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Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert

The world is founded on the belief that in order to survive you must be better than those searching a common goal. At the dawn of mankind it was required to perform your own tasks such as seek and catch that which you were going to eat. If you had neither the intelligence or the strength to do this on your own you must rely on someone who would be able to, giving them power. We will assume now if you are in a position of good physical strength and of intelligent mind, then you will be powerful. But, is this true considering we also rely on material as an essential factor in power.

In the past and especially at present, the more you had of a certain object the less work you had to do to get it. You actually have power when you have more “stuff” than anyone (how the concept of money evolved). Power bearing less work is something everyone strives for and so defining yourself with power or “stuff” seemed good. We define ourselves with objects we care much about or objects that remind us of certain things. In Madame Bovary, Emma defines herself only through objects. She corrupts everything including love and men and turns them into materials.

Emma loves windows. She looks as them as a form of escape from the life which she has lived. Through this material she is expressing feeling. Windows are the eyes of the house. They allow liberty and cause discomfort. “A servant climbed on to a chair and broke two windows… close to the pane… memories of Les Bertaux came back to her. Her past life was vanishing… ” (Flaubert 40) The windows where keys to her life. They had been there and seen many things happen. She sat by windows thinking of her lovers.

One evening as she was sitting by the open window, watching Lestiboudois”(Flaubert 81) Madame Bovary did not like what her life was like. She established her ideal plan through the reading of romance novels. When she was extremely fake and vague. She was not a genuine person and that is why she was Madame Bovary. “She summoned the heroines from the books she read… She merged into her own imaginings… realizing the long dream of her youth… ” (Flaubert 131) She wanted to escape and the windows provided a passageway for this. A window could mean her inner self.

Emma believes she is not a wonderful person because f the things she must to maintain “status” as a bougoise. This will eventually lead her to committing suicide and because she does not like herself there is no way she can appreciate others. “… She was boiling with shame… she went out to the passage to open the window, and breathe the fresh air to calm herself. “(Flaubert 48) A window works like the eyes of the human and the body of the human is the house. Since we are talking about material, Emma is like Lake Point Tower on the outside but she is furnished by the dollar store.

Without knowing how materials can form a part of a persons life like Emma, you will loose a lot of the meaning of the book. The whole concept of Madame Bovary is that there is not one Madame Bovary. Madame Bovary is a concept of women. In this book there were at least three Madame Bovary. The one thing that they all had in common was that they were after the material. They were women who did not really care about emotions but rather adventure a concept not defined if objects in this book are not discussed. We also would not understand hat love itself is a material in this story.

Emma damages what love is because she is buying it. Love is not something that is bought and that is why things generally do not come out as planned. Materials and objects affect the way we see ourselves and others. The definitions we use for certain things is dictated by how we focus on objects. Through the understanding of how objects affect our lives we can understand that power is nothing more than equal to the artificial happiness we get when acting upon a certain impulse fueled by the longing for a certain object.

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