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The male who conquers and protects his territory, the representative a whole social class: the bourgeoisie, the predator and the opportunist, this is how the pharmacist of Yonville, omais, one of the most despicable characters in Flaubert's novel, Mme Bovary, can be described in short.
As the best suited character for a battle between classes, omais triumphs over everything. With omais, Flaubert succeeded to create the essence of what his most famous protagonist, Emma Bovary, hated along her entire existence.
omais is the central figure in a hall of shame of human existence. e is the man who does not hesitate to harm others for his own sake, the man who seeks glory without having the slightest shred of worthiness in himself, the man who walks on dead bodies on his was to an undeserved glory. Flaubert makes us of his incisive irony until the last words of…
Homais' own explanatory support for the reasons he should be awarded the Medal of Honor are presented in an even more ironic manner. The only thing related to this profoundly amoral character that deserves admiration is his stubbornness to get that medal. The medal is the symbol of his complete success, the recognition of his life achievements that although highly questionable, are nonetheless worthy of praise in his own eyes. He deceives himself and the whole public opinion he relies on for his success to the point where he even gets the Medal of Honor. This is the biggest irony of all since that medal should be awarded for bravery, for outstanding merits outside the line of duty, for exceptional capacities and for exceptional deeds.
Since Homais eventually got the Medal of Honor, the society that made possible his existence appears to fall into derision. If Homais is publicly recognized as an outstanding, out of the ordinary, brave man, that means that the rest of his ordinary countrymen are worthy of everyone's despise. The great qualities of life, the guarantee to succeed appear to be: deception, lies, manipulation and lack of respect for life in general as long as it does not provide any direct benefits to the person him or herself. Everything about Homais is ironic and the best writer to come up with such a character was Flaubert.
Flaubert, G. Madame Bovary: Life in a Country Town. 1998. Gerard Hopkins; Oxford University Press
Denied marriage, the only other societal option is suicide. Society is the agent of her demise, not Lilly: "her life is not unpleasant until a chain of events destroys her with the thoroughness and indifference of a meat grinder."
Goetz, Thomas H. "Flaubert, Gustave." orld Book Online Reference Center. 2006. [1
Oct 2006] http://www.aolsvc.worldbook.aol.com/wb/Article?id=ar200180.
Biographical overview, provides insight into Flaubert's role as a uniquely realistic writer, thus stressing Emma's economic and moral ruin not as extraordinary, but ordinary.
The House of Mirth." Directed by Terrence Davies. 2000.
This film version takes a slightly feminist reading of Lily's suicide, stressing the aspects of harton's novel that imply that middle class women have few venues for self-expression, other than in marriage. Rather than delicate and retiring, Gillian Anderson portrays Lily as strong, and actively makes the unfortunate decisions that result in her social ostracism.
Inness, Sherrie. a. "An economy of beauty: the…
Wagner-Martin, Linda. "Wharton, Edith." World Book Online Reference Center. 2006.
Oct 2006] http://www.aolsvc.worldbook.aol.com/wb/Article?id=ar600060.
Overview of Wharton's life, with interesting reminder in light of Lily's despair over not being able to earn enough money through, work, that Wharton supported her own husband financially during their marriage.
Her spleen seems to spring from an almost metaphysic lassitude with life. Emma is never satisfied, and for her, as Flaubert puts it, no pleasure was good enough, there was always something missing. If Emma cannot kiss her lovers without wishing for a greater delight, it is obvious that she cannot cling to anything real, but only to the ideal dreams. She desperately tries to find a responsible for her own unhappiness, without realizing that the tragedy comes from within herself, from her discontent with the real world:
But on whom could she pin the responsibility for her unhappiness? here was the extraordinary catastrophe which had turned her life upside down? She raised her head and looked about her, as though seeking the cause of all her suffering." (Flaubert, 155)
Significantly, Emma is incapable of finding any delight in her lover for example, and prefers to spend her…
Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary: Life in a Country Town. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Thornton, Lawrence. The Fairest of Them All: Modes of Vision in Madame Bovary," in PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association. Vol. 93. No. 5.1978, p. 982-91.
The whole of the sequence leads one to believe that Charles is so daft that he would put his own life, not only his reputation on the line if Emma believed that it should be so. Charles from this point forward in the work becomes a piteous example of a spineless fool, and Emma likes him even less for it and therefore becomes even more distant.
hen Emma begins her infatuation with Leon, at first she is able to control her desire to become his lover, though others clearly notice her favoritism of him and assume that such is the case. Charles ignores many of his wife's detractors in the community and even goes without questioning her extravagant gift giving to Leon, he sees no real danger just an innocent infatuation. After Leon leaves unrequited, Emma is seduced by the cad Rudolphe and proceeds to have a long sordid affair…
Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary: Life in a Country Town. Trans. Lowell Bair New York: Bantam Classics, 2005.
There is a feminine side to his masculinity, that is, and this passage shows that Emma has an equal share in this dichotomy.
Hours after she is back at home, after Charles has left her alone in the house to attend to something, Emma shuts herself in her room to contemplate her experience and her joy. It is here that the realization of her own feminine power, and the active and "masculine" side that it possess, comes fully and explicitly to light: "when she looked in the mirror, she was startled by her own face. Never had she had eyes so large, so black, so mysterious. Something subtle, transfiguring, was surging through her" (150). The blackness and mysteriousness associated with her face through the narrator's description of her thoughts is highly symbolic of the feminine receptiveness, while the force "surging through her" is more evocative of masculine entrance and movement.…
Flaubert's novel also presents an overwhelming dissatisfaction over the French bourgeoisie at that time through the eyes and in the person of Emma. She only reflects the aspirations of her time for refinement and sophistication of the higher social classes where she desires to belong. Those of her class do not have the wealth and nobility of those in higher levels. Those above are materialistic, indulgent and wasteful without discrimination. That is how Emma wants her life to be like. She wants to be indulgent and wanton like them but she does not have their means and so she borrows money indiscriminately until she can no longer come to terms with it. The pain of abandonment by the men who seem to give her personal importance, a frustrating marriage, a demanding motherhood to erthe, utter financial insolvency and a total disillusionment with her personal limitations all combine to push her…
Flaubert, Gustave. Hall, Geoffrey, trans. Madame Bovary (1857). Paperback. Oxford World's Classics, June 2, 2005
At last! My darling is recovered, and she seems almost back to her old, dear self, with an increased passion for her religion, I notice.
Tuesday - My darling, I cannot believe you have left me. Devastated and alone, I fear that your creditors will be the death of me, as well. You would not know your home, Emma, as I have had to sell almost everything in order to pay your debts. I lack the will to work, or even to remove myself from what once was such a happy home. I found your letters, you know, and I finally recognize what you truly thought of me. Was I so horrible a husband that you were forced to have affairs with other men? Could I never satisfy you or make you happy? I think not, and the thought fills me with despair and self-loathing. I saw odolphe, you know,…
Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary: Life in a Country Town. Trans. Gerard Hopkins. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
It seems to her, says Flaubert, that her being, rising toward God, is going to be annihilated in love like burning incense that dissipates in vapor. But her response during this phenomenon remains curiously erotic... The waving of the green palm leaves relates this scene to the previous scenes of sexual seduction. (Duncan para, 5)
At times, the green in the novel moves from springtime to the idea of the presence of Satan, the Tempter, coming into Emma's Garden of Eden with blandishments to sin. Earlier in the novel, Emma's relative tranquility is interrupted by the appearance of a stranger wearing green and carrying a green box. This is Lheureux, "an eruption of the occult in the dismal stagnation of provincial life" (Duncan para. 9). Lheureux is a man with no clear origins and the only outsider in the community. He also serves to bring two of the Seven Deadly…
Bersani, Leo. "Flaubert and Emma Bovary: The Hazards of Literary Fusion." Novel: A Forum on Fiction (Fall 1974), 16-28.
Bourdieu, Pierre. The Field of Cultural Production. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993.
Bowie, Malcolm. "Introduction to Madame Bovary: Provincial Manners." Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Russel Whitaker and Kathy D. Darrow. Vol. 185. Detroit: Gale, 2007.
Brombert, Victor. The Novels of Flaubert: A Study of Theme and Technique.
For good or for bad, as people get older they learn that real life is not a romantic movie plot. How often is it that boy meets girl, girl and boy fall in love and walk into the sunset for the rest of their lives? The boy and girl may meet and fall in love, but what life is happy ever after forever? With the love and happiness in life come different amounts of disappointment, illness and pain. In fact, that is what makes the special smaller moments in life so special. The realist understands that accepting the good means accepting the frustrations as well. Because Emma never understood this human reality, she could not cope and decided to search for everlasting romanticism in life after death. Her mistaken view of life eventually leads not only to her death, but also to that of Charles, who unrealistically continues…
Charles' mother is a kind of reverse image of Emma -- she believes that all fantasy is wrong, but even though Flaubert cannot sympathize with her ideas entirely, there is truth to the idea that Emma needs some sort of work and occupation. Emma is kept like an ornament, and as she is bored, she has time to fantasize and feel frustrated with the pointlessness and limits of her life -- which is why she exclaims: "what does it all matter?" Madame Bovary senior's advice for Emma to work also could be rather proto-feministic, rather than just anti-romantic, and unlike Emma's spending, Flaubert does not present this part of her advice as ironically as Emma's spending and lounging around in fake 'Oriental' clothing.
Flaubert, even though he often presents Charles humorously, also shows sympathy for him in this passage. Charles is a doctor and believes that physically treating people's illnesses…
Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. Complete e-text available March 30, 2009 at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2413/2413-h/2413-h.htm
In any case, fate has sadly a very negative air about it in Madame Bovary.
The most important use of Fate is acknowledged by the narrator in the novel. It is when Charles says that Fate is to blame for it had willed it this way. "[Charles] even made a phrase, the only one he'd ever made: 'Fate willed it this way'" (Flaubert 255). Flaubert's emphasis on the use of fate makes our assertion about role of fate even more certain. Fate acts as the force that brings Falubert's characters to their roots and doesn't let them break free. Thibaudet discusses the use of fate in the novel:
The development of the action, in Madame Bovary, does not occur by a simple succession of events but by the concentric expansion of a theme [...] the process reflects the very motion of fate. e call 'fated' a development that was already…
Thibaudet, Albert. "Madame Bovary." Trans. Paul de Man. Madame Bovary Backgrounds and Sources Essays in Criticism. Ed. Paul de Man. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1965. 371-383.
Madame Bovary Backgrounds and Sources Essays in Criticism. Ed. Paul de Man. New York:
W.W. Norton & Company, 1965.
Charles in Madame Bovary
Charles in Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary represents a provincial archetype -- in fact, the exact sort of common countryside provincialism that his wife Emma comes to resent, find banal, and from which seek to escape. Yet, it is exactly this provincialism that allows Charles to remain grounded in his work and life: his "common sense" as it might be called keeps him, essentially, from becoming a "jealous type." hether Emma (and the reader) would have benefited more had Charles become such a type, we may not say, but neither is it the course of the narrative to show. This paper will examine the precise reasons why Charles shows no human jealousy of Emma, even as she begins her adulterous way of living.
e can, to a certain degree, better understand Emma than we can Charles. Emma at least represents for us the modern consciousness -- bored,…
Amann, Elizabeth. Importing Madame Bovary. NY: Palgrave MacMillan, 2006. Print.
Anderson, John P. Flaubert's Madame Bovary: The Zen Novel. USA: Universal
Publishers, 2004. Print.
Aveling, Eleanor Marx. "Introduction to Madame Bovary." Madame Bovary. London:
Flaubert Madame Bovary
Realism came as a counter balance for romanticism. It came up "against all formalized and aestheticized images of things" ((Nineteenth-century literary realism: through the looking-glass, p.3). With the hindsight one has today, realism appears as a highly formalized art, but at the time it developed it fit the criteria for a movement that did not fit the canons previously imposed by the art of writing. The French literature in the nineteenth century was the first to make way for a new movement, a reaction and also a natural sequence to romanticism. atherine earns admits that realist fiction is an oxymoron, but she points out that although objectivity is the main concern of the writer who chooses realism for his work, there are no identical two accounts on reality since it depends on each accountant's point-of-view. Historically and geographically, realism can be traced as having originated in France,…
Kearns. Katherine. Nineteenth-century literary realism: through the looking-glass. Cambridge University Press, 1996
Porter, Laurence M.; Gray, Eugene F. Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary: a reference guide. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002
Villanueva, Dario. Theories of literary realism. SUNY Press, 1997
Gulliver's Travels," "Tartuffe," "Madame Bovary," "The Death of Ivan Ilyich," & "Things Fall Apart"
The purpose of this paper is to introduce, discuss, and compare how the theme(s) of "Things Fall Apart" by Achebe relate to the theme and/or storylines of "Gulliver's Travels," by Swift, "Tartuffe," by Moliere, "Madame Bovary," by Flaubert, and "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" by Tolstoy. All these authors use their works to "expose and alter the fundamental moral codes that determine political systems and social mores" (Levine 136).
POLITICAL SYSTEMS AND SOCIAL MORES
Things Fall Apart," by Chinua Achebe is a novel about an African family named Okonkwo, who try to fit in to the white man's society. However, their own society was balanced, happy, and complete, and they did not really need to fit in with the white man. hen they did, it ultimately destroyed their society, and way of life.
Gulliver's Travels," by…
Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary: Life in a Country Town. Trans. Gerard Hopkins. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
Grossman, Debra. "SparkNotes on Gulliver's Travels." SparksNotes.com. 2002. http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/gulliver
Levine, Alan. "Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart as a Case Study in Nietzsche's Transvaluation of Values." Perspectives on Political Science 28.3 (1999): 136-141.
Moliere, Jean Baptiste Poquelin. "Tartuffe." Project Gutenberg. 2002. http://digital.library.upenn.edu/webbin/gutbook/lookup?num=2027
While on another walk later in the book, "all the sensations of her first tenderness came back to her, and her poor aching heart opened out amorously" (Madame Bovary Part III Chapter 8). If a first person narrator had said, "all the sensations of my first tenderness cam back to me, and my poor heart…," there would appear to be some sense of self-control and self-reflection; the actions taken would be described by the person taking them, and commentary such as referring to a heart as "poor" would not be a label attached by someone else, but rather a reflection of one's own thinking. This is not the case here, however, but instead a narrator with more information than a true stake in any outcomes or actions describes characters and behaviors in a highly subjective manner that takes power away from the other characters. Because Emma Bovary is the focus…
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Bovaryism came to mean a dream that is as self-serving to the reality it aims to replace and therefore the face of reality becomes diminished.
What does the term bovaryism mean when it is thought about? A few years after the publication of Gustave Flaubert's works known as Madame Bovary the term Bovaryism was adopted by the French language (Paper Guidelines). The 19th century novel's heroine defines herself through common cliches that the world looks at to this day. Bored housewife syndrome, romantic fantasy delusions, and adultery are just a few of those cliches (Paper Guidelines). Bovaryism came to mean a dream that is as self-serving to the reality it aims to replace and therefore the face of reality becomes diminished (Paper Guidelines).
The concept of ennui comes into play. Ennui in short simply means the idea of boredom which is seen constantly throughout the…
Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. 8th ed. Vol. 2. New York: WW Nortan, 2006. Print.
Flaubert believed the emerging middle class in nineteenth century Europe to be unrefined, pompous know-it-alls, and fundamentally stupid. This may help to explain some of Leon's lack of intelligence despite his success -- he has emerged from the middle class. Charles, however, represents many of the problems that Flaubert saw with the middle class, and Emma, additionally, grows to despise everything that her husband stands for. hen Charles looks into Emma's eyes he does not see her inner soul or the love between them; instead, he sees a mirrored image of himself reflected in miniature. This reveals what Flaubert believes to be one of the oppressive features of the middle class: the woman is nothing more than an icon for the man's ego or economic achievements. Although Charles is dim-witted, lazy, and incompetent as a doctor, he loves Emma because she is the one outward representation as his success as…
Flaubert, Gustave. Madam Bovary. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1969.
Her various lovers' beauty seems consistent with her love of beautiful material things and her admiration of herself as a beautiful object. For Emma, having an affair is another celebration of material goods -- her lover is an object that marks her as worthy, just like having the best clothing and furniture that money can buy (or can be borrowed). Her love is not for Leon or Rodolphe anymore than her love of her clothing is for the piece of cloth -- she seeks out men for what they can do for her, so she can engage in an enactment of her fantasy of herself as a star of a romance. Flaubert underlines this fact by having Emma fall in love during various representations of provincial life that represent consumerism or superficiality, such as a local agricultural fair or watching an opera.
Edna, in contrast, seeks to find love below…
Madam Bovary and looks at the character of Rodolphe Boulanger, seducer and womaniser. Also looking briefly at a psychological perspective as to why he carries out his seductions.
Rodolphe Boulanger: Seducer of Emma Bovary
Literature has gone thought many phases, form harsh realism with it social messages and hidden meanings to softer romanticism where the world is see though different eyes and we may indulge in a little fantasy. It is in the latter genre that we may find some very interesting, yet remote characters. For example in 'Madame Bovary' by Gustave Flaubert we can see two strong characters.
Emma Bovary is the heroine of Madam Bovary, she is an alive character who is very conscious of her surrounding, but she has also been criticised as being 'synthetic' (Nadeau 307). The similarities between her and the person who created her have been noted on many occasion, and as such we…
Also, the use of the French language by the characters in a different type shows how the English regard French and France as exotic, in contrast of course, to Flaubert's own provincial French characters. The culture clash between French and English language and culture is a running theme in the novel.
The use of different fonts also allows for far more text on the page than is typical of most graphic novels. This befits the subject, given that it is a literary satire, and a satire of how art affects life. For example, in one dinner party, Gemma is distracted, ignoring what other characters are saying, and thinking about her lover in a similarly distracted state thinking about Gemma. This is shown by depicting thought balloon within thought balloon ad infinitum.
Simmonds, Posy. Gemma Bovery. Pantheon,…
Simmonds, Posy. Gemma Bovery. Pantheon, 2004.
Madam Bovary & Middlemarch
Emma and Dorothea
Considering the degree of bitter social commentary involved in the two novels in question, it seems obvious that both authors used female protagonists because the issues of the respective societies addressed would be most clearly seen from the female prospective. At the time these works were written, they would have been rejected out of hand if male protagonists had behaved as these two women did.
Even in today's world, anybody acting like Emma, with her perceptions that happiness was something others owed her and were supposed to create for her, would be considered a really selfish self-centered flake. It is not pleasant to contemplate but it is true that even today these behaviors would be more accepted in women then in men and, therefore, in a female protagonist.
In the day of Emma Bovary and Dorothea Casaubon, "gentlewomen" were expected to be ornaments.…
Madame Bovary and Woman in White
Generalizations and Comparisons of the Two Novels
When looking at these two works in the sense of comparison, one first must say that they are both delicately, brilliantly crafted, and they both have received at least their fair share of plaudits for the excellence they achieved in literature. They both, too, have been controversial.
Meantime, the central point of this review herein, is that Madame Bovary titillates with fascinating character developments involving sexual adventures, fantasy, with numerous trysts and - importantly - with an erotically woven narrative on fetishes. On the other hand, The Woman in White seems to titillate the reader with the prolific use of snooping, spying, to be frank, plain and unadulterated eavesdropping. Characters are often overhearing things that were not intended for them to overhear, and hence, the reader is thrust into the position of picking and choosing what to…
Collins, Wilkie (1996). The Woman in White. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Gaylin, Ann. (2001). The madwoman outside the attic: eavesdropping and narrative agency in 'The Woman in White'. Texas Studies in Literature and Language. 43,
Griffin, Susan M. (2004). The Yellow Mask, The Black Robe, and The Woman in Wilkie Collins, anti-Catholic discourse, and the sensational novel." Narrative,
Regan, Stephen. (2001). The Nineteenth-Century Novel: A Critical Reader. London and New York: Routledge.
casting and directing style of three directors for the film Madame Bovary. It has sources in MLA format.
Gusteve Flaubert's 1856 novel, Madame Bovary has been a masterpiece in literature during the 19th and 20th century. Flaubert's motive for writing the novel has been to address the pretentious middle class and how the society has created the central character and heroine Emma Bovary. Her sexual escapades and the dull country life with her doctor husband depict the kind of life people live without much aspiration for real happiness. The novel not only inspired theatrical performances but also films. From the beginning of the 20th century to the end of the century, Madame Bovary underwent several change and interpretation. Each romanticized the story line through intricate costume designs, background stage design and mostly the choice of the actress who would be Bovary [ey, 1992].
Madame Bovary is the story of…
Author not available, Madame Bovary., Magill's Survey of Cinema, 06-15-1995.
Esnault, Phillipe. "Le Jeu de la verite'." L'avant Scene Du Cinema, No. 52 (1965), p. 11.
Author not available, La Femme Infidele; The Unfaithful Wife., Magill's Survey of Cinema, 06-15-1995.
Corliss, Richard. CINEMA: Shades of Gray., Time, 01-15-1990, pp 52.
hen Edith harton tells us that "it was the background that she [Lily] required," we understand that both Emma Bovary and Lily have a very important thing in common. They are first of all women in the nineteenth century society, fettered by social conventions to fulfill any kind of aspirations or ideals. A woman, as it is clearly stated in both novels, had no other means of being having a place in society than by acquiring respectability and money through a good marriage. To marry was the only vocation of a woman, as harton tells us.
Of course, there interferes a great difference between the two heroines here, because Madame Bovary, as her very title proves it, is already a married woman, while Lily in harton's book is in constant pursue of a redeeming marriage. But, essentially the frustration of the two heroines is the same, as Emma is as…
The American Experience: Andrew Carnegie- The Gilded Age. PBS Online. 1999. 1 Oct. 2006 http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/carnegie/gildedage.html .
Byatt, A.S. Scenes from Provincial Life. The Guardian. July, 27, 2002. Oct.2006 http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2342/is_n1_v30/ai_18631915 .
Cahir, Linda Costanzo Solitude and Society in the Works of Herman Melville and Edith Wharton. New York: Greenwood Press, 1999
Deppman, Jed. "History with style: the impassible writing of Flaubert - Gustave Flaubert." Style. 1996. Oct 2006
Emma likes the type of pulp, romantic and sentimental fiction condemned by Nabokov, the 19th century version of Harlequin Romances. Emma is not an artist of prose like her creator, she is a consumer of written culture in a very literal as well as a metaphorical sense, just as she consumes all sorts of material goods in her futile quest for fulfillment, and dies by consuming poison at the end of the novel.
his is what makes Emma so fascinating as a character. She engages in the same project of interpretation and authorship as her reader, even if it is a failed project. "But what interests me most in Madame Bovary is the heroine's fondness for reading. She dies because she has attempted to make her life into a novel -- and it is the foolishness of that quest that Flaubert's clinical style mocks." (Jong, 1997) Emma essentially dies of…
The paradox of Flaubert's project of writing to satirize reading is clear, through Jong's interpretation of his most famous work. "A novelist mocking a heroine besotted by novels? Then this must be a writer mocking himself! And indeed, Flaubert memorably said that he had drawn Madame Bovary from life -- and after himself. 'I have dissected myself to the quick,' he wrote." (Jong, 1997) This acts as an important reminder that Flaubert did not merely carefully observe and record the mundane details of the world he saw around him, but also engaged in rigorous psychological self-scrutiny to produce a sense of realism within the pages of Bovary. Emma's interior life, however focused it may be centered on shallow objects and pursuits, is what makes her stand apart from the depicted heroines of pulp novels. Flaubert's prose is not merely descriptive and realistic. It also is psychologically full of nuance and more detailed than authors of sensationalist novels, whose heroines do not have a clear, discernable motivation for why they transgress sexual norms.
Although Jong's own fiction is often described as feminist, Jong points out that Emma's sense of discontent with her life is not merely connected to the fact that her feminine role as a housewife is frustrating. Emma does not seek a more useful life, Emma seeks "ecstasy and transcendence" that is in short supply in her rural French community. Jong's stress upon the spirituality of Emma's quest is an important reminder of the fact that Emma begins her education in a convent, and actually seems to show a superficial aptitude for the life of a nun. Emma later brings her fervor for gracious living to her life as a wife, then a mistress. Emma's inner life may seem to be centered around the pursuit of empty things, like beautiful home goods, dresses, and beautiful love affairs, but she is located squarely within a society that valorizes such objects and offers them as the only secular solution to ennui. "Emma's drama is the gap between illusion and reality, the distance between desire and its fulfillment." (Jong, 1997)
Jong says: "her search for ecstasy is ours," in short, Emma is a uniquely modern heroine, for we all seek transcendence, all of us who read, and life invariably falls short. This is the final paradox of Bovary -- a novel that critiques itself and a genre likely to be very dear to the heart of a reader is so successful, and still feels modern today. Although Jong's essay does not offer an extensive, deep interpretation of the entire novel, it acts as an important reminder of critical aspects of the work that may be overlooked, like the role of religion in the novel, and the importance of reading to Emma's interior life.
Her affairs with Rodolphe and Leon bring her the type of intimacy she longs for even though they cause her much pain. Emma saw her affair with Rodolphe as vengeful because so much of her life felt like it was void of love. e are that she was "becoming a part of her own imaginings, finding the long dream of her youth come true as she surveyed herself in that amorous role she coveted" (Flaubert 175). She did not feel guilt; in fact, she "savored" (175) her relationship with Rodolphe and was without "remorse, disquiet or distress" (175). Emma is overwhelmed with emotions when it comes to Rodolphe and she did not know if she "regretted yielding to him, or whether she didn't rather to aspire to love him more . . . It was not an attachment but a continual excitement" (183). Here we see that she is not…
Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. Alan Russell, trans. New York: Penguin Classics. 1950.
Woolf, Virginia. To the Lighthouse. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers. 1955.
Danger ith Serving the Self in Anna Karenina and Madam Bovary
It is a classic human trait to make life more difficult than it needs to be. e live in a me-centered society and those with their focus turned inward usually generate enough drama in the world for the rest of the population. hile reality shows like American Idol and America's Got Talent increase the need for money and fame, the need for more has always been around. The old adage that the grass in greener on the other side of the fence is true because it is human to think something is missing and that something will make life better. Two authors that explore this concept are Leo Tolstoy and Gustave Flaubert. In the novel, Anna Karenina, we have a wealthy woman who senses something is wrong with her life and is bent on finding out what that something…
Flaubert. Gustave. Madame Bovary. New York: Brentanos. 1919. Print.
Melfi, Mary Ann. "Keeping secrets in Anna Karenina." Journal of Evolutionary Psychology.
25.1-2 .2004. Gale Literature Resource Center. Web. 12 July 2011.
As Jason states,"Twas not for the woman's sake I wedded the king's daughter, my present wife" (Euripides 547). This shows that he has no real regard for his new wife. He also goes on to describe how they will benefit from the marriage. In part, Jason is telling the truth. He has married to further his position. His lie to Medea is that he pretends he has done it for their family, when his only real concern is himself. This shows that Jason is driven and unscrupulous, focused on getting what he wants and willing to manipulate and wrong others to achieve his own needs. This difference in what they want from life is part of the reason that Jason is an adulterer and Charles is not. Jason's drive for success is the reason he is not faithful to Medea. Jason's focus exclusively on his own personal success also means…
Euripides. Medea. New York: Dover Publications, 1993.
Flaubert, Gustav. Madame Bovary. New York: Penguin, 1982.
The rise of the middle class and the Industrial Revolution brought forth a demand to render this emerging class in fiction, and not simply relegate it to the sidelines of prose narratives in the United States. Realism in the United States is often said to stretch from the Civil ar to the end of the 19th century. The interest in Realism was also spawned by the crisis of national confidence that occurred after that bloody battle. Mark Twain, Stephen Crane, and later Henry James are all classified as Realistic writers who "wrote fiction devoted to accurate representation and an exploration of American lives in various contexts" (Campbell 2008). Also as the United States grew rapidly after the Civil ar, "the increasing rates of democracy and literacy, the rapid growth in industrialism and urbanization, an expanding population base due to immigration, and a relative rise in middle-class affluence provided a fertile…
Campbell, Donna M. "Realism in American Literature, 1860-1890." Literary Movements.
Last modified July 2008. February 16, 2010 at .
Literary realism. Art and Popular Culture. February 16, 2010.
Youth: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
In James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the main character Stephen says that great art carries the qualities of Wholeness, Harmony, and Radiance. Yet Stephen is making this statement as an adolescent, one who is not yet whole nor harmonious, but one who is still developing and adapting to himself and his world. As literary art, the problem this leads to is how an adult reader can create an adolescent character honestly, a character less developed then they are. The reader then has the same challenge, to read about this character and judge them on who they are, without directing their own biases on the character. The writer and the reader can both be guilty of viewing the adolescent character either condescendingly or sentimentally. As well as this, the writer and reader either creating or…