by Gustave Flaubert
Madame Bovary Wealth Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph). We used Lowell Bair's translation.
"Everybody can’t be rich! Nobody has so much money that it can’t all be squandered away! I’d be ashamed to pamper myself the way you do, even though I’m old now and need to take care of myself […]" (III.5.81)
Madame Bovary the elder makes an astute point – everyone runs out of money sometime. Emma, however, is never willing to listen to common sense when it comes to finances.
A wide porcelain stove was purring beneath a niche occupied by a cactus plant, and against the oak-colored wallpaper hung two pictures in black wooden frames. Steuben’s Esmerelda and Schopin’s Potiphar. The table, already set, the two silver chafing dishes, the crystal doorknobs, the floor, the furniture – everything gleamed with meticulous English cleanliness; the windows were adorned at each corner with panes of colored glass.
"This is the kind of dining room I ought to have," thought Emma. (III.7.48)
Even though she’s in serious financial trouble, and is, in fact, at the notary’s house to beg for money, Emma still can’t help but long for the wealth she thinks she deserves.
She had begun to drift into madness; she suddenly felt afraid and managed to regain control of herself, although her thoughts were still in disorder, for she no longer remembered the cause of her horrible state: the question of money. She was now suffering only through her love, and she felt her soul slipping away in the memory of it, just as a wounded man, as he lies dying, feels his life flowing out through the bleeding gash. (III.8.22)
Again, we see wealth and love blend together in Emma’s mind – in her desperation, she can’t keep them straight. Was she at Rodolphe’s for love or money? She can’t tell.