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Madame Bovary Essay

July 21, 2009

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert is the mid nineteenth century story of a French woman named Emma Bovary in bourgeois society, who passionately but recklessly pursues the splendid life that her imagination strains toward. She tries to fill her emptiness with books, with fantasies, with sex, and with things. This desire for more, and the difference between her illusion and reality, is what ultimately destroys Emma. The ball at Vaubyessard is the episode in which Emma’s discontent with her marriage is further enhanced by the magnificent display of luxury and by the exhilaration of the ball. The ball gives her a taste of the satisfaction of living her illusions, which makes her dread even more the tediousness of reality. Flaubert illustrates the evil effects of reading, the emptiness of romantic illusions, …

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