Emma Bovary: I realized that before getting married I was contemplating my coming life like a child. In a theater, um… sitting there in high spirits, and eagerly waiting for the play to begin. It was a blessing in my early youth that I did not know what was really going to happen. When I look back now, it seems that I was like an innocent prisoner, condemned not to death, but to life, and as-yet unconscious of what the sentence meant. And the longer I live, the more clearly I feel that on a whole, life’s a disappointment
Bonddottern Emma blir bortgift med den unge läkaren Charles Bovary, men snart tröttnar hon på det vardagliga livet i byn. Hon längtar efter romantik och ett mer meningsfullt liv, vilket leder till utomäktenskapliga affärer som ger tillfällig lycka.