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Madame Bovary


Madame Bovary (1856) is the French writer Gustave Flaubert's debut novel. The story focuses on a doctor's wife, Emma Bovary, who has adulterous ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of Madame Bovary

Overall customer rating: 5.000

The Extravagance of Emma

by rejoyce on Oct 3, 2007

Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary is fully deserving of its canonical status. The portrait of Emma Bovary, whose extravagant passions and dreams that cannot be contained by a dull marriage, result in adulterous affairs, debt, and suicide, is unforgettable. The reader is absolutely persuaded of her fullness of character; indeed, this is woman as seductress in part, but she can hardly be regarded as a type. If anything, her husband Charles, adoring, long-suffering, and deluded, might be more archetypal. Leslie Fiedler has observed that while Flaubert wrote of adult male-female relationships in the 1850s, American male novelists wrote gothic "boy's books" almost in evasion of those same themes. In Flaubert's novel, there is a knowingness about marriage, sexuality, the bourgeoisie and its values, obsession, deception, and death, even a prefiguring of black comedy and the grotesque in the eyeless beggar whose song ironically foretells Emma Bovary's demise.

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