I read the Chinese version of “Camille” a few years ago. At that time I was deeply moved by the main character Marguerite Gautier. “Camille” or “The Lady of the Camellias” by Alexandre Dumas, fils, is the story of Marguerite Gautier, a young courtesan, or kept woman, in Paris in the mid 1800's, and how she falls in love with a young man, Armand Duval, and then tries to escape from her questionable past. Unfortunately, it comes back to haunt her and she ends up returning to that life and dies painfully and alone, but with the knowledge that she was a noble woman at heart. When I first began to read the book, I did not care for Marguerite or her attitude or lifestyle, but as I got further into the narrative, I realized that her saucy attitude was a front to cover the lonely woman that she really was. She felt used, abused and unloved, until the gentle Armand Duval came into her life and showed her that he loved her as a person and not for what she could do for him. It must have taken great courage for Marguerite to leave the life she had lived for so long, knowing all along that it was probably too good to be true and would not last indefinitely. And it also showed that Marguerite really loved Armand Duval for she could even change herself for him.
However, happiness didn’t last for long. When M. Duval, Armand's father, came to her, pleading for her to leave Armand to save both Armand's reputation and that of his younger innocent sister, Marguerite saw a way to become pure of heart, if not in body. She felt that it was her duty, because she loved Armand so much, to do this even though it meant giving up her own happiness and hurting Armand temporarily. She reluctantly returned to her former life, knowing that some day Armand would forgive her. Sadly, she died in debt and basically alone, except for her one female friend, Julie Duprat, who helped her during her illness. She had her journal sent to Armand after her death, explaining why she had made the choices she had. I think Dumas's last few lines about Marguerite being the exception, not the rule were quite true, and I also agreed with his view that while her lifestyle could not be condoned, we as a society assume that all of these type of women are cold and heartless, while this may not always be the case. A person can make the wrong choices in life when they are young, and try to redeem themselves, but sometimes past situations prevent them from changing their lives, even though they desperately wish to do so. This applies to both men and women in many different types of circumstances: involvement in crime; drug or alcohol abuse; gambling; prostitution; financial problems; poor marriage choices; etc. And this is the fact, which exists in the whole society.
As far as the other characters in the book, I think Marguerite was right in saying that no one truly cared about her, but only wanted something from her, the only exceptions being Armand and Julie Duprat. Of course, the Comte de G. and Comte de N. wanted her body and appearance. The Duke needed to “wake up and smell the coffee” and realize that she could never replace his dead daughter. If he truly cared, he could have helped her leave her lifestyle without “keeping” her himself. And lastly, Prudence was a blood-sucking leech who used Marguerite almost worse than the men. I also think she was jealous of the fact that Marguerite had so much more courage than herself and someone truly loved her.
Last morning, when tiding my bookshelf, I took this book out of the shelf, and a dried flower flew away from the book. It was pale blue, very transparent, with thin fine veins. a dried flower flew away from the book. It was pale blue, very transparent, with thin fine veins. I held it against the morning light and blew on it. The soft breeze carried it away. Camille is just like the camellia, she could never escape from the destiny of withering. But it wasn’t her fault; it’s because of the evil of Capitalism and the hideousness of that society.
Suddenly, I remembered a saying: “Women are like the flowers”。 Those pretty women are like those beautiful flowers; their delicate beauty makes people feel they are the miracle of life. However, even the God envies their beauty. It seems that beautiful women always have tragic endings. As we are normal persons, even we can see the hideousness of humanity that results in their fate of withering, we can at most ask quietly in our hearts: Where have those beautiful flowers gone? Where have they gone?
If a woman has even a tiny sense of dignity, she must shoulder any number of sacrifices rather than have her love varnished with venal character by asking for money from her lover. Extravagances, luxury as well as all other empery pleasures are valuelein front of love. As long as you love me, I ask for nothing else. xzhufu
-------Marguerite（La Dame Aux Camellias）
Whenever I lingered over the magnificant story, I cannot help deeply touched by the bitterly sweet love, which struck the world as gentle as an April shower, as pure as a blowing snow, as heady as an old wine. It condensed a paradise into a kept woman’s heart, which caught and held us transfixed against prejudice in mind and greed in nature, , and provided a journey that brought home to us a comprehensive understanding of love.
Marguerite, as a kept woman,did not undergo the usual penalty of confronting wrinkles appeared under her eyes, the first death of a courtesans, but was endowed enough fortune to enjoy an unselfish and gorgeous love during her ephemeral life, witch came as a wonderful oasis to lead supply a new prospect in a disparate desert, appeared as a miracle medication to heal her wound in the sinful life, figured as a brisk spring to refresh and revitalize her lonely heart, and emerged as a great beacon of courage to kill all her bad habits in the past and make a firm determination to seek for a peaceful but fantastic life with her loved one.
Lingering between the words, we could completely feel how kind and dignified she was. She refused Armond although she knew he was really loved her with his soul. because of her gloomy despair of life, she did not turn up in his life as a figure who was sad, ill, gay with a giant sadder than grief, besides witch, who spit blood and spent a hundred thousand francs in a year. Touching this words, how can we avoid our zealous sympathy for her? She bickered with the marquis and drove him away from her family, because she hated and refused to be treated as merchandise. Touching her deeds, how could we deny our high respect for her? At last, she renounced all her hope and life just because another woman’s name. What she e although you may get hurt, but it is the only way you can live absolutely. But what she experienced, what she faced and what she did made her a real sublime angle and an eternal ideal woman in people’ heart.
However, no matter what devout wish, no matter what gorgeous love, or no matter what strong struggle, the society was so stone stubborn that it would never show any mercy for a kept woman. Just as Armond said, when God allow a kept woman to accept a real love, it is indeed a grant comfort, but also remorselepunishment, for the man holds the cruel authority to say to his lover, “ Your love is just a kind of commodity”， though the woman had devoted all her heart and spirits to her loves. It cannot denied that it was Marguerite’s joyous fortune to have Armond in her poor destiny, but at the same time, it is also have to be admitted that what a hopeletorture she tolerated and what a disappointed suffering she endured at the last part of her life. It was really too much to her. We even cannot tell what kind our feeling soared inside our bosom, but just happy with her, sad with her, waiting with her, wishing with her, and disappointed with her……
shall we criticize Armond for his foolish and brute deed to Marguerite as he got the same hurt by his horrible vengeance? Shall we condemn Armond, father for his selfish monologue which destroys the kind woman’s dream? Shall we judge the motionlemerchant and policemen’s actions before the dying woman?
Through the whole story, qiqitu.com we could feel that Maguerite pardon all of them. After tearing running down faces countless, and respect rising high in heart and soul, the conclusion seems so obvious: what ruined Marguerite is not Armond, and he never betrayed Marguerite, but the society. There was a slim chance for a kept woman to gain happineat that epoch; they had to come to the same end in different ways.
To every woman, life is not all roses. In spite of bias, despoilment or hardship, love itself is universal. Marguerite really lives an abundant life, for she really appreciated a comprehensive love in her limited life journey.
So, love srongly and passionately, although you may get deeply hurt, but it is the only way that you live completely.
Best wishes for love, and best wishes for loved ones.