24 November 2008

Bovarysme

I just finished reading Madame Bovary which has been cited as one of the best modern novels ever written. I was thinking a lot about Emma and about her delusions throughout the novel. She truly suffers from Bovarysme, which was of course named after her. She dreams for something that is completely unattainable, some glamorous life that doesn't exist in real life.
However, I think that while Emma's actions in the novel were completely contemptable especially in her treatment of Charles I feel as if everyone has these sorts of delusions in their life.
For example, why do romance novels sell thousands of copies of books that are not even a truly good quality: because women love the beautiful idea of true love and passion. Sweetest Day and Valentine's day make intense amounts of money because romanticism and the idea that a woman can be "swept off her feet" and Emma prescribes to this theory throughout the novel looking for a handsome young man who she could be passionate about instead of staying with Charles whose devotion to her would have been any other woman's dream.
And I really feel like so many people have this in real life. Women prescribe to this "prince charming" phenomenon and never see what is actually right in front of them. Why do women continue to go on in this theory? Why is it so impossible to see what's right in front of you? Could Emma have been saved if she would have felt less like this?

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