Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert:An Analysis of The Characters

Essay by twchristineUniversity, Bachelor'sA, November 2002

download word file, 6 pages 3.7

Downloaded 133 times

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert:

An Analysis of The Characters

Madame Bovary, written by Gustave Flaubert was considered very controversial when it was first published. The novel was actually tried in a court of justice for obscenity, because it was alleged to be concerned with adultery and contains situations and allusions that shocked the prudish philistine government of Napoleon III. It was cited for "offenses against morality and religion."( Censorship) Fortunately, Flaubert won his case and "Madame Bovary" remains to this day one of the masterpieces of French and world literature. It still holds up fairly well today. The psychological descriptions are so well depicted that they transport the readers to the character's most inner psyche. An analysis can be made of the two most important roles composing this novel: Emma and Charles.

Emma Bovary

One may say that Emma Bovary is one of the most interesting women characters of world literature.

One of the major challenges of Madame Bovary is to figure out what leads to her self-destruction. She does not cherish what she possesses, but laments what happiness her world does not give her. Hers is a story of spiritual emptiness and foolish idealism. "...Emma tried to find out what one meant exactly in life by the words bliss, passion, ecstasy, that had seemed to her so beautiful in books." (P 24 : Madame Bovary) She searches for what is found in the fantasy world of books in her own world and falls short of her expectations. Charles, her husband, she takes for granted as "She would have done so to the logs in the fireplace or to the pendulum of the clock."

Growing up on an isolated farm with few friends, Emma began life as a lonely child. Then, upon entering the Catholic convent school, she...