Books and Movies Reviews

Elevation Isolation and Downfall in Madam Bovary

The novels Crime and Punishment and Madam Bovary, when examined separately seem to be totally unrelated books about completely different subjects. They chronicle the lives of two very different people in quite different circumstances. The novels appear to be in all ways the opposite of one another. Their main characters appear conflicting on all fronts. Though these characters may appear to be quite different their live very similar lives. Both of the troubles and toils the characters encounter are a result of the delusions of grandeur that each wants for themselves. Both characters elevate themselves as being better then the rest of society, but through this elevation all they accomplish is to isolate themselves which in combination leads to the downfall and inability to realize their dreams.
In both novels the main characters put themselves through a destructive cycle of elevation and alienation that ultimately is the cause of their demise. The cycle begins with the dreams and ambitions of the main characters. Rodya Raskolnikov and Emma Bovary both believe in the same fundamental truth; that some people are better then others. They both want to believe that they are unique and extraordinary. Emma's desire for an exciting and extraordinary life began in her youth. Her natural love of excitement was perpetuated by the reading of many different books. They were all tales of "love,
lovers, sweethearts, persecuted ladies fainting in lonely pavilions, postilions killed at every stage, horses ridden to death on every page, somber forests, heartaches, vows, sobs, tears and kisses, little skiffs by moonlight (MB, 22). . ." She devoured these stories, making "her hands dirty from books from old lending libraries (MB, 22)."Tales of intrigue and adventure were her constant companion and in her thoughts.She idolized the heroes of these books. She identified herself with them, and longed to be like them. They wer…


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