Discuss the characterisation of Emma Bovary in the novel "Madame Bovary".

Essay by spleenHigh School, 12th gradeA, May 2004

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?Nowhere is the discrepancy between Emma?s dreams and the realities of the world outside made clearer than in her choice of lovers? (p.xiv) Discuss the characterisation of Emma Bovary in the novel.

In the novel, Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert, the character of Emma has two different lovers, who present an impossible romantic ideal that she aspires to. She expected these men to transport her from her ordinary, mundane life, into of one of the romantic novels she reads. But both of these romances begin with love, and end in disgust. The first ends with Emma?s lover reacting to her possessive lust by cruelly separating himself from her, and the other being overwhelmed by Emma?s fervent passions. In both of these cases Emma fails to realize that the fault for the ruin of these relationships lies with herself. All she realises is that her sensual appetite has not been fed, and she longs for the perfect man, to make her happy.

Emma?s first lover, Rodolph Boulanger, is a wealthy and bored bachelor. He is seduced by Emma?s beauty, but he does not share her romantic ideals, he treats her like simply another one of his many previous lovers, and from the start is thinking of how he can leave her when he grows tired of her. Until the end of the relationship, Emma believes that she is deeply in love with Rodolph, and that he has these feelings for her. While Rodolph does sometimes think he is in love with her,

?Her eyes, full of tears, flashed like flames beneath a wave; her breast heaved; he had never loved her so much, so that he lost his head?? (p.148).

He is never truly devoted, she is just on in a long line of lovers, ??No matter! She was a pretty...