Welcome to the check-in post for Part Two of Madame Bovary! If you didn’t get a chance to read the check-in for Part One, head on over to Juliana’s post at Cedar Station.
We are reading this book through the month of April and we have made it to the second stop. Below are some discussion questions for your consideration. Please feel free to link-up to your own blog posts using our linky or comment below!
A FEW THOUGHTS (CONTAINS SPOILERS)
Personally, I am fed up with Emma and her selfish behaviour. I think the day she pushed her daughter out of the way because she wanted to be alone and feel sorry for herself was the last straw for me. Reading how Emma continuously goes through these cycles of depression, the mood swings and breakdowns, makes me think she’s the kind of person who will always be unhappy (and is possibly emotionally unstable).
I wasn’t surprised that Emma and Leon didn’t know how to act on their feelings for each other. Leon seemed quite sweet and the kind of guy who would do the right thing, not aggressively pursue a married woman. We’ll see how long that lasts in Part Three …
What did surprise me is that Rodolphe allowed his affair with Emma to last as long as it did and become so domesticated. I imagined him as a love`em and leave `em type of guy. I was mad that Emma obnoxiously flaunted her infidelity to everyone in town, most likely out of her disgust for Charles.
I feel bad for Charles because despite his deficiencies, he is a kind man and loves Emma. Now he has all these financial worries and this botched operation attached to his reputation. He’s got good intentions, but it doesn’t seem to be enough.
Here are some questions to get the conversation going, but feel free to share any of your thoughts on Part Two or the book in general.
1. First of all, what did you think about Part Two?
2. Some of us wondered why Emma wasn’t more interested in embracing a maternal role. She quickly loses interest in her child when she can’t afford to buy luxurious baby items and faints upon hearing she had a daughter instead of a son. Why do you think Emma prefers to seek happiness in romantic love and not give maternal love a chance?
3. We all seem to agree that Emma’s behaviour is foolish, yet why do we still sympathize with her character?
4. Although Emma becomes careless and the whole town seems to know about her infidelity, Charles seems none the wiser. Even when he finds the note Rodolphe wrote to Emma ending the affair, he believes their relationship is plutonic. Is Charles just fooling himself, is he simply naïve? Can he blamed for Emma’s behaviour?
5. We all seem to be reading different translations of Madame Bovary and some of us wondered whether we are reading the story together in the same way. Do you think this matters? What translation are you reading?
Et voilà! We’ll have our final check-in for Part Three on April 30th, so don’t forget to check both blogs for the final discussion and wrap-up. Thanks for joining us!