Flaubert’s Madame Bovary

This paper discusses the function of the character Emma in Flaubert’s `Madame Bovary`.

This paper explains that Emma Bovary from `Madame Bovary` by Gustave Flaubert is an intriguing character and, like any good character of literature, has all the complexities that ‘real’ people have. The author points out that Emma is a character who is driven by a desire to achieve the kind of life she has read about in romance novels. The paper relates that Flaubert’s message is a warning about the dangers of the romantic view and the inherent problems in accepting a romantic view as achievable.
In a normal environment, Emma would be able to express her interest in relationships through the people around her. She would have contact with males and would have people in relationships acting as role models for her. In the convent, Emma is removed from all these influences and essentially isolated from any example of a romantic relationship. With Emma’s natural interest in relationships, this drives her to look elsewhere. The place she looks is in romance novels. With the reading of these novels, Emma has a view created of the perfect man and the perfect relationship. It must also be noted at this point that individuals at this age develop their expectations of the world from the influences in their world. One could argue that it is Emma’s fault for accepting this view, because she should have known better than to accept such a false view of reality.