Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version | MonkeyNotes
CHAPTERS 3 AND 4
For Emma and Leon, the three days in Rouen are like "a real honeymoon." They stay in an expensive hotel room, behind closed shutters (like a tomb), sipping iced fruit drinks in the morning. In the evening, they hire a boat that takes them to an island to have dinner, and the boatman tells about a lively party of people whom he'd taken to the islands a few days before. One of the party, "a tall, handsome man, named Adolphe or Dodolphe" kept everyone amused. Emma, certain that he's referring to Rodolphe, shudders at the thought of her former lover.
When they part, Emma instructs Leon to write her. He assures her that the legal matters will be taken care of, but that he can't understand why she's so anxious to obtain a power of attorney.
One day, longing to see Emma, Leon leaves his office and travels to Yonville. Emma isn't home, but the next night, in the middle of a thunderstorm, they meet in the garden. Emma promises Leon that she'll devise a plan that will enable them to see each other more frequently. Meanwhile, her relationship with Lheureux has become more complicated. She continues to spend freely, assuming that the inheritance from Charles' father will cover her bills. During the winter, she pretends to develop an interest in music, and since Charles encourages her, she suggests that she take piano lessons. This means taking private lessons each week in Rouen, and Charles agrees to the plan.
As Emma plunges deeper into her affair with Leon, she also incurs greater debts in order to support this life-style. Ironically, her love affair requires money, not just dreams, to support it. Otherwise, Emma would be unable to make the trips to Rouen. But she and Charles have no money and will soon be bankrupt. This financial condition is merely a reinforcement of Emma's "bankrupt" love affair with Leon. It also reminds you of Emma's participation in the bourgeois world that she pretends to despise.