Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Premature Book Review: Madame Bovary

Emma Bovary is a frustrated bourgeois housewife in post-revolutionary France. She is married to a doctor, and is sickened by her life in the country. She is depressed. She is moody. She desires more than her life is giving her, and more than her husband is capable.

Her change in attitude comes shortly after marriage, when she and her husband are invited to a party with a local Marquis. She enjoys their decadent lifestyle and is in awe of the libertines she meets (though nothing Sadean happens in this book). Later, she falls in love with a young man, who also loves her. They never express it, however, and when he leaves for Paris she descends into near-madness. This is approximately the first one-hundred pages of the book.

I am torn as to my opinion of the book so far. Flaubert is a bit like Hemingway, in that he does beautiful descriptions of setting. The characters, aside from Emma, do not seem to develop much, but I believe that is a bit of the point. Occasionally Flaubert makes stark breaks in point-of-view. You see something through Emma's eyes, then suddenly it is some other character without segue. While I can't say exactly what it is, something compels me to keep reading.

1 comment:

Keith said...

This is a book I've got in my library here at home, but I've never read for some reason.

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