The Kugelmass Episode

by Woody Allen

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What are Emma's values in "The Kugelmass Episode"?

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Emma Bovary is sexually liberated; she expresses little surprise at the appearance of Sidney Kugelmass in her bedroom. She offers him a glass of wine, and they spend the afternoon together kissing and sharing secrets. Emma speaks of her longing to escape her "crass rural existence" and, presumably, her marriage. On Kugelmass's second visit, they become intimate. She longs for excitement and enjoys hearing about Broadway, Hollywood, fast cars, and celebrities. She is rather vapid and values superficial excitements.

When Emma arrives in New York with Kugelmass, she enjoys the luxury of hotel living, and she buys clothing from upscale boutiques, drinks champagne, goes dancing, and ogles celebrities. She likes tourist attractions and small and large luxuries but quickly becomes bored and wants to become an actress. Overall, Emma Bovary seems hedonistic, shallow, and vain in Allen's story.

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In β€œThe Kugelmass Episode,” Emma makes her values known through her actions. It is obvious throughout the story that she values adventure. A strange man shows up in her house and instead of being frightened, she welcomes him and begins a romantic affair with him. During their first day together, she mentions she has always hoped someone would rescue her from β€œthe monotony of this crass rural existence.” It is obvious she finds her current life dull and boring. When she arrives in modern-day New York, she wants to see everything.

Emma also appears to value money and fame. She speaks to Kugelmass about winning an Academy Award. When he brings her to New York, he lavishes her with expensive gifts and takes her to some of the most prestigious places in New York. Her love of adventure, money, and fame certainly outweigh any thoughts she has of her husband and her commitment to him. 

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