Madame Bovary Essay

944 WordsApr 19, 20124 Pages
The protagonist in Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert is the character Emma Bovary. Emma Bovary is a country girl who was educated in a convent. She lacks maternal instinct in all forms and has more annoyed feelings toward her daughter than caring ones. She is a very passionate and sensual person, which makes her crave for sophistication, wild romance, and the indulgences of parties and the wealthy city-life that she reads about in her novels. She was very bored and depressed with her life, because it did not amount to the lives of those she read about in her novels. She was also obsessed with immediate satisfaction and cared only about what satisfied her, no matter how it affected anyone else. A very powerful theme in the novel Madame Bovary is the powerlessness of women in the Bourgeois society. This position of weakness of women is made apparent when Flaubert says, ."..a woman is always hampered. Being inert as well as pliable, she has against her the weakness of the flesh and the inequity of the law." Due to the powerlessness to men, when Emma became pregnant, instead of hoping for a healthy normal child, she hoped that she had a boy because, as she feels, "A man, at least, is free; he can explore all passions and all countries, overcome obstacles, taste of the most distant pleasures." Throughout the novel, Emma Bovary, the main character, is utterly and completely dependent on the men in her life for every aspect of her existence, and thus, she has no power to change or ameliorate her life, or to stop her misery. As an adolescent, Emma lived with her father on a large farm. As her mother was deceased, Emma's raising was left completely to her father. When Charles expressed interest in marrying Emma, it was up to the father, and not Emma, to decide her fate. Her father said to himself "If he asks for her, I'll give her to him" (pg. 17). Her father, speaking of

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