We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary


by Gustave Flaubert

Madame Bovary Part 2, Chapter 2 Summary

  • Emma, Charles, Félicité, and Monsieur Lheureux get out of the Hirondelle for the Bovarys’ first glimpse of Yonville. Monsieur Homais is on hand to introduce himself.
  • Emma checks out the inn. Meanwhile, a blond young man checks her out.
  • Who is this guy, you may ask? Flaubert tells us. It turns out that this is the Monsieur Léon (Dupuis) mentioned earlier. He’s a clerk who works for the notary in town. He, like Emma, is a bored young person trapped in a town full of aging, dull people.
  • The dinner party, comprised of Emma, Charles, Homais, and Léon, make polite chitter chatter about their trip, and about the town. Homais goes off on a long spiel about Yonville. We realize that his primary mode of communication is probably by long spiel.
  • Léon and Emma are clearly on the same wavelength – one that nobody else is on. They seem to have similar ideas and interests.
  • It turns out that Léon is an amateur musician, like Emma. Monsieur Homais, with whom the young clerk lives, claims that Léon is a beautiful singer. Emma is intrigued.
  • Emma and Léon have a little moment, in which he reveals that he loves German music, "the kind that makes you dream" (II.1.9) – what an Emma-like thing to say! He also tells her he’s going away to Paris to study to be lawyer.
  • Homais and Charles have obviously been conversing on their own. Homais attempts to include everyone in the conversation; Emma and Léon aren’t interested, and soon get caught up in their private conversation again.
  • Like Emma, Léon is a big reader, and it seems like they have pretty similar thoughts about literature, as well.
  • Homais tries to break into their conversation again, offering the use of his personal library to Emma.
  • Emma and Léon are sitting so close that he has his feet on one of the rungs of her chair.
  • After dinner, the guests all go their separate ways. Emma and Charles go into their new house for the first time. It doesn’t sound too thrilling. We are unsurprised.
  • Emma philosophically muses that, since her life so far hasn’t been too hot, it has to get better.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...