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Word Count: 1,144
In a modern society where over 50 of marriages result in divorce the concept of true love has dissipated into a mere illusion that few are able to obtain let alone maintain This situation was similarly seen in the late 1800s when people began to realize the detrimental effects of hasty and unstable marriages Authors Gustave Flaubert of Madame Bovary and Emile Zola of Therese Raquin portray this concept through the irresponsible actions and dangerous repercussions resulting from weak and unsuccessful relationships and marriages The two novels follow the central idea of a poorly constructed marriage that eventually collapses because of a lack of true love between the partners It is assumed that marriage entails the consent of the partners who have mutual affection for each other However in both of the novels the characters are quickly coerced into marriage because of obligation or financial reasons and lack a true sense of love In Madame Bovary the approval of marriage is not given by Emma the protagonist herself but rather by her father Emma and Charles have little affection for each other as the time that they spend together is compressed by Charless short periodic visits to her father Nevertheless the father takes it upon himself to marry his daughter off to a person who is reputed to be of steady character thrifty and well educated 46 Thus Emmas opinions toward Charless proposal are completely disregarded and unconsidered This one-sided and hasty relationship is also brought on by Charless instantaneous rebound from his previous marriage Charles free from the constraints and limitations of his former wife quickly becomes attracted to Emma as seen in But Emmas face kept coming back before his eyes 45 His attraction to her is what precipitates the marriage proposal rather than true love This absence of love from the relationship soon creates problems for Emma the superficial wife who has been raised reading about the romance She quickly becomes weary
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