Free example essay on Madame Bovary:
Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary is often considered as the first realistic novel. As the reader follows the catastrophic search of a woman for love out of dissatisfaction in her marriage, it becomes apparent why.
Flaubert’s work of realistic contains many characters. The main one is Emma Bovary, better known as Madame Bovary from the title. Emma is a country girl educated in a covenant who marries Charles Bovary at a young age. She harbors idealistic romantic illusions, covets sophistication, sensuality, and passion. She appears to immerse into fits of boredom and depression when her life falls to match that of the ones she idolizes through novels. Emma’s desire for passion and her reflection of marriage lead her into one affair after another. Her husband, Charles Bovary, is a simple, kind, yet a dull country doctor. His lack of skill at his profession leads him to amount into nothing more than a mediocre doctor who can only manage simple cases. Charles holds nothing but love in his heart for Emma. She seems to hold as much, perhaps more, control as his mother. Despite his love for her, he doesn’t seem to understand Emma. His adoration for her causes him to act with innocence. Charles even fails to detect her extramarital affairs, which are so poorly concealed. Both Charles’s naivetй and Emma’s quest for pleasure.
Madame Bovary revolves around Emma’s wishes for romantic love, wealth, and social status that she cannot attain because of her marriage to a middle-class doctor. Fresh out of a covenant at a young age, she accepts Charles Bovary’s hand in marriage. However, marriage doesn’t live up to Emma’s romantic expectations. She had dreamed of love and marriage as a solution to all her problems. After she attends an extravagant ball, she begins to dream constantly of a more sophisticated life. Emma is unable to accept the world as it is, but she cannot make the world as she wants it to be. Flaubert’s portrayal of the ball and the events that follow displays the ironic contrast between Emma’s experience and reality. He conveys both the external reality of how Emma looks as the ball as well the psychological reality of how the ball looks to Emma. She is so happy at the ball that she fails to realize that no on e at the ball is even paying any attention to her. In fact, she continues to overlook the well-meaning love of her good-natured but vapid husband in favor of her memories of the ball. Not only does she not return her husband’s love, Emma grows more and more irritated with his poor manners and dullness. As her restlessness, boredom, and depression intensify, she becomes physically ill. In an effort to cure her, Charles decide they should move. While packing, Emma throws her dried bridal bouquet into the fire and watches it burn. This symbolizes her rejection of her marriage and the complacent middle-class world in which it has, to her mind, imprisoned her. Emma’s prejudiced eyes intensify Flaubert’s realist attention to the detail. The details of Charles’s oafishness and Emma’s dull daily routine emphasize the realistic mode the novel has switched onto.
In her new home, Yonville, new characters are introduced. A pompous, obnoxious apothecary, Homais, greets the newly arrived Bovarys. Though Homais in not central to the plot, he is an essential part of its atmosphere. His presence serves to heighten our sense of Emma’s frustration with her life. Another character, Leon, is a law clerk. Emma and Leon immediately become close friends due to their shared interest in romantic preconceptions and sentimental novels. The superficiality of Emma’s romanticism becomes clear in her interactions with Leon. Emma’s conversation with Leon at dinner is trite and sentimental but to them, it seems rapturous and meaningful. She is able to challenge her stable yet unsatisfying marriage with a relationship based on falsely profound declarations rather than true sentiment.
Soon after the move to Yonville, Emma bears a daughter, Berthe. The birth of her daughter underlines the materialism of her sentiments, but it also introduces some of the novels’ feminist arguments. Emma desires to be a maternal figure only when the role might be glamorous. However, when she realizes that she can’t buy expensive items for the baby, her interest fades. Furthermore, Emma’s hopes were of a son. She believed that a male child could have had the power she lacks.
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