Charles POV

It was about this time, that is to say, the beginning of winter, that Emma seemed seized with great musical fervor.

One evening I read and she suddenly stopped playing. I said: “Bravo! Very good! You are wrong to stop. Go on!”

She refused, stating vexatiously that her playing was execrable and her fingers quite rusty.

The next day I begged her to play something for me again. She agreed to do so only, she said, to please me.

I had to confess that she had done off a little. She played wrong notes and blundered; then, stopping short she said she ought to take lessons. Twenty francs a lesson, she said, and admitted that’s too dear.

That caught me by surprise, and I admit to giggling a bit stupidly and agreeing that it was – rather.

“But,” I said, “it seems to me that one might be able to do it for less; for there are artists of no reputation, and who are often better than the celebrities.”

“Find them!” she demanded.

How obstinate my wife is sometimes! I told her so the next day before revealing I had gone to Barfucheres and Madame Liegard assured me that her three young ladies who are at La Misericorde have lessons at fifty sous apiece, and that from an excellent mistress.

She shrugged her shoulders, obviously not impressed, and continued to avoid her piano. She would pass it by and sigh – “Ah! My poor piano!”

Whenever there were visitors, she did not fail to inform them she had given up music, and could not begin again for important reasons. Then people commiserated with him and even spoke with me directly about it. They put me to shame, especially the chemist.

“You are wrong. One should never let any of the faculties of nature lie fallow. Besides, just think, my good friend, that by inducing madame to study; you are economising on the subsequent musical education of your child. For my own part, I think that mothers ought themselves to instruct their children. That is an idea of Rousseau’s, still rather new perhaps, but that will end by triumphing, I am certain of it, like mothers nursing their own children and vaccination.”

So I returned once more to this question of the piano. Emma replied that it would be better to sell it. Could her vanity be so connected to a piano? I was further shamed, and capitulated.

“If you liked,” I told her, “a lesson from time to time, that wouldn’t after all be very ruinous.”

“But lessons,” she replied, “are only of use when followed up.”

And thus it was that Emma began to go to town once a week for piano lessons. At the end of a month I considered her to have made considerable progress.

Emma POV

It was about this time, that is to say, the beginning of winter, that I embarked on my campaign to convince Charles of my great musical fervor.

One evening when Charles was listening to me, I began the same piece four times, each time with much vexation, while he, apparently not noticing any difference, cried-

“Bravo! Very good! You are wrong to stop. Go on!”

“Oh, no; it is execrable! My fingers are quite rusty,” I protested, determined he should hear my deficiencies.

The next day he begged me to play him something again.

“Very well; to please you!” I demurred.

And Charles confessed I had gone off a little. Even he could hear the wrong notes I played and blundered.

I stopped short, “Ah! It is no use. I ought to take some lessons; but-“ I bit my lips and added, “Twenty francs a lesson, that’s too dear!”

“Yes, so it is-rather,” said Charles, giggling stupidly. “But it seems to me that one might be able to do it for less; for there are artists of no reputation, and who are often better than the celebrities.”

“Find them!” I exclaimed.

The next day he looked at me-dare I say it?- shyly, and at last, as if losing a fight to hold back the words, spoke.

“How obstinate you are sometimes! I went to Barfucheres today. Well, Madame Liegard assured me that her three young ladies who are at La Misericorde have lessons at fifty sous apiece, and that from an excellent mistress.”

What to do! Excellent mistress, indeed!

I shrugged my shoulders and did not open the piano again. But I was not defeated. Whenever Charles was close, I made it my habit to walk past and sigh, “Ah! My poor piano!”

Whenever visitors came, I made it a point to inform them I had given up music, and could not begin again for important reasons. I can still hear their commiserations –

“What a pity! She had so much talent!”

I was on the verge of giving up my quest when Charles returned once more to the question of the piano.

“It would be better to sell it!” I complained bitterly, knowing I was taking a risk. This piano had given me so much, so satisfied my vanity, to see it go was like killing part of myself.

Charles said he had spoken of my talent to others and had been put to shame, especially by the chemist, who he quoted in laborious detail and finally said what I had been waiting to hear – that a lesson from time to time wouldn’t be very ruinous.

With joy in my heart but humility on my face, I responded: “But lessons are only of use when followed up.”

And thus it was I set about obtaining my husband’s permission to go to town once a week to see my lover. At the end of a month I was even considered to have made considerable progress.

Instructor Response

Charles POV

It was about this time, that is to say, the beginning of winter, that Emma seemed seized with great musical fervor.

One evening I read and she suddenly stopped playing. I said: “Bravo! Very good! You are wrong to stop. Go on!”

 She refused, stating vexatiously that her playing was execrable and her fingers quite rusty.

The next day I begged her to play something for me again. She agreed to do so only, she said, to please me.

I had to confess that she had done off a little. She played wrong notes and blundered; then, stopping short she said she ought to take lessons. Twenty francs a lesson, she said, and admitted that’s too dear.

That caught me by surprise, and I admit to giggling a bit stupidly and agreeing that it was – rather. Nicely done!

“But,” I said, “it seems to me that one might be able to do it for less; for there are artists of no reputation, and who are often better than the celebrities.”

“Find them!” she demanded.

How obstinate my wife is sometimes! I told her so the next day before revealing I had gone to Barfucheres and Madame Liegard assured me that her three young ladies who are at La Misericorde have lessons at fifty sous apiece, and that from an excellent mistress.

She shrugged her shoulders, obviously not impressed, and continued to avoid her piano. She would pass it by and sigh – “Ah! My poor piano!” Yes.

Whenever there were visitors, she did not fail to inform them she had given up music, and could not begin again for important reasons. Then people commiserated with him her and even spoke with me directly about it. They put me to shame, especially the chemist.

“You are wrong. One should never let any of the faculties of nature lie fallow. Besides, just think, my good friend, that by inducing madame to study; you are economising economizing on the subsequent musical education of your child. For my own part, I think that mothers ought themselves to instruct their children. That is an idea of Rousseau’s, still rather new perhaps, but that will end by triumphing, I am certain of it, like mothers nursing their own children and vaccination.”

So I returned once more to this question of the piano. Emma replied that it would be better to sell it. Could her vanity be so connected to a piano? I was further shamed, and capitulated. Yes. You were right to delete the “indefinable suicide” part. It wouldn’t work well in Bovary’s point of view, not seem credible at least.

“If you liked,” I told her, “a lesson from time to time, that wouldn’t after all be very ruinous.”

“But lessons,” she replied, “are only of use when followed up.”

And thus it was that Emma began to go to town once a week for piano lessons. At the end of a month I considered her to have made considerable progress. 

Excellent.

Emma POV

It was about this time, that is to say, the beginning of winter, that I embarked on my campaign to convince Charles of my great musical fervor.

One evening when Charles was listening to me, I began the same piece four times, each time with much vexation, while he, apparently not noticing any difference, cried-

“Bravo! Very good! You are wrong to stop. Go on!”

“Oh, no; it is execrable! My fingers are quite rusty,” I protested, determined he should hear my deficiencies.

The next day he begged me to play him something again.

“Very well; to please you!” I demurred.

And Charles confessed I had gone off a little. Even he could hear the wrong notes I played and blundered.

I stopped short, “Ah! It is no use. I ought to take some lessons; but-“ I bit my lips and added, “Twenty francs a lesson, that’s too dear!” Yes.

“Yes, so it is-rather,” said Charles, giggling stupidly. “But it seems to me that one might be able to do it for less; for there are artists of no reputation, and who are often better than the celebrities.

“Find them!” I exclaimed.

The next day he looked at me-dare I say it?- shyly, and at last, as if losing a fight to hold back the words, spoke. Yes.

“How obstinate you are sometimes! I went to Barfucheres today. Well, Madame Liegard assured me that her three young ladies who are at La Misericorde have lessons at fifty sous apiece, and that from an excellent mistress.”

What to do! Excellent mistress, indeed! Yes.

I shrugged my shoulders and did not open the piano again. But I was not defeated. Whenever Charles was close, I made it my habit to walk past and sigh, “Ah! My poor piano!”

Whenever visitors came, I made it a point to inform them I had given up music, and could not begin again for important reasons. I can still hear their commiserations –

“What a pity! She had so much talent!” Well done.

I was on the verge of giving up my quest when Charles returned once more to the question of the piano.

“It would be better to sell it!” I complained bitterly, knowing I was taking a risk. This piano had given me so much, so satisfied my vanity, to see it go was like killing part of myself. Yes.

Charles said he had spoken of my talent to others and had been put to shame, especially by the chemist, who he quoted in laborious detail and finally said what I had been waiting to hear – that a lesson from time to time wouldn’t be very ruinous.

With joy in my heart but humility on my face, I responded: “But lessons are only of use when followed up.”

And thus it was I set about obtaining my husband’s permission to go to town once a week to see my lover. At the end of a month I was even considered to have made considerable progress.

      

Comment. The purpose of this assignment is primarily to practice POV but also show the effects of choosing a point of view that might not serve. My compliments. You’ve deftly change the POVs. For me, in Emma’s POV the effect of the irony is diminished, or at least changed. The take home is not be afraid to change POVs when you can without loosing story credibility or loosing effective characterizations. All this becomes more difficult when in 1st person POV, where you are limited to the “I” narrator delivery. I know you’re aware of this but I say it to urge you to examine in some detail POV of any story for effectiveness, even late in revision. And as you picked up, in any POV for any story, dialogue is spoken from the point of view of the speaker. And it is important to learn to create dialogue that is specific in voice (not necessarily dialect) and perception of the dialogue speaker.

All the best in your writing and thanks for the submission. WHC

References:

https://www.storyinliteraryfiction.com/essays-on-writing/perception-in-literary-fiction-a-challenge-for-better-narration/

https://www.storyinliteraryfiction.com/essays-on-writing/narration-literary-stories/

https://www.storyinliteraryfiction.com/essays-on-writing/dialogue/

  1. Sorry to be so late to respond; your notice went to my spam folder. Thank you for the thoughtful comments. I look forward to more exercises.

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