Madame Bovary Part One Chapters 7-9 Summary

     Emma thinks that these honeymoon days are supposed to be the best of her life. She thinks, however, that she and Charles would have had to go to some exotic land to really enjoy them. She has all of these romantic notions about love, and thinks it would all be so much better if they could listen to waterfalls, smell lemon trees, and be carried up mountains in a sofa with silk curtains.

     Emma wishes that she could share these thoughts with Charles, but she doesn't know how to do so. She finds Charles extremely boring and dull. She hates how uncultured he is. He doesn't care about going to the theatre and doesn't know the fancy riding term that she read in a novel.

     Emma impresses Charles with her sophisticated hobbies. She draws, and Charles loves to stand beside her and watch. He had two of her sketches framed and hung in the parlor. She plays piano with a dramatic flair that can be heard all the way on the other side of the village. Emma knows all of these interesting things which enhance the esteem in which Charles is held by neighbors and clients, as well as the esteem in which he holds himself.

     Charles' mother is less impressed with Emma. Emma is not very thrifty, and doesn't take well to Madame's lectures. Charles' mother is also a little jealous. She never felt replaced by Heloise, but Charles love for Emma makes her feel as though Emma has stolen something from her.

     Emma is melancholy and lonely. She finds nothing remarkable about Charles' affections, as they are like scheduled habits. She takes her greyhound dog, Djali, on walks to the beech grove at Banneville, near the abandoned pavilion. She wonders why she got married and assumes that her classmates from the convent school found husbands like the men she read about. She pets her dog and talks to her, consoling the dog as she wishes to be comforted.

     Toward the end of September, however, Emma and Charles are invited to a ball at La Vaubyessard, home of the Marquis d'Andervilliers. Charles had successfully treated him a few months prior. Emma is quite taken with the display of wealth. The food and chateau are described at length. The Marquis' father-in-law is present at the table. He had bloodshot eyes and a tiny ponytail tied with ribbon, but he is said to have lived a wild life and is rumored to have been one of Marie Antoinette's lovers.

     When dinner is over and everyone is preparing for the ball, Emma is horrified to hear that Charles was intending to dance. She quickly assures him that he would be mocked and suggests that a man in his position, a doctor, should not dance. She dresses in front of the mirror.

     Emma dances. She listens to conversations about Italy and watches all of the well-dressed people. When a servant accidentally breaks two window panes, she turns her head and sees peasants looking in on the ballroom from the garden. She thinks about her life at the farm and where she is now, enjoying cherry-flavored ice from a gilt bowl.

     The next morning, Charles and Emma have a fast breakfast and spend some time at La Vaubyessard before leaving for home. After some time, the breeching equipment broke and had to be repaired with rope. After the repair, Charles notices an embroidered cigar case on the ground. There are two cigars still in it, and Charles announces that he is going to smoke one after dinner.

     When they arrive home, dinner is not ready. Emma fires the maid, who weeps loudly as they eat. Charles tries to smoke the cigar but makes himself ill. Emma throws the cigar case into the closet.

     When Emma puts away her satin slippers the next day, she notices that the soles are coated in a yellow residue from the floor at the ball. She muses that she feels similarly: contact with wealth had left a stain on her somehow and she wouldn't be the same. She thought about the ball frequently. She would pull the cigar case out of the closet and inspect it, wondering where it had been and thinking that its owner was probably in Paris.

     She longed to visit Paris. She purchased a map of Paris and subscribed to fashionable magazines. She hated her surroundings, seeing them as facsimiles of the quaint realities of life elsewhere. Emma hires a young orphan girl to be the new maid, but sets to work grooming her as a ladies maid.

     Charles subscribes to a medical journal in an attempt to keep abreast of the field, but he reads it after dinner and it puts him to sleep. This disgusts Emma, of course. His crude manners, lack of dedication, and waxing figure are all incredibly annoying to her. She talks to Charles, but it is only because she is so bored and must talk to someone.

     Emma begins to neglect her household and herself. Charles' mother is shocked by the change. Emma's father comes to visit and when he leaves, she is relieved. She weeps for the injustice of a world that has kept her from leading an exciting life. Charles believes that she may be ill and need a change of scenery, so Emma begins to drink vinegar to lose weight and develops a little cough. Charles decides to move to a market town called Yonville-l'Abbaye. When they move in March, Emma is pregnant.

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