i chose to read the novel this winter vacation. i did not mean to read this one, because the author is gustave flaubert, a frenchman, so the english version can’t be the original. i think the purpose for which our english teacher wants us to read the english novel is to let us experience what is real english. so reading a french novel in english is the same as reading an english novel in chinese. i remember one sentence in our english textbook like this: no matter how well a poem is translated, something of the spirit of the original is lost. so is a novel. what a pity that i could not read an english original!
i read the gist of the story when i was in primary school. it is a story of how a beautiful woman dies. madame bovary is beautiful but her husband is not handsome and romantic. he is a doctor. he loves his wife with all his heart, but he does not know how to give her the kind of love she wants. not being satisfied, madame bovary starts to find a lover who is both handsome and romantic. and she finds léon at last. she spends all the money her father and her husband give her on her lover, and lives the kind of life she has always dreamed of, paying no attention to the fact that all the people in town regard her as a vampire. happy days are always short however. léon leaves her at last. and her heart breaks in pieces. there is no other way except to die. what a pity that such a beautiful lady dies in such a way!
i hated madame bovary so much when i read the gist many years ago, because monsieur bovary loves her so much but she treats him in such a rude way in return, in spite of the fact that she used to study in the convent. each one in the marriage should fulfil the vows they swore at the wedding ceremony. one madame should be staunch to her husband, no matter how boring it is to be with him. anyway he is the one you chose when you want to get married. that was the opinions i had at that time.but after reading the novel, i think madame bovary has her own embarrassments which are hard to mention, too. monsieur bovary only loves her beautiful and distinguished appearance. no one in this family cares about what she thinks. no one asks about her feelings. no one wants to listen to her aspirations. what a lonely lady! the most important thing is that the life after marriage does not answer to her dream. the only feeling she has is disappointing. it is hard for a lady to bear.