Everything, even herself, was now unbearable to her. She wished that, taking wing like a bird, she could fly somewhere, far away to regions of purity, and there grow young again.
Neither Charles nor the Viscount, Leon nor Rodolphe, her daughter, Berthe, nor the things she bought from Monsieur Lhereux, could bring joy to Madame Bovary. To the bitter end happiness eluded her. How tragic that Emma could not escape her discontent. She could not turn her choices around once made, and even those men who claimed to love her (Leon and Rodolphe) in the end did not.
Which in my mind, gives some redeeming grace to Charles. He may have been incompetent, he may have been foolishly deceived, but he always loved her. Always. Even though it was not reciprocated. No, Emma had to fall for idols, for unattainable wishes and dreams, for fulfillment which she never could quite grasp. How ironic that all the while Charles stood by worshipping her.
But the disparaging of those we love always alienates us from them to some extent. We must not touch our idols; the gilt sticks to our fingers.
A big thank you to Frances, who gathered us together to read this novel. For some of us, it may have been the first time. For others, it was a third or fourth reread. But, for all of us it was a joy to share in the experience together. I learned so much from all your posts, fellow read-along participants.