This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Confining Spaces In Madame Bovary Essay

1004 words - 5 pages

In Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert’s incorporation of confined spaces reveals Emma’s literal and metaphorical imprisonment. Starting from her adolescence, Emma becomes held back from the world at both the convent, and the farm. Flaubert depicts these confinements as literal. Later, Charles, her husband, physically overpowers her when they meet, and metaphorically suppresses her throughout the rest of the marriage. Finally, Emma imprisons herself when she becomes ill, and mentally encloses herself from her husband and the rest of the world. This continues with her affairs as she incarcerates herself once again from the world. These acts of confinements expose Emma’s reclusive nature.
Emma’s isolated childhood sets her up to expect nothing less than the life of her childhood romance novels. At thirteen, Emma’s father brings her to the convent. While at the convent, she goes through two different forms of isolation. First, the convent holds her back from exposure to life in the outside world. Flaubert writes, “If her childhood had been spent on the shop-parlour of some business quarter, she might have opened her heart to those lyrical invasions of nature, which usually come to us through translation in books” (24). Flaubert acknowledges Emma’s restriction to access of a normal childhood. Second, Emma experiences isolation inside the convent as well. At the convent, Emma spends most of her time alone, “She played very little during recreation hours . . . living thus, without ever leaving the warm atmosphere of the class-rooms” (24). From her novels that she read at the convent, Emma creates an internal dream world to cope with her lack of knowledge of the external real world. Because of Emma’s altered state of reality, and her over-ambitious sense of expectation, her only result can be her unhappiness. Flaubert anticipates this dissatisfaction, “She wanted to get some personal profit out of things, and she rejected as useless all that did not contribute to the immediate desires of her heart, being of a temperament more sentimental than artistic, looking for emotions, not landscape” (24). Emma’s romanticist view follows her fiction romance novels. In her isolated stay at the convent, Emma manages her loneliness by her immersion into the novels she reads, because of this, her expectations of life become thwarted.
After returning to the farm, from the convent, Emma remains excluded from society, but later Charles releases her from this exclusion. When Charles first sees Emma, her sees her isolation. His first impression of her mirrors the introverted farm girl she has become, “She worked with her head bent down, she did not speak” (15). Emma’s small, timid nature gives Charles an impression of her seclusion. By proposing to her, Charles releases her from her childhood imprisonment. Even the act of proposing symbolizes her new freedom, “the shutter had been thrown back” (17). The window motif mentioned throughout the book, representing separation from...

Find Another Essay On Confining Spaces in Madame Bovary

Romance and Reality in Flaubert’s Madame Bovary

1129 words - 5 pages Romance and Reality in Flaubert’s Madame Bovary In the story of Alice in Wonderland we follow Alice down a rabbit hole into a land of pure wonder, where the logic of a little girl holds no sway. In Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, we witness exactly the opposite as Emma Bovary, a most romantic creature, is purposely cast into a harshly realistic world. In either case, a creature is put into an environment unnatural to her disposition, yet

Emphasis on Characters in Madame Bovary

1365 words - 6 pages Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary masterfully explores the mid-19th century cultural scene, coloring the subject with his opinion. Through the book Flaubert lends insight into life in at the time, and imparts his opinions on the social world. He accomplishes these goals using the Bovary’s. Flaubert reevaluates characters through conflict, absence, juxtaposition, and selective thought examination to vilify the Bovary’s. Whether through necessity

Emma’s Path to Destruction in Madame Bovary

2134 words - 9 pages Emma’s Path to Destruction in Madame Bovary        In his song, "Instant Karma!," John Lennon shouts an ominous warning to his listeners: "Instant karma's gonna get you / gonna knock you right in the head / better get yourself together, darlin' / pretty soon your gonna be dead... " The subject of his scorn may have been socially conservative Americans bent on the abolition of social progressives, but clearly anyone can gleam a bit of

The Theme of Change in Madame Bovary

905 words - 4 pages The Theme of Change in Madame Bovary       Change is a central theme in the novel Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert, and is key to understanding the character of Emma Bovary. Through parallel events the reader comes to realize that Emma's need for change is the result of the influence her early life had upon her. At the convent Emma is left to develop into an extreme romantic with high hopes for excitement and dreams of sensuous pleasures

The Death of Emma Bovary in Madame Bovary

1220 words - 5 pages Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary is the detailed tale of the upbringing of a common French farm girl and her experiences as a member of the Bourgeoisie social party. At the end of the novel, Emma, the main character, decides to commit suicide through the use of arsenic because of the large amount of debt she acquired through purchases of gifts for her infidelity partners. Occurring in chapter eight of the last section, the novel continues with

Society's Oppression in Madame Bovary and Middlemarch

2867 words - 11 pages Oppression of characters is usually fuelled by external causes. In the case of Madame Bovary and Middlemarch, external causes like gender norms result in the oppression of women. In Madame Bovary, society's expectations of a wifely figure restricts Emma's desire to climb the social ladder. In Middlemarch, the dogmas about female intellectual abilities propagated by characters like Lydgate and Casaubon hinder Dorothea's ability to become an

Writers Craft Of Flaubert In Madame Bovary

629 words - 3 pages Flauberts use of the blind beggar in Madame Bovary shows his reader so much more then just an ugly beggar. It shows a fake, immoral person who is constantly trying to be something she's not. It also foreshadows Emma's bankruptcy, not only financially but also spiritually, emotionally, and morally. All of these bankruptcies resulted in her emotional drain and eventually led to her death.Flaubert uses very descriptive words making the beggar look

Gender Role Reversal in Madame Bovary

1518 words - 7 pages Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, written in nineteenth century France, portrays an accurate depiction of the culture and lifestyle of the time period. Everything, from elaborate descriptions to subtle comments, show the realism the narrator presents. Consequently, he comments on the aspects of everyday life. Throughout the novel, Flaubert emasculates male characters through the reversal of gender roles in order to mock the social order of the

Lust in Madame Bovary and No Exit

1472 words - 6 pages In Flaubert’s ‘Madame Bovary’, and Sartre’s ‘No Exit’ lust is a major theme. It is expressed by theprotagonist Emma Bovary, in ‘Madame Bovary’, and is conveyed through all three characters, Inez, Estelle and Garcin, in ‘No Exit’. Emma’s life is observed intricately through an omniscient narrator who engages in realistic descriptions of her life. She is a tragic and unfulfilled dreamer. She aspires to have an aristocratic life, although she is

Romanticism vs. Realism in Madame Bovary

1760 words - 8 pages Throughout Gustave Flaubert’s novel, Madame Bovary, the story frequently overlaps realism and romanticism. Both are shown through Flaubert’s attention to the details of the ordinary, dull life found in a small town and the dialogue that Emma shares with her targets of affection. This paper will analyze several of the characters and how they relate to romanticism and realism, and Flaubert’s attitude towards the bourgeois. Emma

Sympathy in Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

1501 words - 6 pages In the novel Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, one is introduced to Charles Bovary as a young school boy who tries too hard to fit in, then he becomes a young man who nearly fails his medical exam, and last he falls in love with Emma who finds him “boring”. Throughout the book, Charles fails at school, being a doctor and most important love. His attempts at these things are noble and it makes one feel sympathetic toward the character. In the

Similar Essays

Symbolism In Madame Bovary Essay

934 words - 4 pages embedded in the story line as a thorn in a callous heel. The elements making up the very person of Charles Bovary remain excruciatingly evident, haunting his every move.Symbolic of his yearning for inner fulfillment, Charles Bovary presents to be a man in search of an unknown sensual satisfaction. It is no wonder, with the detailed writing the French government attempted to censor Flaubert when Madame Bovary was published in 1856. Although the vast

Symbolism In Madame Bovary Essay

421 words - 2 pages Madame Bovary PassageABut it was above all at mealtime that she could bear it no longer - in that small ground floor room with its smoking stove, its squeaking door, its sweating walls and its damp floor tiles. All the latterness of life seemed to be served up to her on her plate; and the steam rising from the boiled meat brought gusts of revulsion from the depths of her soul. Charles was a slow eater; she would nibble a few hazelnuts or lean on

Fleeting Satisfaction In Madame Bovary Essay

1592 words - 6 pages Fleeting Satisfaction in Madame Bovary      The desire to have romance, rapture, and passion can often times be fleeting and momentary where as the foundation of true love and commitment generally stands solid throughout many trials. In Madame Bovary (1857), a novel written by Gustave Flaubert, the main character of the story, Emma Bovary, finds both passion and commitment in different facets yet she chooses to yield herself to the

Minor Character Cronfrontation In Madame Bovary

1457 words - 6 pages Recognized for its ideas challenging reality and romanticism, Madame Bovary, was written by Gustave Flaubert in 1857 Victorian France. Flaubert explores the discontented life of Emma Bovary. Flaubert portrays the minor characters as physical representations of Emma’s internal conflicts. The internal conflicts that she faces are presented through several minor characters. The internal struggle that Emma faces regarding the reality that she