Money, money, money – cold hard cash is certainly what makes this world go ‘round in this novel. Underneath Madame Bovary’s concern for human emotion and feeling, the cruel truth is that money can make or break people. Even the most romantic characters are still driven by the desire for cash or luxury goods. The lust for wealth is like the pink elephant in the room; even when we think we’re talking about love, joy, sadness or whatever else, money is always there in the background. In the end, it’s also what drives the novel to its tragic conclusion.
While Emma perceives wealth as the gateway to freedom, Rodolphe’s character demonstrates that money doesn’t necessarily buy true happiness.
In Emma’s mind, wealth and luxury are necessary conditions for love.