a basin, hid his face; but when he took it off he revealed two bloody, gaping sockets in place of eyelids. The flesh was falling away in crimson sheds, and from it oozed liquids which hardened into green scabs down to the nose, whose black nostrils were always sniffling convulsively. Whenever he spoke to anyone he would throw back his head and laugh idiotically, and his bluish eyeballs would then roll constantly, pushing against the exposed flesh near his temples.
As he followed the coaches he sang a little song:
The heat of the sun on a summer day
Warms a young girl in an amorous way…
Sometimes he would suddenly appear behind Emma bareheaded…His voice, low and wailing at first, would grow shrill and linger in the darkness; and as Emma heard it through the jingling of the bells, the murmur of the trees …it descended into the depths of her soul, like a whirlwind in an abyss, and swept her into realms of melancholy…The lash would snap against his open sores and he would fall into the mud and shriek”(231).

This is a really long passage and toward the end I cut out certain lines so that it would not be too long. This passage is when Emma is on the train to visit Leon, her lover. The first little excerpt discusses how she is approaching the city and lights are mentioned a lot. She would look out the window and let “her eyes wander over the bright glow”. It seems that she is mesmerized by these lights and they are allowing her to “see” when in reality the city lights represent money, wealth, her lover and sin in this case. She technically is being “blinded” by these lights and not seeing the truth in her life. The next section talks about a blind man who is never called a “blind man” but Flaubert’s description of him reveals that he is blind. This description is extremely disgusting but it reminds me of Oedipus who did not see the truth until he became blind. He is creepy and seems to be scaring Emma. The song he sings seems to relate to Emma. Although “the heat of the sun on a summer day warms a young girl in an amorous way…” meaning that although Emma may be warmed and happy with these certain lovers they will not last, just as the warmth of the sun does not last. There is night and day, dark and light and eventually Emma’s “sun” will go away and she will see the truth. The sun does not always last and neither will Emma’s happiness. This also reminds me of the story of Deadulus and Icarus. Icarus disobeyed the laws of nature and the “sun” melted the wax of his wings and led to his downfall. He could not find his “middle course” in life and neither can Madame Bovary. It is also interesting when the man would appear behind her and then she would almost become guilty as if she could feel “on the depths of her soul” that her whole life she has been avoiding her destiny. I the end the man is lashed and he falls into the mud. The blind man who “sees” the truth about Emma is knocked down symbolizing that she will not change her ways and will continue avoiding her destiny.

Tell me what you think of this passage because there is a lot more to talk about with it.

Angela S5 said...

I chose this passage because I liked the way that Flaubert paints this scene which contains symbolism.

“The moon, dark red and perfectly round, was just climbing above the horizon, beyond the meadows. It rose swiftly behind the poplars, whose branches partially hid it like a torn black curtain, then it appeared in all its elegant whiteness, lighting up the cloudless sky; finally, moving more slowly, it cast on the surface of the river a large patch of light which glittered like an infinity of stars; the silvery gleam seemed to writhe all the way to the bottom of the water like a headless serpent covered with luminous scales. It also remembered a monstrous candlestick with molten diamonds streaming down its sides. The soft night enveloped them; the spaces between the leaves of the trees were filled in the dark shadows. Emma, her eyes half-closed, breathed in the cool breeze with deep sighs. Lost in reverie, they did not speak. The sweetness of earlier days returned to their hearts, as abundant and silent as the flowing river, soft as the fragrance of the lilacs, and it projected into their memories longer and more melancholy shadows than those cast on the grass by the motionless willows. Often some prowling nocturnal animal, a hedgehog or a weasel, would rustle through the foliage, and occasionally they heard the sound of a ripe peach dropping from one of the trees along the wall”(171).

I find Rodolphe to be a pathetic person who just uses women and to feel love but he leaves them so that he will not feel the struggle and pain that companies a relationship.
This passage is at the end of the chapter before him and Emma part for the night. They are suppose to run-away together in the next chapter. The imagery of this passage is incredible and Flaubert’s writing flows beautifully. The moon is glowing beautifully but the “branches partially hid it like a torn black curtain” revealing that Emma and Rudolphe’s love, although once beautiful will not last. I love the image of the “the silvery gleam” of the moon “seemed to writhe all the way to the bottom of the water like a headless serpent covered with luminous scales”. He is comparing the list of the moon to a headless serpent which must symbolize something. I may be reading into this too much but serpents are thought of to be the devil, which began in the story of Adam and Eve. The serpent tempted Eve to eat the fruit and she did, causing everyone in the world to suffer. The fact that such a beautiful light is being compared to a serpent or “devil”, suggests that this love is false and revealing that it is a sin. These are things that the reader already knows but I think it is cool how Flaubert incorporates these subtle details. Also the serpent is headless and has no eyes which may suggest that Emma is “blinded” by Rodolphe and is letting him deceive her. Flaubert continues to write about the glow of the moon which reminded them of a “candlestick”, which is interesting because candles melt and burn out, suggesting that Emma and Rodolphe’s relationship will die. Towards the end of the passage they become enveloped in their thoughts and “often some prowling nocturnal animal, a hedgehog or a weasel, would rustle through the foliage, and occasionally”… “a ripe peach” would fall form the tree. This last part reminds me of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden where they sinned and caused suffering. The weasel, a sly creature may represent the serpent in the Garden of Eden and the peach may symbolize the apple. I also found that a peach has been called a “Persian apple” which reveals that it may connect to Adam and Eve. Overall I feel that Flaubert is comparing their relationship with Adam and Eve to reveal that they are sinners and they will eventually suffer from avoiding their destiny and by not resisting temptation.

Mr. G said...

I really enjoy where this conversation is going--

Angela, I'd say that you could justify fulfilling the length and depth required for the first half of the posts, tho you could also add one or two more. The rest of you seem a bit behind. You should have 7-10 decent sized posts by this point. Let's make sure we catch up and keep the quality where it's been.

Stephanie P. 5 said...

“She was exasperated by Charles’s apparent unawareness of her ordeal. His conviction that he was making her happy seemed to her an idiotic insult, and his placid confidence about it struck her as ingratitude.”(pg. 91)

I found this a little funny of Madame Bovary. She says she is exasperated by Charles’s apparent unawareness of her ordeal but she never tells Charles that there is a problem in the marriage and there is no communication. Emma, who is originally from the city, wants an exciting life but she married Charles is an ordinary doctor always working over time who lives in the country. Just like Charles is apparently unaware of what’s going on, Emma is unaware of her flaws. Emma is a self centered, immature, careless woman. I don’t believe she really loves Leon. I think she loves the excitement of the risky situation she is in. At this time the story isn’t even half way done and I can see where this is talking. She put on this façade like she loves Charles in front of everyone including Leon say’s “He’s a fine man”, constantly but in her mind she curses him out. Emma should be taking care of her newborn but instead it’s almost like she is in a fantasy world that revolves around her feelings. The tone of her voice while talking with the others is nice (except for when she makes these little rude remarks to Charles) but when she is thinking it’s like a whole different person is talking with a dark, mean tone. She is a tow-faced woman

Angela S5 said...

I liked this passage because it reveals Emma’s crazy personality and how quickly her mind changes.

“Eventually, however, he managed to get away without him. He ran to the hotel. Emma was gone.
She had just left in a fury. She now hated him. His failure to keep his word about their rendezvous seemed to her an outrage, and she sought other reasons for breaking off their affair: he was incapable of heroism, weak, commonplace, spineless as a woman, and stingy, too, and cowardly. Then she grew calmer and decided she was probably being unjust to him. But disparaging those we love always detaches us from them to some extent. It is better not to touch our idols: the gilt comes off on our hands” (243).

This passage occurs after Madame Bovary has been impatiently waiting for Leon, who is with Monsieur Homais. She now “hates” Leon, and these two first short sentences reveal that she is enraged. She now can not stand him because he is not a hero and he is “commonplace” similar to how she describes Charles, whom she does not seem to love at all. She then becomes calm and realizes that she is overreacting and now she feels somewhat detached form Leon after this ordeal. I really that the last line, which states that we are better off not tampering with false gods or “idols” because the “gilt” or blood comes off on our hands reveals that we should not get involved I relationships which cause us to lie because in the end, we will pay. This one sentence relates to the theme because it reveals that Emma’s love is “false” and it only exists so that she can avoid her destiny and not see the truth in her life. She is now realizing that if she acts like this than in the end she will be hurt and the “gilt” will come off on her hands. She is the person innniciating the relationship and if someone finds out she will get in trouble.



“Everything, including herself, seemed unbearable to her. She wished she could fly away like a bird and make herself young again somewhere in the vast purity of space” (252).

This excerpt is symbolic and reminds me of Deadulus and Icarus, who disobeyed the laws of nature. She wants to “fly” and not accept the life she has. She wants to return to her youth when things were easier. Her youth represents the time when she was innocent and would have never thought about sinning and making her life into one big lie. During childhood people don’t have responsibility and as an adult she had not been responsible and pretty soon will lose all the things that were once important to her.

Stephanie P. 5 said...

It seems to me that Emma knows there is something missing or wrong in her life. At this point it’s obvious she doesn’t love Charles and I believe she doesn’t love her child. She was never excited to have the child in the first place and she commented on Berthe’s looks saying, “It’s amazing how ugly that child is.” She went to the priest for help but never made it clear no what she needed help with. She doesn’t try to work it out with Charles, who is blind to everything that is going on. Charles would never leave her like Leon and Rodolphe. She doesn’t appreciate the things she has instead she continues going on with these fantasies of living the high and rich life.
“Do you know what your wife needs? … She need hard work, with her hands” say Charles mother. She also goes on to say “Reading novels and other bad books that are against religion and make fun of priest with quotations from Voltaire! It can lead to all kinds of things, my son—a person who isn’t religious always comes to a bad end.” I agree with Charles’s mother. The magazines and novels she reads of the rich life and romance give her ideas of what love is like and she takes it literally. If her head wasn’t stuck in a book all the time she could take the time to appreciate what’s in front of her. If you notice she also uses money sort of carelessly.

Janelle C. 5 said...

I really like what you're saying Stephanie. But that's the entire and whole problem I'm having with this book, that I can't get over. Do I agree with Madame or not? I mean Charles loves her so much, it's so obvious to see. But it seems that the spark of love was never really there. I mean I think when they first met it seemed to be there because she always seemed to be flirting with Charles, but I guess it never fully developed, or never really existet. But anyways, I really agree with what you're saying about the books influencing her feelings and making the things around her seem just that much worse. But do you think she wouldn't feel that way even if she wasn't reading the books? I mean maybe not to the extreme extent she is now, but I think the feelings would still be there. I definitely sympahthize with Charles, and I love him as a character, but if love is not there, than it's just not there, and it's really not the fault of anyone. So that's why this whole love struggle really throws me through a loop.

Janelle C. 5 said...

I want to go back to Anglea's queston from a little way's ago, about how Madame observes everyman's, despite their age and occupation.

I think this just really relates to her reading. She's in a new town now, she's really exited to be in a new environment and around new people. Also, she is very unhappy and bored with Charles, which is why she reads all these varied stories different tales of romance in the first place. I think she's looking around at the different men, because she wants different options, different walks of life, different hobbies and lives, just different from Charles. Also, she never really seemed proud of anything Charles did for his patients, nor does she ever seem proud to be married to a doctor at all, save for the social status she recieves from it, which is why I think that different occupations matter to her in her fantasies.

Angela S5 said...

“Night was falling and crows were flying overhead. Suddenly it seemed to her that fiery little balls were bursting in the air like exploding bullets, and whirling around and around until they melted in the snow among the branches of the tree’s. She saw Rodolphe’s face at the center of each of them. They multiplied, moved close together and penetrated her; then everything vanished. She recognized the lights of the houses shining in the distance, through the mist. Her situation now appeared before her like an abyss. She was panting as though her lungs would burst. Then, in a surge of heroism that made her almost joyous, she ran down the hill, across the cow plank, along the path and the lane and through the market shed. She stopped in front of the pharmacist’s shop.”(271).

This passage takes place right before Emma drinks the arsenic and poisons herself. The passage starts off by setting up the time of day, night, and reveals that “crows” are flying above, which often represents death and tragedy. She has just returned from Rodolphe’s and she feels that she is being pelted by fire, she is completely lost and does not what to do. Flaubert than writes that she sees the “lights” of the village. Light, often symbolizes when a person finds truth, but this is not the case for Emma. The lights of the village give her the idea to retrieve the arsenic from Homais’ home and poison herself. She avoids her destiny by not dealing with her money and relationship problems. Flaubert that this is a “surge of heroism” when reality it is a action which is not heroic and is rather an action which reveals that she is weak and does not know how to deal with her destiny.

“Now, she thought, she was through with all the betrayals, infamies and countless desires that had tortured her. She hated no one; twilight confusion was settling down over her mind, and all of the sounds of the earth she heard only the spasmodic lamentations wrung from poor Charles’s heart, gentle and indistinct, like the last echoes of a fading symphony.”(275).

This passage occurs when Emma is lying on her death bed. It is interesting because in the previous passage she thought that committing suicide would be heroic and would end her torture, when now she realizes that she will forever live with guilt. She hears the “lamentations” from Charles’s heart, which remind her of what she is done. This is her consequence for avoiding her destiny. In the final hours of her life she realizes that Charles’s loves her and that she “hates no one”. This is how many tragedies end, with the tragic hero realizing their mistake and having to live with themselves and their mistakes.

Angela S5 said...

“As the death rattle grew louder, the priest accelerated his prayers; they mingled with Bovary’s stifled sobs, and at times everything seemed to fade into the steady murmur of Latin syllables as they rolled on like the tolling of a bell”(281).

This passage is when the priest is praying for Emma to get better. I like how Flaubert makes it seem as though Monsieur Bovary’s crying and the Latin are intertwines and are almost like music or the “tolling of a bell”. When discussing the strand of bells in English class we found that bells represent death or the coming of death and I made that connection with this little passage.

This is another passage that I found interesting.

“Suddenly, from outside, came the sound of heavy wooden shoes and the scraping of a stick on the sidewalk, then a voice rose up, a raucous voice singing:

The heat of the sun on a summer day
Warms a young girl in an amorous way

Emma sat up like a galvanized corpse, her eyes fixed and gaping.

To gather up the golden stalks
After the scythe has cut the wheat,
Nanette bends down and slowly walks
Along the furrows at her feet

“The blind man!” she cried.
And she began to laugh, a horrible, frenzied, desperate laugh, imaging that she could see the wretched beggar’s hideous features looking in the shadows of eternity like the face of terror itself.

The wind was blowing hard that day
And Nanette’s petticoat flew away.

A convulsion threw her back down on the mattress. Everyone moved toward her. She ceased to exist.

Once again, the blind man finds Emma and is haunting her. He reminds her of how she has avoided her destiny and now must face consequences. As soon as Emma hears his song her eyes widen, and it seems as though she finally realizes the truth and sees how she has caused her own downfall. The lyrics of this song reveal that if one does not accept their destiny and find a middle path in life than they will face consequences or their “petticoat will fly away”. The girl Nanette, in this song similar to Emma is captured by the warmth of the sun or rather her lovers and after she takes part in her adventurous desires or “golden stalks” she tries to hold on to them, but her destiny takes over and she looses her life. The blind man ironically has always known the truth, and Emma never acknowledged him. After discovering the truth Emma “ceased to exist”.

Stephanie P. 5 said...

I thought it was very interesting that Flaubert added in what Charles thinks of at night and what Emma thinks about at night. "Charles looked at his wife and daughter. He thought he could hear the childs light breathing. She would be growing up rapidly from now on; each season would bring changes. He already saw her coming home from school at the end of each day, laughing, her blouse stained with ink, her basket on her arm; then she would have to be put in boarding school, which would be expensive; how would they manage? He pondered the question." (Pg168) As the reader can see Charles never questions the future with Emma and his daughter he only wishes them the best. But Emma on the other hand thinks way differently. "...While he sank into sleep beside her she lay awake dreaming different dreams. She and Rodolphe had been traveling for a wee, drawn by four galloping horses toward a new country from which they would never return. They went on and on, there arms intertwined, without speaking... But then Berthe would cough in her cradle, or Charles would begin to snore more loudly, and Emma would not fall asleep until morning, when dawn was whitening the windowpanes and Justin, outside in the square, was already opening the shutters of the pharmacy." (Pg. 169) I can tell that Emma think of Charles and Berthe of obstacles in the way of her being with Rodolphe. When she plans her excape with Rodolphe, Rodolphe is the one to say what about Berthe. She didn’t even think of Berthe her first and only child. Emma is living in a fantasy world. Charles is living in reality but still unaware of his wifes feelings.

Angela S5 said...

I agree with Stephanie that Charles and Emma are constantly thinking about different things and that they both do not understand each other. He never really sees how cruel she is, even after she dies. He still wants to love her and care for her. I feel bad for him because he does not deserve to be treated badly by her, but he let her control him without knowing it.

“Charles did not wake them when he entered. This was the last time. He had come to bid her farewell.
The aromatic herbs were still smoking, and at the window the swirling, bluish vapor mingled with the mist that was drifting in. There were a few stars in the sky, and the night was mild.
Wax was dripping from the candles onto the bed sheets in large tears. Charles stared at the flames, tiring his eyes in their bright yellow glow.
Shimmering reflections played over the surface of Emma’s satin gown, white as moonlight. She was invisible beneath it, and it seemed to him that she was spreading out beyond herself, merging into the things around her , into the silence, the night, the passing wind, the moist odors rising form the ground”(288).

This passage is beautifully written and it is when Charles says goodbye to Emma. I like the image of Charles staring into the flames. This makes it seem as if Charles is “blinded” by the flames and is finally seeing Emma for who she was and what she had done. Emma appears in “white”, suggesting that she is at peace or in a heavenly place. It seems that she is being reincarnated and is “spreading out” in all of the Charles’s things and will forever haunt him.

This is taken form a passage towards the end of the book:

Sta viator... amabilem conjugem calcas: 'Traveler, halt: a worthy wife lies buried here'

These are the words that are inscribed on Madame Bovary’s grave. I think it is ironic because she was not a worthy wife or person for that matter. She only thought of her self and her suffering.

Sta, viator, heroem calcas: Stop, traveler, thou treadest on a hero's dust.

When I first looked up sta viator I found that it said stop traveler, “heroem calcas” or thou treadest on a hero’s dust. I found this interesting because I feel that Emma would want to be remembered for her “heroic” deeds and her suffering rather than be remembered for being the wife of Charles Bovary. Charles chose to write wife rather than hero, because she was not a hero, she was simply a house wife who dreamed of an extravagant life.

Stephanie P. 5 said...

Angela it's funny that you used the words not worthy. That's exactly what Emma is. She's so self-centered that she can't notice the things that Charles does for her and the compassion he has for her. He doesn't have to throw himself in debt for her but he does. Like I said before her fling with Rodolphe was a fantasy. It was almost like Rodolphe was going to go along with it but he snapped back into reality and broke her heart, saying to himself, “Oh, no! No, by God! That would be too stupid!” He’s right. She was about to take Rodolphe down with her. Emma always picks the wrong men, first Charles, then Leon, and then Rodolphe. It’s like she knows what she wants in a man but it doesn’t exist. She wants to run off with Leon and Rodolphe but the end up abandoning her. Charles isn’t perfect but he’s always there for his wife.

Stephanie P. 5 said...

“She now saw that there was a greater bliss than worldly happiness, and a different kind of love transcending all others, a constant, endless love that would grow through all eternity!” I really enjoyed how Flaubert adds in this “Holier than thou” phase that Emma goes through. And when she goes to the opera it’s almost as if she snaps out of the phase. I really believed she was going to drop the immature fantasy world. She goes to the opera and it’s like she’s reliving the time she went to the Marquis d’Andervilliers’ ball. She overwhelmed with the glamorous lifestyle, “She abandoned herself to the soaring melodies and felt herself vibrating to the depths of her being, as though the violin bows were being drawn across her nerves”; and is embarrassed by Charles’ lack of sophistication, just like at the ball. I can sort of sense the thoughts of faith and charity leaving her mind. With Leon in the picture again the reader can sense that Emma will again act like the lovesick woman she was in the past with Leon and Rodolphe. Emma has such high expectations going into these affairs but in the end these expectations send her right into deep depression after it doesn’t work out.

Angela S5 said...

I agree with you, Stephanie, about the Chapter where she goes to the opera and becomes enveloped in the plot of the opera and once again forgets the life she lives. I feel that Emma is in a sense a stereotypical woman. She is high maintenance and never knows what she wants. That part of her I do not like. On the other hand I sort of admire her for going against the “norm” of society and trying to find love, even if it is wrong. I know that sounds kind of weird, but that is what I think about her.

Here is a passage I liked:
“I don’t hold it against you!” he said.

Rodolophe remained silent. Charles put his head between his hands and repeated dully, in the resigned tone of infinite sorrow, “No, I don’t hold it against you any more.”
He even added a lofty philosophical remark, the only one he ever made in his life:

“Only fate is to blame”(302).

I loved this passage because it wraps up the book nicely and points out certain things. It is sad that Charles is confessing to Rudolphe that he forgives him. I feel that Charles is heart broken and I feel so badly for him. It is interesting that he says that this all happened due to fate. If you go back to the beginning of the story, Charles ended up marrying Emma because his wife had died and he was secretly visiting Emma while his wife was alive. In a way Charles too, was always avoiding his destiny and that may be why he was put into this horrible situation. If he had tried to love his wife a little more may be she would not have passed. Also, Charles’s mother was the one who set Charles up with his first wife, mainly because she was rich. That was also avoiding destiny and it followed Charles in a viscous cycle.

This is the last passage of the book:

Since Bovary’s death, three different doctors have tried to establish themselves in Yonville, but they have been swiftly driven away by Monsieur Homais’ vehement attacks. He ahs now more patients than the devil himself could handle; the authorities treat him with deference and the public opinion supports him. He has just been awarded the cross of the Legion of Honor.” (303).

This is interesting and reveals that Homais is another character who avoids his destiny and will be punished. He is sneaky and is a liar, and in the end he will face consequences. If he did was not secretly hiding the arsenic than ever would have not died. He was only nice to Charles so that he could keep a good reputation, not to be a good person. It is ironic that the story ends with him being awarded an honor that he does not deserve.

CasieS P5 said...

Charles believes that they have a solid relationship but they don't. In the first few chapters of the book Charles is still married to a bitter wife who reminds me of Zina from the book Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. Charles then meets Emma in a way this is an arranged marriage. Emma always dreams of having story book romances and something better in here life this is why she has the desire to have affairs.
On page 225 Emma is talking to Charles about taking piano lessons and says "but lessons don't do any good" she replied,"unless you take them regularly" this is ironic because Emma is saying that lessons are learned with practice, however Emma has not learned her lesson within having affairs with Leon.

Stephanie P. 5 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie P. 5 said...

When Leon and Emma meet up in the church is a very piculiar scene in the novel. When Emma decided one where to meet up with at the church I found it a little ironic. And when I read the scene it was just completely strange.

"Read this!" she said to him, holding out a piece of paper. "Oh no!"
She abruptly drew back her hand and went into the Chaple of the Virgin, where she knelt against a chair and began to pray.(Pg. 209)


I thought this was a way for he to show him that she was trying to not fall into the love affair they once particpated in, to show hin that she was now a saint or saint like.

She stood up. They were about to leave when the verger eagerly came up to them and said, "Is Madame a stranger in our city? Does Madame wish to see the points of interest in the church?"
"Oh, no!" cried the clerk.
"Why not?" she asked.(Pg. 208)

The the verger takes them on this long tour of the church pointing out the important artifacts in the church. It seemed strange why she would agree to go on this tour when her and Leon have only a certain amount of time to see each other. Leon is annoyed and sound angry but Emma is saying that it's not right for them to rush out like they did. It was sort of like Emma was stalling.

Stephanie P. 5 said...

Angela, I actually agree with you. Emma does go against the "norm" and I guess I admire her a little for it. She does go to find love but she obviously doesn't do it in the right way and it's hard to admire that.

I found it so annoying when Charles was trying to talk to Emma about his fathers death. Emma seems like she could care less.

From time to time he would raise his head and look at her for a long time, his eyes filled with distress. Once he sighed, "I wish I could have seen him again!"
She made no reply. Finally realizing that she had to say something, she asked, "How old was your father?"
"Fifty-eight!"
"Oh."
And that was all.

Emma doesn't say anything much and the scene is sort of awkward. I really thought (well, it was more like I hoped) Emma would have some remorse for her Charles' loss even though she doesn't love or like him. It must have skipped Emma's mind that Charles was there for her both time when Leon and Rodolphe basically abandoned her. Of course he didn't know that the people whom committed adultery with her had left her and that's why she was in sad and depression but still he was there for her. As I read further on it was like she was actually excited to get a hold of the money the Charles would soon be inheriting and she went shopping.

Stephanie P. 5 said...

The whole time I have been blaming Emma for her own problems. Charles does somewhat neglect Emma. The book repediatly states that Charles works late often and at this point in the book readers can obviously tell the Emma is the kind of woman that enjoys attention, a lot of attention. In the begining Charles would leave to go to work and left Emma in the house alone all the time. This hurt there relationship so much. She got no attention from Charles. When Emma gets mad at Leon because kept her waiting like Charles kept her waiting many times before.

"She had just left in a fury. She now hated him. His failure to keep his word about thier rendezvous seemed to her an outrage, and she sought outher reasons for breaking thier affair: he was incapable of heroism, weak, commonplace, spineless as a woman, and stingy, too, and cowardly." (Pg. 243)

I was suprised at how angry Emma was at first but when I thought about it made sense. Charles has stood her up many times and now her lover Leon did the same exact thing.

Angela S5 said...

I have been thinking about the book from a feminist point of view and I have found that allow Emma is a bit crazy, maybe we are over exaggerating it because she is a woman and we are also. Rodolphe, her lover, is not married like Emma, but he sleeps with married women and knows that it is wrong. Nothing “tragic” happens to him because it is okay that he sleeps around, but for Emma it is an outrage. I know there are differences, but I just started to think about that. I am just curious why the tragic hero in this case was a woman rather than a man. If a man did the same things as Emma would it still be considered tragic?

I also have a few comments about the Essays in the back of the book. I found it interesting that Flaubert took so much time and effort to form his sentences or choose words. I can see why he did it because his writing is beautiful, but you would think that something that beautiful would not be such a mechanical or scientific process.

One of the essays discusses Flaubert:
“He had a conception of style which embraced all the qualities that constitute both a thinker and a writer. And when he declared, “There is nothing but style,” we must not think that he meant, “There is nothing but the sound or the harmony of the words”(343).

I found this excerpt interesting and find that when reading Flaubert you become accustomed to his writing style. His writing develops rhythms and almost a musicality
which is very beautiful.

This passage discusses Emma:
“This narcissistic attitude of Emma’s, this self-hallucination induced by over reading, this “habit of conceiving ourselves otherwise than as we are’… The vicarious lives that film stars lead for shop girls, the fictive euphoria that slogans promise and advertisements promote, the imaginary flourishes that supplement daily existence for all of us, are equally Bovarisitc:”(353) .

I liked this passage and how it compared Emma’s feelings to the average person’s feelings. It reveals that we all day dream and imagine ourselves as other people and that this is a natural part of life. The excerpt also discusses how advertisements and media affect people and their wants and desires. One of the reasons Emma was not satisfied with what she had was because she knew that there were people who were wealthier than her and living lavish lives. These things such as wealth and media lead to a person’s down fall. They make people avoid who they truly are and want something other than their destiny. In today’s society this is evident and the media is ruing our culture and what we stand for.

Mr. G said...

Enjoyed reading the stream, tho there was a varied level of engagement. Oedipus means clubfoot—thought you might be interested in that?