The meaning of Flaubert’s novel “Madam Bovary”: How the thirst for thrills brought to the grave? Flaubert wrote a lot of worthy works during his life, which immortalized him in world literature. One such novel was Madame Bovary. The author’s innovation lies in the fact that for Flaubert there were no forbidden topics, and he advocated the convergence of literature with a scientific approach.
This means that the writer needs to be impartial, and portray everything as it is. At the same time, it is imperative to monitor the perfection of forms, as in classical science.
Today we will take a closer look at the novel Madame Bovary. We will also analyze the meaning of the work, the history of creation and the images used by the author.
In general, it will be interesting. So get comfortable, let’s get started!
History of creation
There is some evidence that Madame Bovary is based on real events. Indeed, in France there was the Delamare family.
The head of the family, Eugene Delamare, was a mediocre doctor in a provincial town. He was married to a widow who died early, and then married a young girl (the prototype of Charles Bovary).
His young wife’s name was Delphine Couturier. She was completely without a fortune and a dowry, as she spent it on expensive clothes, an idle lifestyle, lovers and whims. Soon she committed suicide (the prototype of Emma Bovary).
Flaubert’s image of the province
Flaubert, although he adhered to a restrained manner of narration and impartiality in the narration, still openly ridicules provincial mores.
The author scrupulously shows how and under the influence of what the personalities of Charles and Emma were formed. The main thing for them is to be the “golden mean”, that is, to be pleasing to everyone, dress decently and look appropriate in society. In fact, gray mice, who were taught from childhood not to stick out and not to think much about themselves.
However, Emma, unlike her surroundings, sees the depravity of such a society and philistinism. Therefore, he is trying to openly rebel against the structure of life in the provinces. However, she was brought up in much the same way, so she is not able to rebel against herself.
Flaubert says that philistine society is inevitably vulgar, it lacks reflection. The people in the provinces are full of base passions and gross/poor materialism.
Reasons for Emma’s fall
Emma’s tragedy is that she has been torn away from the wretched reality since the beginning of her education in the monastery. There she was brought up side by side with majestic rites, the meaning of which she did not fully understand. Also, romantic novels about love had a huge impact on the young girl.
She, not knowing the harsh life, took true and bookish love at face value, where the protagonist saves the princesses, does whatever she wants.
However, returning home to a rude and dense father, she is faced with a cruel reality. Emma gradually begins to understand that there is nothing particularly sublime in her, because she is the same layman to the marrow of her bones.
Flaubert himself is neutral towards the heroine, emphasizing only her strengths and weaknesses. For example, he says that the girl has ordinary eyes, ugly hands. However, she admits that the charm of a healthy peasant woman suits her.
The main reason for the fall of Madame Bovary is the mismatch of fantasy with reality and the desire to break out of the vicious circle in which the whole society walks. She cannot realize her ambitions and is suffocated by the routine. Her rebellion ends in tragedy for her and many around her.
The relevance of the novel
Emma initially had a mediocre mind that could not comprehend complex books, she did not bring things to the end. It seems that she did not even think much about philosophical topics, and was content with a simple life.
However, the knowledge gained did not bring her happiness or a better life. On the contrary, they showed the insignificance and earthliness of everyone around, and even herself.
During her studies, she thought up a lot of ambitions and desires, imagining that she was worthy of them. However, expectation and reality were too different.
Surely, you have all heard about the cult of productivity, establishing a lot of useful connections, doing business with one toe of your left foot, about ambitions above the Crimean mountains.
However, such people, let’s say, invented for themselves the reasons why they are worthy of a high position in society, and believed in myths about achieving prosperity. From year to year, like Emma, they wear out mentally and physically, trying to bring reality to the ideal in the head or the picture that others show. However, every year it becomes more and more difficult to maintain a frantic pace – a person remains broken without self-satisfaction.
The meaning of the work
The main meaning of the novel “Madame Bovary” is the construction of life in accordance with one’s real desires. If you do not need successful success, then why force yourself and strive for some material or business heights for the sake of society.
This novel teaches us that we need to look at the world realistically and pragmatically, and not succumb to rosy dreams, illusions and visions. If you don’t want to end up like Emma, it’s best to be sensible about your abilities and possibilities.
And this concludes our analysis. If you have any questions or suggestions, be sure to write in the comments. And for you, we have prepared several other analyzes of no less interesting works. Here they are:
Analysis of the novel “In the First Circle” by Solzhenitsyn
The meaning of the novel “A Time to Live and a Time to Die” by Remarque
“Notes from the House of the Dead” by Dostoevsky
And now we have everything. See you soon on the pages of new articles.