Saturday, May 7, 2011

Book 4 Review - Madame Bovary

I finished Madame Bovary at least two weeks ago, I've just been lazy with the posting a blog thing.

The book was really a quick read; I was surprised how quickly the pages flew by during my 30 minute lunch break at work each day. I found parts of it interesting, and the writing was well done, but honestly, I didn't care for the main character. The main reason most likely being that Madame Bovary was never satisfied with her life! Ever! It seemed like she had a great upbringing - her father tried to give her the best by sending her off to be educated in the city where she was able to study music and art which was considered a luxury in her time. Maybe that was what sparked her unhappiness...she was able to live a life others dreamed of, and then she went back to her family's farm. Perhaps she felt that the things she had learned weren't appreciated or were just useless back in a small town. I don't know. I honestly don't understand people who can't find anything positive in their living situation.

Madame Bovary married a young widower, had a daughter (who was raised mainly by a nurse), and lived a comfortable life yet constantly dreamed of having more. More of what... I felt was never really defined. She wanted every fantasy and daydream to come true. Her devoted husband caved to her every whim, and even relocated his business as a health officer to another town when he thought her health/nerves were suffering from boredom and whatnot.

Ultimately I found the Madame to be plain selfish and I was almost relieved to see her put an end to things. I didn't feel terrible for the husband either - it was like he ignored what was right in front of his eyes, and was complacent, or rather apathetic with his life. In a way he was the exact opposite of his wife. She was never satisfied, and he was overly indifferent. Their daughter wasn't a major focus in the book, but in the end I felt the worst for where she ended up.

What was this book trying to teach or prove? No idea. But hopefully it inspires people to look for the little joys in their lives even when things aren't going exactly the way we want them to. Better yet, I hope it shows that infidelity ruins families.

And I still have no idea why the color blue was mentioned nearly every other page.

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