Book Report Essay, Research Paper
Emma’s life was greatly influenced by her reading. She lived in a world of fiction rather than in the real world. She wanted the things she read about to come alive in her own life. The idea of romantic nights, old castles, and moonlight meetings supplied a satisfaction in her that she couldn’t find anywhere else. She needed constant excitement and change. If she never read these romantic novels, then she would not have been a dreamer and a sentimentalist. Her normal life of everyday living would have kept her content rather than intolerable.
Emma discovered romantic novels as a young girl living in a convent. Unable to see the real world or the realities of everyday living, she was left alone with her dreams. She concentrated all of her attention on them and nothing else. These novels influenced her entire approach to life.
When Emma first met Charles she believed he could make her happy. however, after they were married she soon began finding many faults about him. Charles had no desire to do or see anything. Emma wanted a man who would introduce her to new things and inspire her to live life to the fullest. “Before she had married she thought she was in love. But the happiness that should have resulted from this love had not come; she must have deceived herself, she thought. Emma sought to learn what was really meant in life by the words “happiness,” “passion,” and “intoxication”–words that had seemed so beautiful in her books.” (55). She was dissatisfied with her life and searched constanly for a way to change it. Emma constantly asked herself “My God, why did I get married?” (63).
One of the highest points in Emma’s life was when Charles and her were invited to the home of the Marquis d’Andervilliers. She was overjoyed at the idea of staying at the chateau. Everything she had dreamed and read about turned into a reality. Unlike Charles, Emma blended in with the higher class. She had the necessary qualities to get along with the aristocratic society. It was like her own little fairytale and she didn’t want it to ever end. After having a taste of the higher lifestyle, it was very hard for Emma to return to her home and her very boring life.
Since Emma was so unhappy she began dreaming of another life with a new husband. She wanted a man who would sweep her off her feet. What she was looking for, she seemed to find in Leon. He was the first person Emma ever met who shared the same interests in literature, music, and related subjects. A bond rapidly developed between the two. However, Leon soon realized that there was no future in his love for a married woman. “As for Emma, she didn’t think she was in love with him. Love, she believed , should arrive all at once with thunder and lightning–a whirlwind from the skies that affects life, turns it every which way, wrests resolutions away like leaves, and plunges the entire heart into an abyss.” (111). It was not until he was gone when she realized her mistake in not letting Leon know of her love.
When Emma met Rodolphe she was in a very vulnerable state. She disliked her husband and her present life, she wanted romance and passion. I think this is what led her to commit adultery. The idea of having an affair was very exciting to her. “She remembered the heroines in the books she had read, and the lyrical legion of these adulterous women began to sing in her memory with sisterly voices enchanting her. She herself became a part of these fantasies. She was realizing the long dream of her adolescence, seeing herself as one of those amorous womenshe had so long envied.” (163).
Emma believed her dream was finally coming true. Within time Emma began wanting things to change. She cannot remain in one situation for a long period of time. She was no longer satisfied with having an affair, she insisted that Rodolphe and her flee to a far away place. However, her insistence scares him away.
Later in the book Emma renews her affair with Leon. Within a very short time she found herself tired of him and bored with life. “Each day she clung more desperately to it, thus destroying all happiness by demanding too much of it. She blamed Leon for her disappointed hopes as if he had betrayed her, and she even wished for some catastrophe that would cause their seperation since she lacked the courage to bring it about herself. (272). Throughout her whole life, Emma was never completly and totally happy. The books she read brainwashed her mind. She believed she was being cheated out of the feeling of true love. I don’t think anyone could of made her happy. She couldn’t except the fact that she wasn’t rich and that she lived the life of a middle-class person.