For this paper, Madame Bovary the brilliant modern translation by Lowell Bair Edited and with an introduction by Leo Bersani Including critical articles and historical matirial by Gustave Flaubert was read and has been assessed and discussed in detail. The Bantam Book Inc. first printed this edition in 1972 in New York.
This book is definitely a novel. It has all the elements of a true love story. It has a lovesick woman, who has her head filled with notions of a life that will live on happily-ever-after. It is made complete by the death of the heroin. The outside world is a major influence on this novel. It may be that it is romantic because it was written at the earliest stages of the romantic movement. It also helped revitalized the movement. It gave future romantic writers a model with which to follow. Romanticism at that time believed that the universe was not a machine; that nature and humanity were connected; that feeling was as important to humanity as reason; and that society along with individuals could change and grow uncontrollably. Most young girls are blinded by fantasies of love and adventure, but Emma is more concerned with them than most. Being raised in a convent and having many opportunities to read, her head was full of dreams of undying love and adventure. To Flaubert there were two defects in romanticism. One was the people that joined it but really did not understand it. Then there were those that only joined the cause because it was a way of hiding the reality that they lived in. This novel is also symbolic. Throughout the story many different examples of symbols are used. One such example is Emma’s repeated dreams of travel and their ironic parallels. These are symbols of her romantic visions and their answering reality. The viscount and his cigar case are symbols of a romanticized aristocracy. Throughout the story the color blue is used as a symbol for happiness.
This story is told first by a narrator. The narrator is said to be one of Charles old classmates, but he is gone by the middle of the chapter. Being the narrator he adds intimacy, authority, and immediacy. Using him as a narrator is practical to the point that he knows all about Charles. In the beginning of the book it is important to the story plot to know as much about Charles as possible, because he will be to main object of Emma’s dissatisfaction with her unromantic lifestyle. Charles’ classmate is eventually phased out as the narrator because he could not add anything more to the story. In chapter five the reader starts to take the point of view of Emma’s consciousness. This is the first time the reader can see exactly what she is thinking. At this point in time we can see she is beginning to become disgusted with Charles. The major point of view that is shown throughout the story is third person omniscient.
Madame Bovary is both orthodox and unorthodox in its story plot organization. Some scenes scattered throughout the book are told through the use of a flashback. One such flashback is when Charles describes his parents. He tells about them in an earlier time and place. Also, Emma tells the reader about some of her memories of the convent and also about her father’s farm. Another flashback that occurs often in the book is when Emma has her spells of religious enthusiasm, and when she does this she reverts back into an earlier mood or character.
Gustave Flaubert’s characterization of Emma is very eccentric and complex. It is almost to the point of being confusing. Through his mastery of language, Madame Bovary can be interpreted as a brilliant example of romanticism. Emma’s sentimentality is learned at a very early age, because she was raised in a convent. Throughout the book her tendency toward her dream world was also started in the convent. She constantly searched for the mystic and the unusual rather than the real world. She spent all of her time dreaming of the extreme romantic view of knights in shining armor and being queen of an old castle. She shut out the