Romantic Illusions in "Madame Bovary" Analytical Essay by academic

Romantic Illusions in "Madame Bovary"
A discussion on the fall of romanticism in Gustave Flaubert's "Madame Bovary".
# 46178 | 1,762 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Dec 16, 2003 in Literature (French) , English (Analysis)

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This paper examines how the shattering of romantic illusions forms the central theme of the novel, "Madame Bovary" by Gustave Flaubert. It looks at how Emma Bovary, the protagonist, is unable to reconcile her passionate romanticism with mundane reality and how she enters into adulterous relationships to fulfill her unrealistic desires. It discusses how her tragic end is an outcome of her withdrawal from reality, since she cannot see herself as a failure and refuses to admit that she has indulged in excessive romanticism. It shows how her suicide can be considered escapist, since it underlines the shattering of romantic illusions.

From the Paper:

"Emma's next relationship, with Leon, shows how her romanticism causes isolation the construction of "barriers between one human being and another." The isolation occurs because Emma judges men against her predetermined criteria of romanticism. When Emma is evaluating Leon, she remembers the little things: "she remembered his other gestures from other days, phrases he had used, the sound of his voice, (and) everything about him" (Flaubert, 1982). She believes that gestures and phrases alone can tell "everything about him" (Flaubert, 1982). Emma summons a mental facsimile from these memories "with the acuity of a sensation almost immediate" (Flaubert, 1982)."

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