Madame Bovary Personal Response
In part two of Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert we see Emma’s development as a character in a negative way. Emma’s development is seen as she embarks on a path to moral and financial corruption all for a search of love and passion. The passion and love Emma seeks cannot be found in the reality of that time causing her to feel imprisoned in society with Charles whom she has no passion or lust for.
To Emma love is defined as lustful, spontaneous action which she only reads about in her romance novels. SHe learns to fulfill this inner lust by undertaking in adultery with different men.Throughout this section of the novel we see the emotions Emma encounters, guilt, anger, lust, passion and spiritual longing. “The more Emma became aware of her love, the more she suppressed it. She would have liked Leon to guess at it… ” [p. 86] This quote shows the change is Emma’s character from part one due to the fact that in part one she only longed for such a relationship and what she read in books and took pity on herself while now she has taken action by committing adultery. When Emma first meets Leon there is a spark and common interests emerge unlike between Emma and Charles.This is seen in the quote “Their Eyes indeed were full of more serious conversation; and, while they were struggling in search of banal phrases, each felt assailed by the same langour; it was like a murmur from the soul… ” [p. 88] Emma’s Lust for Leon is an example of the commencement of her thoughts of adultery actions, once Leon leaves she becomes even less satisfied by Charles than before and continues to seek for that same love she had for Leon. She goes to such extremes with love due to her idea of love coming from novels, this is seen when she considers ruining after Leo after he had left for Paris.This part of the novel is seen as Emma’s attempt at filling an empty gap in her hear in search of romance that she has always longer for yet never grasped. She seems to do this by committing such unfaithful acts. “… but i always relish the upheaval; I do love being on the move. ” This quote emphasizes the fact that Emma cannot stay with one decision or be in one place for a long period of time because she is easily bored and dissatisfied. Once Leon leaves Mme. Bovary has an understanding of her feelings for Leon and her regret for not pursuing these feelings. the bad days form Tostes came back again. ” [p. 114] Emma then realizes the option of adultery and Leon was the one to open this idea up to her.This is what leads her to commit adultery later on in this section of the novel. The second major development is the love affair between Mme. Bovary and Rodolphe. This love affair fulfills the dream of the romance she has always longed for from the books that she has read. “She merged onto her own imaginings, played a real part, realizing the long dream of her youth, seeing herself as one of those great lovers she had so long envied! ” [p. 51] This quote emphasizes Emma’s happiness and sense of accomplishment that she feels during the affair. This is a development in her character because this can be compared to previous areas in the book where she was bored and unhappy waiting for something to occur this sudden even has now changed this view on life to a more happy one.This is because there was now an aspect of excitement that allows her to experience her dreams that she has so long longed for which causes her to isolate herself from reality. This is seen when she wants to run away with Rodolphe “Take me away! ” [p. 80] This also shows Emma’s selfish behavior because she is acting only to please herself while Charles sacrifices his love and lets Emma be with Rodolphe to treat her depression (illness). The final major development in Emma is when she is plunged back into reality with the letter the Rodolphe sends her. This letter allows her to realize the difference between the romantic novels and dreams and reality. The fact that she had so many ideas to pursue with Rodolphe such as running away which she though would allow her total freedom.However these longings are all crushed and the caged feeling from before begins to come back again. why have not done with it? Who was to stop her? She was free” This quote shows her thoughts of running away with Rodolphe and how she want to be free. In conclusion these major developments such as the love for Leon and the introduction to the idea of adultery as well as the affair with Rodolphe and the longing for freedom show Madame Bovary’s change throughout part two of the novel. One is also able to see the constant unstable actions of Emma and her decisions. She is one to go from being spiritual to wanting to commit suicide, then desiring a proper family household and yet none of these make her happy for very long.