Essay on Madame Bovary: Destiny

1064 Words Sep 25th, 1999 5 Pages
Madame Bovary: Destiny

Destiny: the seemingly inevitable succession of events.1

Is this definition true, or do we, as people in real life or characters in novels, control our own destiny? Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary exemplifies how we hold destiny in our own hands, molding it with the actions we take and the choices we make. Flaubert uses Emma Bovary, the main character of his novel, to demonstrate this. Throughout her life, Emma makes many decisions, each one of them affecting her fate and by analyzing these decisions one could see from the beginning that Emma is destined to suffer. However, one can also pinpoint such decisions making events as her marriage, her daughter's birth, her adulterous relationship with Leon and
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An uneventful year passed and
Emma reached yet another fork in the road of life - should she have a baby now, or wait until later? She reasoned that it would bring excitement to her life so she decided to go ahead and have the baby. She wished for a boy because he would have the freedom to "explore the whole range of the passions, go wherever he likes, overcome obstacles and savor the most exotic pleasures." (p.76) The baby was a girl. Emma "turned her head away and fainted" (p. 77) upon hearing this news. She felt let down by the world, as she saw her hopes and dreams shatter before her eyes. Yet again we are faced with a dilemma: why did she chose to have a baby? Was it only for selfish reasons? And yes, there are many answers, but the conclusion remains the same, if she had not had this baby girl, her destiny and that of her husband and her daughter would have been greatly altered. Emma would not have had the chance to cause so much suffering to a little girl through her thoughtless actions. Why did Emma choose to have to commit adultery and sleep with Leon when she had already experienced first hand the consequences ? This question leads to the third major event in her life, one that could have easily changed the outcome of her life if it had been approached differently. Emma had had and affair previously that had devastated her in the end. She recovered from the pain and the emptiness she felt at the end of this affair, only to begin the cycle again with Leon.

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