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Emma and Meursault were both strangers to society because of passion Emma needed passion in a society that condemned it while Meursault refused passion in a society that promoted itAs early as Part I Chapter 5 Flaubert makes it evident that Emma is searching for passion Before she was married she mistakenly thought she was in love and therefore agreed to the marriage that could not consummate her desire for a passionate lifestyle The world Emma lived in was constantly trying to downplay passion but she was trying to heighten it The people of Tostes where Charles and she first lived would never have understood her need for passion because they only lived to get through the day They did not have extraordinary dreams of knights and love affairs Rather they went to sleep so they could be up early to milk the cow or pluck the chicken She lived in a dull town where people repeated the same boring duties day after day and Charles was content to live like this He did not understand her need for elegance or passion any more than the rest of the people in Tostes She is portrayed as thoughtless and selfish but she is really just bored and unlucky She should have been born into a wealthy family who went to balls every night and lived in Paris Instead she was the daughter of a farmer and now the wife of a man who could not even finish medical school It was not her fault that she needed passion she was born that way She was born with many gifts her beauty her musical sense her intelligence and her emotional depth However she could not use any of these gifts in Tostes or Yonville their second place of residence The poor woman needs passion to survive and when it is not provided she becomes physically ill Flaubert even says She wanted both to die and live in
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