Madame Bovary 2 Essay

2095 words - 8 pages

Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert is one of the most respected authors in European Literature. His work is especially known for the novel Madame Bovary. This paper will analyze the life and work of Flaubert, with a particular emphasis on the conflicting roles of 19th century women in the novel Madame Bovary. Biography Gustave Flaubert was born on December 12, 1821, in Rouen, France and died on May 8, 1880. He was the fourth child of a well-known and respected doctor who was the head of the hospital in that city. Flaubert gained much knowledge of scientific techniques and ideas early on, while he and his family lived in a house on hospital grounds. He attended a secondary school in Rouen, and in 1841 he was l sent to Paris to study law in France, against his will. While in Paris, Flaubert made many new friends in the literary circle, which stimulated his talent for writing.In 1844, Flaubert was struck with a then strange illness, that was later assumed to be related to epilepsy, which was a much feared, mysterious illness considered to be a connected to a divine curse.(1) -1- For health reasons, he gladly retired to his family's home in Le Croisset, France. He happily took the opportunity to give up law and dedicate most of his time to his writing.(2) Flaubert was frequently characterized by his sullen attitude and pessimism, which had been caused by his illness. He possessed deep hatred and contempt for middle-class society, feelings that originated from his childhood experiences. He was often bitter and unhappy because of the great conflict that existed between his unattainable dreams and the realities of his life. His conflict between his fantasies and the reality of the world around him is seen through the theme found in Madame Bovary (1856).Flaubert became one of the most influential European writers of the 19th century. He has enriched the world with many famous novels such as, Salammbo (1862), Sentimental Education (1869), and The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1874). "Not even his death could not diminish the impact of his work and its influence on French letters throughout the rest of the nineteenth and all of the teith centuries." (3 -2- Outline I. Introduction II. Biography A. Flaubert's Life B. Flaubert's Influence C. Flaubert's Works III. Analysis: Conflicting Roles of Women A. Emma as daughter B. Emma as wife C. Emma as mother D. Emma as mistress IV. Conclusion Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, tells the story of an idealistic woman who tries to live out her life as though her life was placed in a romance novel. Emma Bovary is first seen as the daughter of a widowed farmer, who spent most of her life isolated in her father's farm and later in the convent school. Due to the lack of any real influences and the isolation of her life, Emma initiates a thriving passion for romance novels. From the time Emma lived in the convent school, she longed for her life to be as dramatic and exciting as in the novels. Critic Mrs. Harold Sandwith...

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