Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Madame Bovary

I woke us this morning to a world covered in gorgeous white snow, and being a teacher and living in a country where snow causes massive panic as it happens rarely we were given the day off, and as it's snowed all day we also get tomorrow off :) I finished Madame Bovary and went to see Harry Potter, now just waiting for my legs and butt to thaw out after a 2 mile walk home from town.

Madame Bovary is a reread, something I do rarely, as I'm reading it as part of a book group that may or may not meet Thursday, weather permitting. I read this many years ago, I think way back when I was in university and had little memory of it so it was like reading a new book.
For those of you who haven't read it Madame Bovary is Emma, a young, fairly poor but beautiful girl who jumps at the chance to marry an older, unattractive doctor. Whilst he adores her as a possession, she merely puts up with him for the position he offers her in society. Over the course of the book she falls in 'love' with a series of men. These men vary in social position, from a prince regent, to a trainee lawyer to a rich local man. The men form for her an obsession, a way to escape from the monotony of every day life and the desire to feel wanted. Just as she is a possession for her husband, these men are a possession for her, something to cling to, look forward to and satisfy a small part of an unsatifying life.
Alongside her various relationships she also accumulates vast debts through her desire to have the latest clothes, objects and furniture, like the men she thinks these goods will make her happy.
Emma is a character that you are meant to dislike, we watch her downfall, gradually watching her sink further and further into her own problems, the main attraction is just how and if she can get herself from her self made problems. I'm not sure if we are meant to feel sympathy for her or her husband, I found them both shallow and dislikeable.
I'm sure the book will spark many discussion points

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