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Can you believe we have come to the end of our Madame Bovary read-along?
A FEW THOUGHTS ON PART THREE (CONTAINS SPOILERS)
Leon was so sweet in Part One, so I thought it was interesting that it took some living the high life of a Paris bachelor to give him the confidence to pursue Emma as aggressively as he did in Part Three. However, I think we all knew Emma would eventually become overbearing and the relationship would get too intense for Leon.
I kept shaking my head at how Emma just lets her life get so out of control both morally and financially. I couldn’t count the number of times she and Charles took on more debt and signed away their lives just to avoid acknowledging the problem. I was shocked and horrified for Emma when the lawyer, Guillaumin, suggests a sexual trade for his services. But I wasn’t prepared for Emma turning around and flirting with the tax collector, Binet, and then throwing herself at Rodolphe for one final kick in the teeth hours later. But what else does a woman of Emma’s time period have to offer?
I expected the deaths in the book, but I wasn’t expecting the egotistical rampage Homais goes on after Emma’s death. I never could really understand the part he plays in Madame Bovary. I read he is supposed to represent bourgeois arrogance, but I haven’t entirely been able to make the connection to Emma’s situation. Maybe: Emma’s problems are middle class problems? Or maybe: the bourgeois middle class make stupid mistakes due to their misconceived ideas of their own importance and Emma is an example of this? … I’m not sure. I’m not very good at deep analysis of this kind.
My favourite writing in Part Three is Chapter Eight after Emma leaves Rodolphe and Flaubert writes so exquisitely about Emma’s crushing pain and absolute hopelessness. Not that I enjoyed Emma’s suffering, but because I have felt similar pain in my past, and every single word Flaubert wrote resonated deeply with me.
Lastly, my biggest criticism of Emma throughout this book was her neglectful treatment of her daughter, Berthe. I was so sad to read how Emma’s delusions and selfishness doomed that innocent little girl’s life. Charles also lets her down by proving to be weak and equally neglectful. It just sucks.
As much as I criticized Emma in Madame Bovary, I fully realize she was a woman with wants and needs during a time when men had all the power, choices and money. In the movie Little Children, Kate Winslet’s character says she admires Emma for choosing to bravely fight for love and seize what she wants from life. However, what Kate failed to mention is how many people Emma would destroy by making those choices, including herself.
THAT’S A WRAP!
Thank to you all of our fantastic participants. I hope you enjoyed the book and this read-along. Your comments made for some really fun and interesting chats about the book.
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Consumed By Ink
The World According to Laura
She Reads Novels
Fleur In Her World
Laura Gómez Mera
Ravens and Writing Desks
The Dead Writers Society
My Book Strings
The True Book Addict
Plethora of Books
Must Read Faster
Reading In Bed
This Is Me Trying To Be A Writer
Yasmine Rose’s Book Blog
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Most of all, I want to thank my co-host, Juliana for coordinating this read-along with me. She’s a wonderful blogger and you should check out Cedar Station, if you haven’t had the opportunity. Also, if you loved the read-along button and banner, all the credit should go to her.
And here is my book review. Adieu!