Madame Bovary: Windows
Uploaded by marnie on Dec 28, 1999
Windows frequently appear in the novel Madame Bovary. Emma is constantly peering out of windows. Windows are a symbol of hope and dreams, and also escape.
A window is a device that allows light to shine in, and Emma would use the time she sat in front of the window thinking about her lovers, her favourite thing to do. Emma would also imagine other things. "Sometimes in the afternoon a man’s head would appear at the living room window: bronzed face, black sideburns and a slow, gentle gleaming open smile." (Flaubert 81). In her mind, a waltz begins to play and she imagines people dancing. The window attributed to Emma’s recovery when "they would push her chair over to the window and also to her entertainment. "One evening she was sitting at an open window and watching Lestiboudois" (206, 119).
Emma would also use the window as an escape from the world she was dissatisfied with. "As soon as the cold weather began, Emma abandoned her bedroom and moved into the parlor. Sitting in her armchair near the window she would watch the villagers walking along the sidewalk." (108). Right before Emma told Rodolphe that she wanted to runaway with him, she had had a fight with Madame Bovary senior. She attached a small white piece of paper to her blind as a signal that she needed to see him. Rodolphe ended their relationship, just like the blind blocks light from entering the room. When she received Rodolphe’s farwell letter, she went into the attic to read it. "sunlight rushed in from the shutters" but after reading she wanted to die, and attempted jumping out of the window when Charles called her.
The windows represent all of Emma’s hopeless fantasies, she tries to escape her life with Charles by pursuing these fantasies but they end up costing her her life in the end.