Get help now
  • Pages 3
  • Words 616
  • Views 443
  • Download


    Verified writer
    • rating star
    • rating star
    • rating star
    • rating star
    • rating star
    • 4.8/5
    Delivery result 3 hours
    Customers reviews 309
    Hire Writer
    +123 relevant experts are online

    Madam Bovary Essay (616 words)

    Academic anxiety?

    Get original paper in 3 hours and nail the task

    Get help now

    124 experts online

    A central theme in Flaubert’s novel, Madame Bovary, is that of reality versus illusion. In this story, Emma Bovary attempts to escape the mundane of normal life to fulfill her fantasies.

    By enjoying romantic novels, traveling from place to place, indulging in luxuries, and having affairs, she attempts to live the life that she imagines while studying in the convent. It is Emma’s early education that arouses in Emma the conflict against what she perceives as confinement. The convent is Emma’s earliest confinement. Her little contact with the outside world is what intrigues her, the novels smuggled in or the sound of a distant cab rolling along the streets.

    At first, she is excited about her new environment and enjoys the company of the nuns, “who, to amuse her, would take her into the chapel by way of a long corridor leading from the dining hall.” However, she was a serious student. “She played very little during the recreation period and knew her catechism well.” The church fascinates her and she is always trying to fast, find some vow to fulfill, or some sin to invent for confession.

    All of the girls living within the protective walls of the convent sing happily together, assemble to study, and pray. But as the chapter progresses, thoughts of escape start to infiltrate Emma’s mind. She wishes to live a life of royalty in a manor house. As her stay in the convent progresses, Emma continues to fantasize images of exotic and foreign lands.

    The escape technique that she uses to conjure up images of heroines in castles seems to lead inevitably to chaos and disintegration. “Sultans with long pipes swooning on the arbors on the arms of dancing girls; there were Giaours, Turkish sabers and fezzes; and above all there were wan landscapes of fantastic countries: palm trees and pines were often combined in one picture with tigers on the right a lion on the left.” Emma’s strange dreams by this point are chaotic with both palms and pines mixed together with lions and tigers. These dreams continue and change themselves into a death wish as swans transform themselves into dying swans, and singing into funeral music.

    But Emma, although bored with her fantasy, refuses to admit it and she starts to revolt against the confines of the convent and the discipline, which was against her constitution. When her father finally came to take her, no one, not even the Lady Superior was sorry to see her leave. Emma Bovary’s education at the convent is significant not only because it provides the basis for Emma’s character, but also because the progression of images in this chapter is indicative of the entirety of the novel. Her thoughts progress from confinement to escape to chaos and disintegration.

    Thus, through the course of her life, Madame Bovary changes from a woman content with her marriage to a women who rebels against the conventions of her society to a women whose life is so chaotic to the point that she commits suicide. Indeed, Madame Bovary’s life is like a mirror that reflects upon her early childhood. Emma Bovary found pleasure in the things around her that quenched her boredom while living in the convent. One was her novels.

    “They were filled with love affairs, lovers, mistresses, persecuted ladies fainting in lonely country houses.” She also found interest in the sea but only because it was stormy. But all the things that Emma found interest in she soon became bored of, as she did Charles and Leon. This progression of images of confinement, escape, and chaos, parallel on her education and her life as Emma’s journey from boredom in reality to self-destruction in fantasy.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

    Need custom essay sample written special for your assignment?

    Choose skilled expert on your subject and get original paper with free plagiarism report

    Order custom paper Without paying upfront

    Madam Bovary Essay (616 words). (2019, Jan 15). Retrieved from

    We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

    Hi, my name is Amy 👋

    In case you can't find a relevant example, our professional writers are ready to help you write a unique paper. Just talk to our smart assistant Amy and she'll connect you with the best match.

    Get help with your paper