This novel was one of the first of its type to come out of France, and its truth shocked contemporary readers. Condemned on one hand for picturing the life of a romantic adulterer, Flaubert was acclaimed on the other hand for the honesty and skill with which he handled his subject.
Flaubert does not permit Emma Bovary to escape the tragedy she brings on herself. Emma finds diversion from the monotony of her life, but she finds it at the madame bovary analysis essay of her own self-respect.
Baudelaire, however, offered the madame bovary analysis essay defense against this criticism in his acknowledgment that the logic of the work as a whole provides an indictment of the immoral behavior. Rather, he meant that any subject matter, no matter how trivial, could be raised to art by language and pattern. Literary critic Erich Auerbach observed that Flaubert seems simply to pick scenes that are www.proyectoeos.com a precursor of the antinovelist, because of his unwillingness to deal with subject matter in the traditional, narrative manner. Her romantic illusions are, however, not so much the theme of the novel as they are the madame bovary analysis essay example of human madame bovary analysis essay, which is reflected by all the characters.
Charles is trapped csuf thesis manual his complacency as much as Emma is by her vain imaginings.
The surrounding figures, more types than fully developed characters, represent contemporary failures—the irresponsible seducer, the usurer, the inadequate priest, the town rationalist. All are isolated from those around them by their personal obsessions or deficiencies, and all contribute to the overwhelming stagnation that smothers Emma.
The novel can be divided into three parts, each of which is controlled by an action and a dominant image. In the first part, Emma marries Charles; here the dominant image is in her visit to Le Vaubyessard.
- Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert The following entry covers criticism of Flaubert’s novel Madame Bovary from the late s to the present.
- The final greatness of Flaubert’s realism lies in the manner in which he is able to capture the dullness of these middle-class people without making his novel dull.
- Tony Tanner, for example, has argued that “[Emma’s] sickness must be connected to the vagueness of her position in society:
- She is not capable of consciously making such an interpretation.
The marriage is the central fact of her madame bovary analysis essay, while the visit ostensibly provides her with a view of the opulent life she so desperately craves. In the second part of the novel, where she is seduced by the conscienceless landowner Rodolphe, the dominant image is the Comices Agricoles, the elaborate fair with its rustic and vulgar trappings.
To Emma, as she is succumbing to Rodolphe, the Comices Agricoles is the very madame bovary analysis essay of the limitations of her life. She is not capable of consciously making such an interpretation.
If she were, her perception might save her. What she does not realize is that her affair case study at school becomes both church and boudoir, populated not only by images of saints but also by a madame bovary analysis essay of Diane de Poitiers, a notable adulterer.
Once again, Emma reaches out to the grand but is compromised by her own limitations and those of her situation. Love and sexuality rise as the holy man disintegrates. As these complex images recur, they bind together the varieties of stupidity and vanity.
Even more revolutionary than the use of imagery is the point of view, the series of perspectives from which Flaubert narrates the story.
Madame Bovary Critical Essays
He does not assume the stance of the distanced observer but repeatedly shifts the point of view to avail himself of multiple angles of vision. The narrative begins and ends with scenes focused on Charles.
The readers finally return to view the madame bovary analysis essay of the conclusion from the vantage point of this uncomprehending victim. Flaubert presents what they perceive as a means of representing what they fail to perceive.
If Flaubert cannot make tragedy out of these ingredients, he can quite powerfully describe, in his minuscule characters, personal and social frustration on a grand scale.