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Understanding the Woman Behind the Name, Essay Example

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Essay

Madame Bovary’s representation as a woman of social distinction creates an illusion that women were indeed recognized in the society in the past. However, in relation to how she was defined in the novel, the author imposed that for a woman like Bovary to be noticed by the society, it is required that she has the wealth and the beauty needed for the establishment of such popularity. Nevertheless, beyond the possession of such characteristics that are wanted by most women, Bovary was also presented to have her flaws that define her to be rather immoral as a woman who embraces adultery just so to get what she wants out of life, which is most often than not materialistic. To show her distaste for her own way of living, the story reads like this:

But it was above all at mealtimes that she could bear it no longer, in that little room on the ground floor, with the smoking stove, the creaking door, the oozing walls, the damp floor-tiles; all the bitterness of life seemed to be served to her on her plate, and, with the steam from the boiled beef, there rose from the depths of her soul other exhalations as it were of disgust…

Somehow, her freedom was kept at a limit because of being a woman, and this caused her even more distaste for her own life as the story continues:

But a woman is always hampered. Being inert as well as pliable, she has against her the weakness of the flesh and the inequity of the law. Like the veil held to her hat by a ribbon, her will flutters in every breeze; she is always drawn by some desire, restrained by some rule of conduct.

On the aspect of being a feminist novel, the story of Madame Bovary explores the possible reasons behind a woman’s vulnerability to sinful acts. One specific matter presented in the story is that of the direct involvement of Bovary in reading romance novels when she was still in the convent. Being honed by such materials, Bovary saw everything that she did not have and began to desire for them. Being sexually attractive, Bovary uses the said characteristic to gain what she wants out of life. For quite some time, the said scheme may have worked.

It was as if she had every man at her feet, controlling them and pushing them to give her what she needs. However, later on, at the turn of time, such condition changes and she losses the chance to see life the way she could really have if only she had appreciated what she had at the time. The story notes this fact through considering the following lines:

So she set out towards La Huchette, unaware that she was hastening to offer what had so angered her a while ago, not in the least conscious of her prostitution.

Has she been contented with what she had, she did not have to create a scheme that would lower down her personal dignity and the value she has for her life as a woman of beauty and supposed ‘intelligence’. The course of self-destruction that she embraced as a woman subjected her to see the more negative side of her dreams as a young woman. Apparently, to be known and be accepted by the society, she learned that she had to sacrifice so much at the point that she even needed to sacrifice her dignity just so to realize the fulfillment of her dreams and lose the same dream in a mere blink of an eye.

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