Essay, Research Paper
The idea of love affairs, lovers, mistresses, gloomy forests, broken hearts, horses ridden to death, killed couriers, and virtuous men were responsible for Emma Bovary’s ultimate ruin. When these stories were read to Emma during her time at the convent it was at a time of her life when she was in school learning. Things made bigger impressions on her than they would have at other stages in her life. Psychologically, Emma problem was partly caused because of a term called a “critical period”. A critical period is a point in a child’s life when what they have learned, such as handwriting or an accent probably will not change considerably afterwards. Emma had read he books when she was still learning, but had reached her critical period before she could learn about actually reality. The other girls didn’t have this problem. They could distinguish between fantasy and reality. This failure to distinguish between the two was Emma’s “tragic flaw.’
Emma had read about these ideas in books, but instead of viewing these concepts as fantasy, she viewed them as reality, and later in life, acted as if that was the normal thing to do. Anything different, anything that deviated from her current life appealed to Emma. What was new was romantic, exciting, bold, and adventurous. She perceived Charles to be a character from one of her books when she met him. He was fairly attractive, but most of all, he was a doctor! He was a man of power to the meager peasant that Emma was. To Emma, this was a man who could give her romance. He could satisfy all of her fantasies.
When Emma realized Charles was just an ordinary man, she felt there was something wrong with him, not her. What her books told about, what she needed, was a lover, which was what she found in Rodolphe. Rodolphe was used to having mistresses, so this was no unusual thing for him. He treated Emma in the same manner that he treated all of his mistresses. Emma did achieve a taste of her ideals when she was with Rodolphe, however, when Rodolphe discovered her underlying problem when she asked him to run away with her, he had to end their relationship. Emma seemed to have broken a “law of adultery” by asking him to run away with her. He was not going to change his life for her. This unlikely action by her “storybook” lover caused her to fall sick for months.
In all her storybooks, money was never an issue. The characters just seemed to have it. It is natural that Emma should not care about money either. When she needed cash, she borrowed it, not thinking about the consequences. Partly for this reason was why she committed suicide. Once she was came to the realization that her property was being seized after falling into irreversible debt, I believe this to be the point where she realized, for the first time, the consequences of her actions. The shock of what she had been doing her whole life seemed too much for her to bear, so she decided to end it. Emma in a way is your classic “Tragic Character.” She had a problem, which in the end, killed her.