The Self Destruction Of Characters In Madame

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The Self Destruction Of Characters In Madame Bovar Essay, Research Paper Madame Bovary, as well as Crime and Punishment, can both be seen asexcellent novels. They can also be compared in many ways. Both in MadameBovary and Crime and Punishment there are characters that self-destruct dueto selfish ambitions. A few comparisons between the characters I have chosen,Emma and Marmeladov, include the worshipping of material things; carelessactions; and the harming of those they love. The two characters that I havechosen to compare have both wrecked their families by squandering theirfamilies’ money. This selfish use of money forces other people in the family toraise money any way that they can, to keep the family together. The familiesof both characters end up in a disaster.

Marmeladov is a drunk Russian, who is fired by the government for hisconstant public drunkenness. His family does not trust him and he has nofriends. His “hopeless” life is ruined by his need for hourly intoxication. Hemeets Raskolnikov, the main character, in a bar. In his attempts to gain afriend, he tells Raskolnikov how he stole his family’s only money to go out andget drunk and have a good time. Raskolnikov, along with the reader, thinksthis is senseless. Even Marmeladov begins to question his own actions whenhe says, “Does not my heart ache to think what a useless worm I am?” He sayshe is sorry that he did such a thing and that he needs to go home for he hasnot been home in five days; his starving and deprived family needs him. Raskolnikov shows pity by taking him

home and leaving him with somemoney. Raskolnikov soon learns the seriousness of Marmeladov’s problems whenhe meets Sonia, Marmeladov’s daughter. Sonia, the devout Christian, is ateenage girl whose father is a drunk. She decides that in order to save herfamily she needs to go into prostitution. She is not ashamed of her professionbecause it is a necessary evil. She loves her father though he is selfish. Raskolnikov and others see her as a nice, subservient girl, who would doanything for people she loves. She is the complete opposite of Marmeladov’scharacter. Her father does not seem to be ashamed of the fact that she is aRussian street walker which is very disheartening. The author of Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky, does notshine a particularly good light on all of

these occurrences. As a matter of facthe uses a grating vocabulary in describing Marmeladov’s appearance andpersonality. This critical view of Marmeladov may be due to Dostoevsky’sEastern Orthodox background along with his lower middle class childhood. Itmay also be attributed to the conservative views Dostoevsky clung to afterserving five years in jail. His poor representation of Marmeladov shows hisstrong disapproval of being an alcoholic and a selfish deadbeat. Similarly, Madame Bovary is a story of overindulgence as well as greed. Emma Bovary uses and manipulates anything she can get her hands on. Thisbehavior is evidenced as Emma tricks her parents into leaving her a hugedowry that would last any reasonable person their entire life. She thenmarried Charles Bovary who was

a country doctor. At first Emma is satisfiedwith Charles, but that satisfaction did not last long. She needed more fromhim. He is not as romantic as she liked and he does not spoil her enough. She begins to spend all of his money on herself and her flings. Emma Bovaryis completely selfish in everything she does. In Emma’s search for romanticism and material happiness, she has a fewflings. One of her suitors goes by the name of Leon. He is an immatureyoung man that she takes under her wing in order to develop him into aromantic love maker. She treats him with expensive gifts and takes him onlong coach rides. In the mean time the price tag for all of her gifts begins toaccrue. Her credit with a local merchant adds up, while the dowry her parents se t up for her and her family is