Madame Bovary Term Paper

This essay has a total of 550 words and 3 pages.

Madame Bovary


Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary tells the story of a woman's quest to make her life into
a novel. Emma Bovary attempts again and again to escape the ordinariness of her life by
reading novels, daydreaming, moving from town to town, having affairs, and buying
luxurious items. One of the most penetrating debates in this novel is whether Flaubert
takes on a romantic and realistic view. Is he a realist, naturalist, traditionalist, a
romantic, or neither of these in this novel? According to B. F. Bart, Flaubert "was deeply
irritated by those who set up little schools of the Beautiful -- romantic, realistic, or
classical for that matter: there was for him only one Beautiful, with varying aspects..."
(206) Although, Henry James has no doubt that Flaubert combines his techniques and his own
style in order to transform his novel into a work that clearly exhibits romanticism and a
realistic view, despite Bart's arguments. Through the characters actions, especially of
Emma Bovary's, and of imagery the novel shows how Flaubert is a romantic realist.

Flaubert gives Emma, his central character, an essence of helpless romanticism so that it
would express the truth throughout the novel. It is Emma's early education, described for
an entire chapter by Flaubert, that awakens in her a struggle against what she perceives
as confinement. Her education at the convent is the most significant development in the
novel between confinement and escape. Vince Brombert explains "that the convent is Emma's
earliest claustration, and the solitations from the outside world, or through the distant
sound of a belated carriage rolling down the boulevards, are powerful allurements." (383)
Continues for 2 more pages >>




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