I have enjoyed reading books as long as I can remember. I had the gift of being an only child for six years. I see it as a gift because I was able to develop my vivid imagination during that time. It was that imagination and books that helped me to escape from my home throughout my childhood and teenage years. So, it was not surprising that I chose to get my degree in English (British Literature) at Douglass College (Rutgers University).
Although I focussed on British Literature, it was a novel by Gustave Flaubert (French author) that captured my interest then and still is important today.
Madame Bovary‘s Complaint: Chasing Romantic Goals
Madame Bovary is timeless. Anyone who has grown up in the age of television and more recently, the Internet, is bombarded by images of perfect lives.
Madame Bovary married thinking she would have the perfect life filled with luxury and passion. After two divorces, I have thought about this novel often. Was I judging my marriages based on unrealistic goals? Did I focus on the standards of American society and the expectations of others instead of enjoying and appreciating what I had at the time? Madame Bovary is my reminder that you need to appreciate the life you are living. Others cannot provide your happiness (still trying to accept that point).
That is why I chose the title of Bovary’s Complaint for my personal blog. Sometimes we get caught up in what society, our family, our friends, and our co-workers tell use we should experience (the complaint) instead of living and loving the moments of her life. I wanted my blog to be the opposite.
I want to use my experiences (painful and joyful) and life lessons to accept my life as it is at this point. I have to accept my choices even if they did not work out. I also have to accept that my expectations may have been off. Finally, I have to accept that I chose the wrong people to be in my life. My blog is my weekly therapy session (much cheaper than my years of sessions).
Madame Bovary is my reminder that you need to appreciate the life you are living. Others cannot provide your happiness (still trying to accept that point). Happiness comes when you continue to grow and embrace the joyful moments that come your way (that also includes forgiveness which I am still working on). I hope you can learn something from my journey.
Gustave Flaubert introduced us to Madame Bovary during the mid-1800s. His message and her journey still resonate today.
T. Lanette Pollard