Title: The Lady of the Camellias
(La Dame Aux Camélias)
Author: Alexandre Dumas fils
Theme: Love, Moral
Margaret was a poor girl from the country. She came to Paris for a living, as a prostitute. In her saucy lifestyle, she did not feel truly happy until Armand came into her life. Then Margaret was moved by Armand’s sincere and selfless love, and fell in love with him. Margaret decided to leave the life she had lived for years and to be with Armand. So she went to the country to recuperate with Armand. However, the happy life was always transient. Armand’s father negotiated a deal with Margaret secretly and pleaded with her to leave his son, resorting to morals. Margaret loved Armand so much that she decided to sacrifice herself for Armand’s reputation and his family. After that night, she pretended to betray Armand and became a mistress of another, in order to let Armand return to his father. However, this kind of change was unacceptable to Armand. He did everything he could to insult Margaret, which added fuel to her already deteriorating health. At last, she died of agony, physically and spiritually. Later, Armand began to understand the truth, but it was too late.
Money is a good servant but an evil master.
Men, instead of being content with being freely givenfor long periods what they hardly dared hope to get once, are forever askingtheir mistresses for an account of the present, the past and even the future.As they get used to a mistress, they try to dominate her, and they become allthe more demanding the more they are given.”
I am neither rich enough to love you as I should wish,nor poor enough to love you as you would like. Let us both forget: you, a namewhich must mean very little to you, and I, happiness which has becomeimpossible for me to hear.
To capture a heart unused to attack is like walkinginto an open, undefended city.
The Lady of the Camellias is the first foreign novel translated into Chinese. It is Alexandre Dumas fils’s representative work, which was adapted into operas and films, and caused a great social sensation. Despite the motive of the author, the plot has a poignant and touching force. Margaret’s greatness lies in her sacrifice for love, burdening the guilt of betrayal without hesitation, which seems unbelievable because of her identity. Margaret was just like a beautiful camellia. She could not escape her tragic destiny, like many prostitutes at that time. It wasn’t their faults, the hideous society at that time should be to blame. When I first read this novel, I felt very sorry for their love and wept uncontrollably. But now I think I was too emotional at that time. Man is a social being, he couldn’t live without responsibility and even the convention. In the capitalist society at that time, Armand couldn’t afford Margaret’s life, and he couldn’t live with her, disregarding those worldly prejudices, so he couldn’t give her a secure future. I think it is a possible reason for Margaret to make that decision.
本文作者： ZHOU Xin公眾號： 一起閱讀