Angelic Emma

10 Jul

Madame Bovary Part III chapter 5

Emma is with Léon at the hotel room they regularly share.

She was the lover in every novel, the heroine in every play, the vague she in every column of poetry.  On her shoulders he found the amber colours of Odalisque au bain; she had the long body of some feudal chatelaine; and she looked like the pale woman of Barcelona, but supremely she was the Angel.

but supremely she was the Angel.”

She was the Angel.

the Angel?

The married woman having an affair is an angel?  I’m sorry, THE Angel?

In the margin of my book I wrote the words, “Ha!  She’s the opposite of an angel!”

I find this disturbing.  Emma’s nothing like the messengers of God that I’m familiar with from the Bible.

In other disturbing news… Did anyone catch that in the same chapter Emma calls Léon “child”?

She used to call him child.
–Child, do you love me?
And she scarcely heard his answer, for the suddenness of his lips seeking her mouth.

Ewww.  Ick.  and Yuck.


Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Madame Bovary


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2 responses to “Angelic Emma

  1. Adriana @ Classical Quest

    July 10, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I know. It’s like Christina said yesterday: “gag me with a spoon”.

    I think this scene is a distinct contrast to the final death bed scene when she is not being worshiped as a radiant goddess. She has become the exact opposite of that image. I thought it was interesting that she asked for a mirror — vain to the bitter end…

    • Christine

      July 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      It seemed like every time Emma B was about to dive into sin, Flaubert described her looking more and more beautiful. I too wondered about the mirror request. I’m not sure what she thought she was going to see.


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