Madame Bovary Essay

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During the process of reading Gustave Flaubert’s novel Madame Bovary, I began to notice the very unique way Flaubert wrote his descriptions and dialogues. In Part One of his novel the very first line is “We were in class when the head master came in…” (p. 5). The first chapter signifies that the novel will be narrated in first person plural, as in the view of an outsider. However, I believe that the narrator changes each time the characters move or change their location. This is because I believe the narrator is various towns’ people. By having towns’ people narrate, it supports the point of the novel by giving an outsiders view of the characters lives, and what is important to the development of the story. If the narrator was to fully get into any of the characters heads, particularly Emma’s, then the reader may feel differently towards certain events in the novel. For example, in Part Two, at the end of Chapter V, Felicite is telling Emma about the daughter of a fisherman who was ill until she became married. Emma then replies to this story with “but with me…it was after marriage that it began” (p. 91). This statement leads the reader into Emma’s mind. However, there is still some mystery as to exactly what she’s thinking, or as to why she feels that marriage has made her ill. There is never an extended explanation as to why she truly feels this way. Only, there are inferences as to why she’s so obsessed with the idea of having a life similar to a fairy tale. Through out the novel several incidences occur with very little description, which I find strange, because there are many other things that are overly described. Not to mention, the things that have very little description seem to be some of the most pivotal moments. In Part One of the novel, at the end of Chapter II, the first Madame Bovary dies. The death of her is abrupt and has barely any explanation.

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