Study Guide

Madame Bovary Part 1, Chapter 5

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Part 1, Chapter 5

  • Next, we get a brief tour of Charles and Emma’s house. It sounds pretty decent – nothing impressive, but a nice enough home for a country doctor and his wife. There’s a little garden, an office for Charles (with a bunch of unopened medical books), and generally everything a typical village housewife might need.
  • Emma, however, is not your typical village housewife. First of all, she notices the former Madame Bovary’s bridal bouquet preserved in the bedroom – this totally doesn’t fly. This relic of wife #1 is relegated to exile in the attic. After this change, Emma goes on a total renovation rampage, making changes to every aspect of the little house’s décor.
  • Charles is in heaven. He gives in to all of Emma’s whims, and buys everything she wants. He’s totally head over heels in love with her, and is infatuated by her beauty. Everything is perfect, as far as he’s concerned, and he can’t remember ever being happier. The whole world is wrapped up in Emma.
  • Emma, however, isn’t sure that she’s so happy. She had thought herself in love before the marriage, but now conjugal life doesn’t seem so blissful. She wonders if the words she’s read about in books – passion, rapture, bliss – can apply to her life.

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