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Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Top 10 Best Madame Bovary Quotes

#10

 

Our duty is to feel what is great and love what is beautiful -- not to accept all the social conventions and the infamies they impose on us.

--MADAME BOVARY, Part II, Chapter VIII

 
#9
 

It seemed to her that certain portions of the earth must produce happiness -- as though it were a plant native only to those soils and doomed to languish elsewhere. Why couldn't she be leaning over the balcony of some Swiss chalet? Or nursing her melancholy in a cottage in Scotland, with a husband clad in a long black velvet coat and wearing soft leather shoes, a high-crowned hat and fancy cuffs?

--MADAME BOVARY, Part I, Chapter VII

 
#8
 

Deep down, all the while, she was waiting for something to happen. Like a sailor in distress, she kept casting desperate glances over the solitary waster of her life, seeking some white sail in the distant mists of the horizon. She had no idea by what wind it would reach her, toward what shore it would bear her, or what kind of craft it would be – tiny boat or towering vessel, laden with heartbreaks or filled to the gunwhales with rapture. But every morning when she awoke she hoped that today would be the day; she listened for every sound, gave sudden starts, was surprised when nothing happened; and then, sadder with each succeeding sunset, she longed for tomorrow.

--MADAME BOVARY, Part I, Chapter IX

 
#7
 

Even as they were brought closer together by the details of daily life, she was separated from him by a growing sense of inward detachment. Charles' conversation was flat as a sidewalk, a place of passage for the ideas of everyman; they wore drab everyday clothes, and they inspired neither laughter nor dreams.

--MADAME BOVARY, Part I, Chapter VII

 
#6
 

First he anointed her eyes, once so covetous of all earthly luxuries; then her nostrils, so gluttonous of caressing breezes and amorous scents; then her mouth, so prompt to lie, so defiant in pride, so loud in lust; then her hands that had thrilled to voluptuous contacts; and finally the soles of her feet, once so swift when she had hastened to slake her desires, and now never to walk again.

--MADAME BOVARY, Part III, Chapter VIII

 
#5
 

Poor little thing! She's gasping for love like a carp on a kitchen table gasping for water.

--MADAME BOVARY, Part II, Chapter VII

 
#4
 

At last she was going to know the joys of love, the fever of the happiness she had despaired of. She was entering a marvelous realm where all would be passion, ecstasy, rapture: she was in the midst of an endless blue expanse, scaling the glittering heights of passion; everyday life had receded, and lay far below, in the shadows between those peaks.

--MADAME BOVARY, Part II, Chapter IX

 
#3
 

None of us can ever express the exact measure of his needs or his thoughts or his sorrows ... human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars.

--MADAME BOVARY, Part II, Chapter XII

 
#2
 

Her life was as cold as an attic facing north; and boredom, like a silent spider, was weaving its web in the shadows, in every corner of her heart.

--MADAME BOVARY, Part I, Chapter VII

 
#1
 

Future joys are like tropic shores: out into the immensity that lies before them they waft their native softness, a fragrant breeze that drugs the traveler into drowsiness and makes him careless of what awaits him on the horizon beyond his view.

--MADAME BOVARY, Part II, Chapter III

 
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