Comparison of speeches between Rodolphe and the councilman in Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Essay by damnitamitHigh School, 11th gradeA, March 2004

download word file, 7 pages 4.3

Downloaded 29 times

To further illustrate the seduction of Emma into an affair with Rodolphe, Flaubert juxtaposes the speech Rodolphe makes to Emma along with that of the councilman's speech to the people of Yonville at the Agricultural Show. Both Rodolphe and the councilman use the technique of seduction in order to gain their own selfish desires. By praising the people of Yonville for their honorable hard work and contributions to society, the councilman disguisedly sways the people to believe his flattering remarks, which further helps him and the upper class prosper. At the same time, Rodolphe is flooding Emma with passionate remarks and allowing her to slowly accept the idea of breaking society's expectations and formalities. Throughout this scene, Flaubert successfully demonstrates the similarities of both characters' speeches as they use their powerful techniques of seduction to obtain their desires.

The councilman begins his persuasive speech asking the people, " '...if

I cast those gloomy images from my memory and focus my eyes on the present situation of our fair land, what do I see?...'" (Flaubert, 147) By asking this rhetorical question, he has given the people a chance to endure the conditional and consequently lure them into his grasp. By asking the question and then answering it himself, the counselor creates an answer that the people want to hear rather than giving them the actual truth. The answers he gives them are those of praises and admiration, which further entices the crowd. In his next lines, " ' so many new arteries in the body of the State, are establishing new relationships...confidence is reborn...'" (Flaubert 147) the councilman further induces the crowd to believe they play a role in the state and are a major contribution to society. In Rodolphe's immediate lines, " '...people may be right...don't...