In loving memory of CPT Mario Buising Mortega Sr., USAFFE, VET (1920-2004)
In loving memory of CLR Roberto Laudet Mortega (1946-2008)
On Madame Bovary, a novel by Gustave Flaubert
myragrace - Tuesday, Mar 7, 2006, 8:05 PMOne of the changes brought about by the paradigm shift from Neo-Classicism to Romanticism is the perspective of Nature. Nature is regarded by Romantics as something that can be wild, and from its wildness, one can find beauty. Whereas, for the Neo-Classicists, Nature must have an order and is bounded by a set of rules. It was rigid, and the Romantics resented that. Thus, the Romantic concept Nature epitomized freedom. And not only did they celebrate its freedom, they reveled on it. And that intoxication was important, for it reflected the Romantics’ yearning to break away from the mundane stringency of Neo-Classicism.
Madame Bovary was a Romantic herself: she longed to break away from the mechanistic repetitiveness of her life with Charles, for it failed to fulfill her disillusioned concept of love. Thus it was important for Madame Bovary’s seduction to take place in the woods. The woods represent Nature, which mirror the Romantic ideals of freedom. It was a temporary emancipation from the prosaic echoes of the country, which strangled her and forced her to play the contrived role of a proper woman. In the woods, her quixotic whims were realized. In the woods, her archaic courtesan relationships and impressions were brought to life. In the woods she can inebriate herself with these fantasies, which were restricted from her for so long. In the woods, she can be herself, or at least the part of her that was forced to ebb in the dark recesses of her being.
Her seduction heightened her belief that her fairy-tale understanding of love can happen in real life. The woods cannot be any more perfect for this to take place; it is a sanctuary wherein her seemingly wild wishes were gratified. There, she was far from the clasps of Charles and Berthe. There she found beauty in a chimera fired by medieval romances, far from the box society has encased her and the humdrum simplicity of rural life.