Free Essay on Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary is a novel by Gustave Flaubert, first published in 1856 and I< like many other people, believe it to be one of the masterpieces of world literature. When reading the novel, I was very interested in its main character, Emma Bovary, a doctor’s wife, living beyond her means and having extramarital affairs in the hope of getting rid of the emptiness and prosiness of provincial life. Although the plot is quite simple, even banal, the true value of the novel is in the details and structure of the plot. Flaubert as the writer was known for his desire to bring each piece of his work to perfection, always trying to find the right words. The novel was published in the Parisian literary magazine Revue de Paris from October 1 to December 15, 1856. Since the publication of the novel the author (as well as two publishers of the novel) was accused of insulting the morality and, together with the editor of the magazine brought to trial in January of 1857. Such scandalous notoriety made the novel popular, and the acquitting judgment by the February 7, 1857, made possible the subsequent publication in the same year the novel as a separate book. Currently, it is considered not only one of the key works of realism, but also one of the works that have the greatest influence on literature in general.

In the novel there are traits of literary naturalism. Flaubert’s skepticism toward man appeared in the absence of typical positive characters traditional for the contemporary novel. The careful drawing of characters determined very long exposure of the novel so you can better understand it, the character of the heroine and, thereby, motivation for her actions (as opposed to libertarianism in the actions of the characters of sentimental and romantic literature). Hard determinism in the deeds of the characters became a compulsory feature of the French novel of the first half of the 19th century.

The thoroughness of the images of the characters, accurate to the ruthlessness description of the details (for example, accurate and realistic description of the death from arsenic poisoning, efforts for the preparation of the corpse to bury, when Emma’s dead mouth pours out dirty fluid, etc.) have been criticized as a feature of writerly mannerisms Flaubert. This was reflected in a satiric cartoon, where Flaubert was depicted wearing anatomist apron, making thanatopsy of Emma Bovary’s dead body.

According to the 2007 survey held among modern popular authors, the novel Madame Bovary is one of the two greatest novels of all time (after Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy). Turgenev in his time referred to the novel as the best work in the literary world.

According to literary critics, there is no positive characters in the novel: no personnage that could be interpreted by the reader as the protagonist. It can be said that the death of hero, pioneered by the eponymous novel of Richard Oldingtona, occurred in the nineteenth century — in Madame Bovary.

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