Madame Bovary: Nontraditional Style of Writing Expression French Culture

Topics: Madame Bovary, Novel, Gustave Flaubert Pages: 6 (2150 words) Published: December 18, 2012
Madame Bovary, written by Gustave Flaubert, is a French novel from the 19th century that represents the first step into the modernization of classical literature. The act of adultery is introduced into the world of literature for the first time and is criticized by many. In the novel, the life of a French woman is symbolized through the elegance and controversial topics discussed. Flauberts, Madame Bovary, is an example of a non-traditional style of writing and expresses the French culture with character and originality.

Gustave Flaubert is know as the first modern writer because of his bravery to write about controversial topics that had not been discussed in the literary world. (Foster 4) Flaubert grew up in a small town where he found inspiration for his writings threw the people he met and the experiences he had. As a child, his mother left his father and he began to feel lost. This made him want to start activities including theater, reading, and writing. This was his first experience he had with literature and drama. (Davis 2) He then made friends with an elderly couple that seemed to have a marriage like his parents, before it went wrong. (Davis 3) Watching their marriage prompted the thought of adultery. He wondered if that was why his mom left him and his dad and he also started to feel really passionate about this contentious subject. (Davis 2) The original plan was for him to go to law school and become a wealthy lawyer with a perfect life. (Davis 1) At the age of twenty-three Flaubert began to have epileptic attacks. He was prevented from following through with his plan because the physical weakness he possessed. (Davis 3) Having so much down time and nothing to do made him feel the need to write about his honest emotions. He says his heart guided him to France where he fell in love with a woman that was married. This is when he knew that adultery must to be represented in his writings some way. (Davis 2) Flaubert was known for having thoughts and ideas that were greatly different from other authors at the time. (Foster 4) One of his major beliefs, that was bashed by many traditional writers, was that literature and sexuality are inextricable. (Davis 3) This belief is backed up with Madame Bovary. (me) He saw his writings as a translation of reality into an artistic and honest form of the truth. Unlike Falubert, many writers in the 19th century were scared to write about the truth and their opinions. (Foster 4) These same authors were the ones that accused Flaubert of causing a riot about the beliefs on adultery and how it should be handled. (“Madame Bovary” 7) The qualities of his writing style were so new to the world of literature that his peers expected Madame Bovary to turn out to be a book about nothing at all. (Davis 21) He had a way to take an ordinary situation and make it great with the focus of detail and artistic expressions. (James 2) He did this because he wanted the words and imagery to be the focus of the book, not the plot line. He especially did this with scenes that seemed to be unimportant, but made them important with the magical language. (Foster 4) Flaubert hoped that with this impeccable style of writing, the reader would overlook the moral insanity and focus on the illustration Flaubert was trying to convey. (Davis 18) Some of his metaphors were so deep and others were so blunt that translators had a hard time figuring out which to take literally and figuratively. (James 2) Madame Bovary was called an “anti novel” because the ending of the story was not what we as the readers were wanting to happen. He called this the “science of writing”. (Davis 1) Although he was criticized greatly, he was also praised for the many new and correct aspects of writing, in the novel. (me) The major French writers that were not afraid to admit the good quality of Flauberts work, considered him the father of realism. (Davis 1) He was commended for possessing the ability of never wasting a word and...
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