Essay On Love And Irony In Jane Austen's Emma

1951 Words 8 Pages
Emma loses her ennui when she is with Rodolphe and gains confidence in her identity. After they experience their first sexual encounter Emma giddily thinks, “’I have a lover! a lover!’ delighting at the idea as if a second puberty had come to her. So at last she was to know those joys of love, that fever of happiness of which she had despaired” (131)! Emma has always wanted a lover like those resembled in the books she reads. Now that she has a lover, she experiences a “fever of happiness,” like a woozy sensation that takes over her whole body. Hitting a “second puberty” makes her feel young and as if she is becoming an adult once more, which is an exciting moment in a girl’s life. Unlike her relationship with Charles, in which the love is …show more content…
Emma “tasted this love discreetly, and with all her being, nourished it by every tender device she knew, and trembled a little that some day it might be lost” (212). Emma’s relationship with Léon is like an extremely fragile and weak animal that she must “nourish” for mere existence. She does everything in her power to maintain his love for her, as if losing it would be a threat to her life. Emma now lives in fear that he will one day stop sharing this mutual passion. In order to further “nourish” their relationship “She asked him for some verses-some verses ‘for herself,’ a ‘love poem’ in honor of her” (219 - Schor). Her love letters need to be well written as they are the glue to her relationship with Léon. Emma believes the power of words can save her from a life of loneliness, despair, and loss of his love. Words put down on paper are at their most powerful as they are visually binding, in Emma’s eyes.
As Emma reflects on her relationship with Léon she realizes her endless ennui:
She was not happy, she never had been. Why was her life so unsatisfactory, why did everything she leaned on instantly rot and give way? ... But suppose there existed somewhere some one strong and beautiful…why might she not someday happen on him? …nothing was worth the trouble of seeking it; everything was a lie. Every smile concealed a yawn of boredom, every joy a
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Shortly after Emma marries Charles Bovary she immediately recognizes her immense boredom and indulges in writing to free herself from this dissatisfaction. She continues to be trapped in the “silent spider’s” web and seeks a love interest, Monsieur Léon. When she realizes that he does not match her fantasy, prince charming she is once again launched into the ennui cycle. Emma gives into an adulterous relationship with Monsieur Rodolphe, yet it does not match her ideal relationship, and therefore she assembles the role of the “silent spider’s” prey. When she realizes that her only option is suicide, she writes one last letter in order to sign off on her life. According to Naomi Schor, “The apprenticeship of the heroine-artist can lead only to death, but to an exemplary death, because suicide generates language. In the novel to die a natural death (belle mort) is to commit suicide, because suicide is the very act that links the coming to writing with the renunciation of life” (Schor 503). In her final moments she realizes how much she had been loved by Charles. Perhaps, if she knew how much he loved her, she would have found her escape from ennui at the very beginning with

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