The Grass is Always Greener

06 Jul

How true that saying is for Emma!  One would think that a doting husband, comfortable home, many amenities and a beautiful little girl would be enough, but NO.   Emma wants a more handsome husband, better clothes, and adventure.   Time and time again Emma shows us that whatever she has is just not good enough, and as a result, she gets deeper and deeper into her quagmire of deceit and debt.

What really made me slap my head in disbelief, however, was when Emma spent most of Part II, Chapter 10 musing about how perfect things had been when she was single, living with her father.   How perfect the summer evenings were.  The galloping colts were so idyllic.   The bumblebees “struck against her window like rebounding balls of gold.”   “What happiness there had been at that time, what freedom, what hope!”

Emma – you are crazy!  You weren’t happy then, you aren’t happy now, and golly, I’m guessing you won’t be happy in Part III.   Don’t you just want to tell her to “stop and smell the roses?!”



Posted by on July 6, 2012 in Madame Bovary



4 responses to “The Grass is Always Greener

  1. Steph (@FABR_Steph)

    July 7, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    You are quite right. Emma is not happy and has an idealistic memory of her past. I wondered my entire way through Madame Bovary if the author either experienced a form of mental illness or if he was raised by someone who was ill. I have worked with people who had a Status I mental illness for a number of years, and I don’t know how he can get so many of these personality traits so right by imagination alone. It is fascinating.

  2. Jeannette

    July 8, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Interesing, Steph. We had thought of the concept that if Madame Emma had been alive today, she would most certainly have been medicated for some mental disorder, but Flaubert himself…I wonder.

  3. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    July 8, 2012 at 7:38 am

    I like the Erma Bombeck quote: “The grass is always greener over the septic tank.”

    • Christine

      July 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      Emma was certainly doing her fair share of swimming in sewage.


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