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 POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary

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PostSubject: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Mon Oct 30, 2006 6:08 pm

In this thread, discuss a character, an event, a key symbol, a dominant theme, or a major atmosphere. Feel free to share one of the ideas that you discovered during the Gallery Walk activity in class. I look forward to reading your responses.

Mr. Kelso
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BCallison



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:03 pm

One scene that I thought was very interesting was when Emma pushed her child, Berthe. This scene symbolizes more than just Emma not loving her child. It also symbolizes her feelings about her marriage with Charles. It's one of many scenes that let us know that Emma has no affection for Berthe or her husband any more.


P.S. I'm not going to lie, I'm kind of excited about posting first.
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phNguyen

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PostSubject: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:58 pm

The scene between Rodolphe and Emma after their talk at the agricultural show reveals Emma as a very stupid person. Rodolphe is obviously lying through his teeth about his love for her. Yet she believes every word of it. Her excuse is that nobody has ever said anything of that sort to her the way Rodolphe did. I believe the reason why the men in the novel would have an affair with a married woman like her is because she is pretty and very unintelligent.
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Goodman

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Wed Nov 01, 2006 12:19 am

I especially liked when emma burned the bouquet. This showed that she was upset with her marriage and that she was not happy with the way that it was headed.
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Marielle66

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Wed Nov 01, 2006 4:05 pm

The character of Rodolph is the one that really bugged me. I can't say I really like him, and he is a total player, which is so wrong. He is playing with Emma's feelings and telling her that he loves her even though he knows that he is only attracted to her physical beauty and that he doesn't really love her. Emma is such a fool and I feel bad for her since she is totally clueless that whenever Rodolph gets bored of her, he'll probably go get another woman. I just simply don't like his character...maybe I will if once I read a little more, but I doubt it.
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GabyA

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Wed Nov 01, 2006 6:26 pm

I thought a great part was Emma pushing away her baby girl. The child is symbolic of Emma's relationship and her duties to her unhappy marriage, and because of that she treats the child poorly. Also, she is resentful towards the fact that the baby is a girl, because she knows that she will grow up to be married to a man she might not like and potentially live a life as unfulfilling as Emma's own.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:50 pm

This reaction is slightly skewed only because today in class we began watching the film verson and while watching it, I got a whole new perspective on the story. At first when reading the novel, I felt that Emma was a bit of a bitch (excuse my language) or rather selfish girl, and yes she is still selfish in the movie but that selfishness in the movie seems to stem from a desire for passion and love which she yearns to share with another person and thus this cancels out the selfishness and just makes her human. In the film she is my absolute favorite character because most people feel the need for passion but few express it as she does. I love how open and adventurous she is and its a pity that Charles does not have the heart to fulfill that. Well, its not really as though he doesn't have the heart, because he means well in all his actions, but he doesn't have the passion like Emma does and although I do not condone adultery, I don't necessarily disagree with Emma's actions with other men, either openly sexually or non-sexually. Emma is just in the wrong place at the wrong time for her character and that does not make her a bad or immoral person, just confused.
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kevinb

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:26 pm

I like the character of Emma and how Flaubert is very "blunt" about the opinions and intentions of the characters. I could see how this was a very controversial book back in its days because of its scandal and deceptions. Even though the idea/fact that Emma cheats on her husband is unacceptable and should not be talked about, it is true. I guess people who found the book unacceptable were just in denial of the realities of their society.
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Sullivan4



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:39 am

Mdm Bovary is a very interesting character. I began thinking that she was a woman who was hard to please, but now I realize that that's not true. It's that she can't bring herself to feel things for certain people. It's a principle of not being able to force yourself to love someone. Although she married thinking that she would learn to love her husband, she just can't. Even her own child can't be loved because it wasn't what she wanted. In part, I think that she can't love Berthe because she blames herself for bearing a girl instead of a boy. She gave birth to a child straight into a life of bondage due to her sex. Leon, on the other hand, relates to Emma, and she finds it easy to love him, despite the fact that he is unreachable. Maybe she even loves him because she cannot have him. He realizes this, and I believe that it why he leaves, to stop tormenting himself.
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JohnN

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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Thu Nov 02, 2006 5:44 pm

Both the movie and my own interpretation of the book are actually quite different. Although Emma is kind of crazy, promiscuous, and even selfish, the film version seemed to exaggerate my view at least tenfold. Yes, she is whiny and doesn't seem to appreciate anything in her life, but the desperation that the movie gives her seems a bit too much. Personally, I feel that Emma is a damsel in distress, but she seems to have no good luck, which serves her perfectly right, since she is committing adultery. The movie makes the other men that she has affairs with kind of acceptable, but realistically, its not at all. While Charles may be boring, Emma needs to appreciate what he has been doing for her and stop complaining.

While I don't like what Emma does with her marriage and such, I can't deny that I like her as a character. Its interesting to deal with someone who behaves as she does, because reading about pessimistic men with bad livers, two males yearning for each other, and perverted judges aren't as intriguing.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:34 pm

The ball was a very important scene in the novel because it brought out Emma's character a little more. There was a part in the scene which I particularily found significant: "At the crash of the glass Madame Bovary turned her head and saw in the garden the faces of peasants pressed against the window looking in at them" (35). This displays the desires of Emma and also reality. Emma is happy during the ball because she desires a more aristocratic lifestyle. When she sees the peasants through the window, it brings her back into reality and how her life actually is. Not only does this scene show Emma's desire of a more luxurious lifestyle, it also unveils her bitterness towards Charles a bit more. She refused to dance with Charles, and instead danced with the Viscount. I am enjoying the second half of the novel a lot more than the first.
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JeffAlmario



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:57 pm

A major symbol in this novel is the city of Paris. It represents the many elements of life that Emma yearns for, yet cannot grasp. One example is her love and relationship with Leon. His departure to Paris makes it impossible for Emma to continue her life with him. Another example is when she dances with the viscount. She experiences the rich and elegeant lifestyle that many people in a large city, such as Paris, witness everyday. When she is finished dancing with the viscount, she cherishes the moment because she knows that it was a very rare moment that she may never experience again.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Sat Nov 04, 2006 11:11 pm

The pushing of Berthe by Emma seems to be one of the most famous moments in Madame Bovary, and it's easy to see why. The whole incidient provokes very different responses from people. On the one hand, it shows how frustrated poor Emma is in her marriage and how trapped she feels, etc. But then again, she physically abuses a small child, which is rather twisted. I think Flaubert perfectly illustrated his realism in this scene. He wants to make it clear that Emma is not really a woman to be pitied and coddled because she is actually sort of a bitch. It's obvious that she negatively acts on her frustrations and puts herself before others. I don't view Emma as a tragic heroine stuck in a time period unsatisfying for women, and I'm fairly certain Flaubert didn't either. This example is so fitting because it is almost impossible to justify Emma's actions in a positive way.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Sun Nov 05, 2006 5:47 pm

There is a strong character connection evident in the film version of Madame Bovary and Daniel Deronda. This is seen between Grandcourt/Charles and Deronda/Leon. The fact that the same actor plays each part within the two movies makes the connection even more apparent to those who have seen both films. Their similarity is derived by their relationship to main female character. The Grandcourt/Charles character is percieved by Gwendolen/Emma in the beginning as being the person she wants to be with in her life, but later desires more through the realization that she has made the wrong choice. Deronda/ Leon is the character that Gwendolen/ Emma later finds she wants to be with, but can not have either by Deronda's love for another or Leon's move to Paris. It was an excellent choice by the directors to cast Dancy and Bonneville for these parts because they have proven to excel in such roles and fit the viewer's desired image for the character in the story as it related to the book.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Sun Nov 05, 2006 8:45 pm

For some reason I feel disgusting saying this but I happen to think Rodolph's character is great! Just because of how his simple yet sleasy character is able to move and or... repulse, an audiance is pretty cool. I also think his "interaction" with Emma made me do a complete 180 on how I viewed Emma and her intentions in the novel.

:king:B
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hannahc



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PostSubject: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:02 pm

Even though Emma's marriage with Charles is unsatisfactory, I don't feel sorry for her. It was her own fault that she agreed to marry a plain man, and she should stick with her choice and be faithful. I just think it's so wrong to treat a loving husband with so less of consideration just because she's bored. She had the affair with Rodolphe, and Charles still took care of her when she was heartbroken due to the disappearance of her lover. She does not appreciate what Charles has offered her, and she doesn't have the ability to take of herself and satisfy her own need. But from her life, I do see the limitations of being a woman at her time. She couldn't get a divorce, she didn't have a career to be independent, it's understandable why she felt trapped and desperate.
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andrewh



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:05 pm

One of the major symbols of the novel is the way Charles treats Emma. He treats her as if she is a child and is obvious to the things that she does. For instance, when he brings her milk while she is playing the piano, and after she drinks her milk, he even wipes her mouth. It is really interesting how the people in the town know more about her relationship with Leon, than Charles does. I believe that he does not know what love is, and he believes that he is in love for the first time, therefore he is obvious to what is going on and is focused and proud that he is in love with someone.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Mon Nov 06, 2006 1:50 pm

I feel sorry for Emma. Yes, she was the cause of her downfall but I do not feel that she is inherantly evil in anyway. Emma has these preconceived notions of what life is supposed to be like. She bases these beliefs on her romantic novels not on reality. She belives that she deserves the best which is why she has affairs and spends money all while fantasizing about PAris and balls. For her Charles reminds her about reality and not the ideals found in her poetry. Yes, Emma has a Hedda side when she scorns Charles and a Gwendiline side by requiring a lavish lifestyle but unlike these women I dont believe she is a bad person. She is naive and selfish but she does not deserve the pain that she has to endure.
In addition, I think that Emma is highly influenced by those around her. These influences lead Emma to make desicions that she thinks will allow her to live out her fantasy but in actuality they cause her downfall. Keep in mind that she refused Leon the first time and it was Rodolphe that started the affair. It was the merchant who keeps selling Emma fineries perssuading her to buy more. Emma may not be a good person but she is not evil, no not close. She tried desperatly to live a life based on the romance found in novels and died while striving for this.
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abdi4



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PostSubject: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:05 pm

i feel that there was a major atmosphere between emma and charles. Yet there actually was no atmosphere between them, because of the way they both beahved. Emma wanted someone to love her, and have all the same feelings she has torwards issues, but that was not what she got. She had charles who was sucked up in his work and didn't engage with emma that much, even though he loved her. So there wasn't much of an atmosphere around them when they were together, it was this dull, and monotunous mood that emma probably got most of her boredom from.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:50 pm

The one scene I can't forget that I read last week was the one where Roudolphe didn't go with Emma and that letter than he left her. It instantly reminded me of Adele H., if you guys are familiar with the movie or her biography (Adele Hugo, daughter of Victor Hugo), she is a girl who fell in love with a young man in the military who conveniently fell in and out of love with her. Adele was obsessed with him and followed him to America and spent her entire life following him and preventing him from marrying other girls to the point where she went insane and had to live alone for the rest of her life. She sacrificed her life for the idea that love was strong enough to cross-seas and to last a lifetime. She had given her soul to him and so her heart and mind would always be his, whether he took it or not.

This reminded me of Emma and Roudolphe because of the obsessed way Emma acted towards him throughout all of their secret relationship. Roudolphe was actually in love with her, so much that he accidentally asked her what she wished, and she said to leave with him. He put it off as much as she could just because she was beautiful and whatever other reason, and the day came where they were to leave and he writes a letter to her and leaves. It was exactly the same as the young military man except that Emma is married to someone else and has no money (unlike Adele who survived off of her father's money).
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kjohnson



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PostSubject: reactions to madame bovary   Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:46 pm

I feel bad for Charles. He loved Emma so much but was oblivious to the lack of love she had for him. Throughout the novel, it was clear that Charles would do anything to make her happy. It’s just so sad that he put so much effort into their marriage when Emma was incredibly unhappy with him. I feel as if Charles believed that his marriage with Emma was better than his first. His first wife suffocated him, she always wanted to know where he was at all times and what he was doing. Unfortunately, I feel as if the roles were reversed in his second marriage; Charles was always smothering unwanted love upon Emma while Emma didn’t feel the same way for Charles. He was blinded from the love he had for Emma, not paying attention to the fact that it was obvious she was having an affair. In the end, Charles was heart broken. He definitely does not deserve this since he changed his whole life to make Emma happy.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:16 pm

A bad marriage is not a certificate to cheat. Emma Bovary has a very idealistic point of view in this very realistic world. When those two dynamically different perspectives clash, there are bound to be ruins. There are so many problems in life as Flaubert has obviously described in this novel, and absolutely everyone has them. They may not be the same for everyone and are certainly not to the same degree of intensity. But as far as I can see, Emma’s problems are not really significant. Sure it is unfortunate that she is trapped inside a loveless marriage, but seriously now, that is a pretty big denominator containing almost everybody. If she has an abusive husband, well, then she has a real problem. Even though Charles may not be as accomplished or as rich as the greedy, gluttonous, and lustful woman might have hoped for, he is a loving, devoted, and faithful husband. But since Flaubert is trying to capture the essence of realism, this story fits perfectly. Life really is a depressing and unfair place where people have build up defense mechanisms to protect themselves from the environment. Emma hides in her affairs to avoid problems with her marriage and with herself, and Charles stays in denial of the obvious affairs his “wonderful” wife is having.
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AustinL



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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:28 pm

Emma is a silly girl. She jumps into a relationship with Charles, and ends up hating him while he has nothing but love for her. She jumps from man to man wasting Charles money. The whole time charles treats her with respect. The end of the novel was intense. Charles shows his love yet again by giving Emma a beutiful funeral(which she didnt deserve) and spending what little money he had left. Once he finds out about the cheating he is completely broken. How could this women he thought the world of cheat on him when he did his best to be her husband. When Bertha pushes him over in the garden dead, it seals his testemony of love. Charles cant live with out Emma his unfaithfull wife.
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Tue Nov 07, 2006 8:32 pm

Suicide is suicide is suicide, but for some reason when I compare Hedda and Emma I can't help but feel that Hedda left with more honor.

It could be that I grew more fond of Charles than George and therefor feel more sympathy for him. Or maybe it's because Emma left her family in debt(because of her materialism nonetheless), her daughter (poor Berthe) and husband miserable when Hedda left no child and a preoccupied husband.

Perhaps it was the courageous imagery of a bullet through the brain versus arsenic slow poisoning without Emma bothering to dust off her mouth afterward. I'm not saying I like Hedda's character more but I felt her death was more dignified. (Disclaimer: I'm all in favor of Paris and poofy dresses (kind of)and romance just not at the expense of other people or at the very least enlightening them about the affair)
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PostSubject: Re: POST: Reactions to Madame Bovary   Wed Nov 08, 2006 2:06 pm

I thought that windows were a dominant symbol throughout the novel. Emma is almost always looking out of a window which symbolizes how she views the outside world as freedom. She feels like the house oppresses her because it reminds her of her unhappy marriage. Emma at one point is determined to jump out of a window and commit suicide. She feels that this is the solution to all her troubles and that it will stop the pain she suffers from not being able to fullfill her romantic dreams.
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