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Realism in Madam Bovary - Research Paper Example

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Realism in Madam Bovary Gustavo Flaubert was an influential French aouthor renowned for his masterpiece Madam Bovary. Being born in a highly respected middle class family of doctors, he grew up in a familiarity with the sight and smell of sickness and death…
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Realism in Madam Bovary
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Download file to see previous pages It is with Flaubert that we most associate the term “realism ‘. Of course every serious artist is a realist since he tries to state a recognized reality, even though it is internal or spiritual. But for the purpose of French literary history we give the term Realism to an aesthetic doctrine which was formulated in the nineteenth century. It was Flaubert’s desire to write a book about “nothing’. Though he did not quite dare write a book about nothing, he approaches his ideal in madam Bovary. It is a novel with a very ordinary story – his original intention was to write a novel about a young girl who dies a virgin and a mystic after living with her father and mother in a small provincial background, but he invented a new heroin, who would make the story mote entertaining for the reader. The immediate inspiration for the novel was the story of Dr. Delamare. Accepting a friends’ suggestion, Flaubert took up a local and recent case. In 1848, in the town of Ry, the second wife of Dr. Delamare, after a series of adulteries and extravagances had poisoned herself and precipitated her husband’s suicide, leaving an orphan daughter. Thus the subject of the novel is an actual incident in the life of a country doctor; a mean pitiable story of adultery and suicide against the background of a dreary rain sodden Norman village. Like in the normal story the characters are stupid or shameful. They are not moved by reason. Madam Bovary is a stupid character, a woman who retreats from reality into cheap dreams to escape from the life that has become a prison for her. She has a romantic thirst for the fulfillment of ill-defined urges. Being educated in a convent school , accompanied by the excitations of music and religiosity, she confines herself in the world of dreams. When she became the wife of a country doctor, the real self and its strong passion began to flow in the form of expectations. She can never become an ordinary wife who enjoys what all things given by her husband. But the romanticist in her demands more from the husband, but that was futile. The warmth and emotional fulfillment she had from the readings of romantic books during her previous life, was totally alien to her in the life with Charles. In Madam Bovary, Flaubert gives the reader a fleeting look into the reality of mid-nineteenth –century provincial life in France. The descriptions of the mannerism and customs of small –town people are brilliant. The wedding of Emma is peculiar. It takes place in the true peasant condition unlike that in the dreams of Emma. The garish colors of the rustic wedding, the frock – coats of the farmer, the lengthened common dresses of the girls, the vigorous joke and d substantial viands all bespeak of a true peasant wedding. Thus Flaubert makes his heroine suffer from a middle-class languor. Thus the descriptions given by the writer are detailed and beautiful, but they are real pictures of the natural world around him, thus giving a realistic tone to the novel. ”. Emma is presented as a character doomed to disillusionment. Antony Tholby has pointed out that “In Madam Bovary the crux of the actions lies in the contrast between Emma’s sentimental illusions and the plain facts of reality.” The hatred of middle class values is strongly apparent in Madam Bovary. The then France was under a massive social upheaval. The collapse of the aristocracy was paralleled by the rise of a new middle class or bourgeois made up of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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