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

Madame Bovary And Written On The Body

1437 words - 6 pages


Madame Bovary and Written on the body

Madame Bovary and Written on the body, penned by Gustave Flaubert and Jeanette Winterson respectively, encapsulate the essence of gender while breaking free of the stigma attached to it. The actions of both the protagonists from these works reflect a complete divorce of the influence of their genders from the course of action they took.

The ambiguity of the sex of Winterson's character along with the Volatile nature of Flaubert's Emma twist many facets of gender and society together into solid plots. Both are narratives of the highest order and equally reflect ideas which are considered radical. Both novels place sexual structures and explanations of gender into question, i.e. is the male sex really superior? Are woman really constricted by their femininity? Through the narrative on Emma we get a taste of a woman who goes again societal norms and at times acts more masculine than feminine. Then we have the I-narrator in Winterson's novel that continually transcends boundaries set for sexes because of his/her own unidentified and undefined gender.

Similarly, one would have to notice that Winterson's novel shuns sexes completely. Instead of working within a space where there is a fixed gender, which is further placed into a categorically constructed culture and society in order to pinpoint the wants and needs of an individual, we are left with imagery that shows us a being, which has an identity and subsequently wants and needs things based on that identity. (Sonnenberg 3) Typical to this fact both the characters tip toe around the limitations of the sexes. This is the reason Winterson's character is easy to compare to Emma. The novels' negate the traditional roles of the sexes, in particular they negate the role of women as passive object of exploration by following masculine paradigms, but also in ultimately rejecting such models in favor of reciprocity, they becomes an almost perfect illustration of a refusal of the role of woman and also the refusal of the economic, ideological, and political power of a man. The actions of both characters set them apart from normal behavior (Maynard, Purvis 151).

One has to wonder whether Emma is a victim in the traditional sense or has the author deliberately downplayed the masculinity of the three main male characters i.e. Charles, Leon and Rodolphe. (Porter 263). The character does not follow the norms of one gender. This was the reason that Flaubert's novel was greatly protested. On one hand she is extremely feminine but on the other hand she has extremely masculine markers in her personality. It was Charles Baudelaire who pointed out that Emma's desires masculinized her, and he labeled her a "bizarre androgyne." In reality, in the background of the 19th-century French anticipations about women's conduct, Emma's blatant sexuality and far-reaching aspiration did stand out as alien and...

Find Another Essay On Madame Bovary and Written on the body

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

Gustave Flaubert and his "Madame Bovary"

1400 words - 6 pages this schooling and work helped Flaubert become an extremely talented writer, he thought writing to be one of the most difficult things (De Man xi). He wrote very slowly in fact, while reflecting on his painful life experiences. It took over five years to perfect his most famous novel, Madame Bovary (Thorlby 272).Although some people, as well as I, believe that Flaubert based the character of Emma Bovary on himself, he was very unhappy with the

Similarities between Madame Bovary and Mrs. Dalloway

1798 words - 8 pages house looks like and the food and wine that will be consumed are said to be excellent. Madame Bovary, on the other hand, is a middle-class and has a bit of struggle in their daily lives. Although comfortable enough in her life, Madame Bovary longs and insists for more things in her life as she would like to live the life of the rich. The two women are seen to be both unhappy with the lives they live as they each feel that there is something that is

Review of Madame Bovary and its symbolism

2838 words - 11 pages Madame Bovary is considered Gustave Flaubert's masterpiece and the most influential French novel of the nineteenth century. Often described as a satire on romantic beliefs and the rural bourgeois, Madame Bovary relates the story of Emma Bovary, a bored housewife whose dreams of romantic love (primarily gathered from popular romanticized novels) are unfulfilled through her marriage to a simple country doctor. She attempts to realize her fantasies

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

Comparison: Madame Bovary and Great Expectations

1237 words - 5 pages the elevated company with which she finds herself because of her new husband's position, Pip struggles to understand the changing (and unchanging) attitudes of those around him following the news of his imminent legacy.In the scene from Flaubert's Madame Bovary, Emma and Charles Bovary, having recently returned from their honeymoon, are attending a party at which their presence is tolerated rather than celebrated - owing to Charles' profession as

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

Lust in Madame Bovary and No Exit

1472 words - 6 pages . The characters’ actions and lust make them further vulnerable and distinctly naïve. Their lovers use them easily for their sexual desires, mostly shown in Estelle. In Emma’s affairs with Rodolphe and Leon, she is usedmaterialistically. They deceive her into showering them with gifts and paying their bills, almost ‘in return for their passion’, ‘whereby Bovary undertook to pay on demand, on the first of September next, the sum of one thousand and

The Inevitable Abyss of Madame Bovary

958 words - 4 pages interesting to note that with marriage comes "degradation", while adultery brings only "disillusions". If the abyss had been mentioned before she was dumped by Rodolphe, only marriage would have been associated with it. The voice of the abyss of reality is, of course, the wretch on the hillside. His words are profound, and sum up the essence of Madame Bovary:   Often the warmth of a summer day Makes a young girl dream her heart

The Death of Emma Bovary in Madame Bovary

1220 words - 5 pages descriptions of the funeral, her father’s reaction, and her family’s continuing life. However, the book is centered on the life of the grand Madame Bovary, and is not titled Madame and Sir Bovary. To this, Flaubert uses the death of the main character to purposefully showcase the overall impact her actions have over those who experienced her presence. Dying a rather painful and laborious death rather than the peaceful and easy one she once

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

Similar Essays

Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert: Four Page Paper On Themes, Symbols, And Motifs Found In Madame Bovary

1373 words - 5 pages fantasies but they end up costing her her life in the end.The Blind BeggarOne of the most profound symbols in Madame Bovary can be found on page 252, with the first appearance of the grotesque, blind beggar. The beggar symbolizes Emma's moral corruption, her fantatasies of being an innocent, beautiful, wife, and her gradual progression from innocence to sexual degradation. The beggar's song and continued actions throughout the play mirror those of

Themeaw Themes And Fate In The Awakening And Madame Bovary

1354 words - 5 pages uses everyone else in the book.  Perhaps it is because of her antagonistic nature that, "She would open his letters, spy on his whereabouts, and listen behind the partition when there were women in his consulting room."  (P 35 : Madame Bovary) It is ironic that she would do these things, as she is the adulterer, searching to assure herself that he is not doing the same harm to her which she is doing to him.  Through this paranoia, "Once lively

Madame Bovary And The House Of The Spirits

1467 words - 6 pages Gustave Flaubert of Madame Bovary and Isabel Allende of The House of the Spirits both manipulate elements of genre, dialogue, and style in relation to suspense in order to comment on the romantic ideas of destiny and fate. While they both use these techniques in relation to suspense and anticipation, Flaubert minimizes the importance of fate while Allende seeks to promote it. Flaubert builds suspense for a large amount of time and suddenly

Character Analyses Essay On Emma Bovary, In The Story Madame Bovary

649 words - 3 pages Emma BovaryEmma Bovary is the heroine of the book Madame Bovary. Emma story begins off as a young girl and the daughter of Monsieur Rouault a farmer in the town of Les Bertaux. In her earlier age, Emma, was in the convent with Ursuline nuns. Emma had received a fine education, she learned dancing, geography, drawing, needlework and a little piano. Emma is implied to be an extremely pretty girl, having very white almond shaped fingernails. Her