Emma Bovary and the Failure of Sentimental Romanticism
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Hailed as the first modern realistic novel, Gustave Flaubert's "Madame Bovary" details the life of Emma Bovary and the failure of sentimental romanticism. The paper show how Flaubert, a model for Emma, was a romantic who, longed for deeper experiences of emotion, whether these experiences were ones of love or of intellectual passion. The paper shows, however, that unlike his fallen heroine who dies an unfulfilled romantic, Flaubert became a pessimist in an effort to assuage his suffocating soul. The paper concludes that through Emma's self-destruction via self-corruption, Flaubert maintains in "Madame Bovary" not only that a romantic cannot find contentment in a realistic world, but also that a romantic cannot survive in a realistic world.
From the Paper:"With such high expectations of love, Emma enters into a marriage destined to disappoint her, and only loses herself in romantic escapism. Unable to adjust to the realities of her life, Emma allows her fascination with romantic dreams to evolve into an obsession, and she devotes her energies exclusively to the creation of a world immune to ennui, futile efforts indeed. She quickly tires of wifehood and, as daydreams replace any useful endeavors, abandons her household duties, as well as her drawing and piano playing. She wonders "just what was meant, in real life, by the words felicity, passion and intoxication" (33; pt.l, ch.5), believing she must have been mistaken about her love for her husband Charles because "the happiness which ought to have resulted from that love . . . [had] failed to materialize" (33; pt.l, ch.6). Continuously comparing her dull, routine environment with the glamorous "if-only" worlds in her dreams, her situation seems utterly intolerable. How can her life be beautiful unless she can make plans while gazing at the stars from the balcony of a Swiss chalet?"
Cite this Analytical Essay:
Emma Bovary and the Failure of Sentimental Romanticism (2003, March 26) Retrieved December 09, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/emma-bovary-and-the-failure-of-sentimental-romanticism-25383/
"Emma Bovary and the Failure of Sentimental Romanticism" 26 March 2003. Web. 09 December. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/emma-bovary-and-the-failure-of-sentimental-romanticism-25383/>