Madam Bovary


Madam Bovary is the name of a novel that was written in the year 1856 by a French writer who was known as Gustave Flaubert. The novel has been termed as both influential and realistic in its narration. However, this was not the case from the onset.

When the novel was unveiled for the first time in the months of October and December in the year 1856, public prosecutors considered it obscene. As a result of this consideration, Flaubert was put on trial in the month of January in 1857, and in the following month he was acquitted. A number of things contributed to the influence of this novel to the point of being a bestseller after the acquittal of Flaubert.

The fact that the writer was put on trial for his work increased people’s curiosity on what the book was all about. Therefore, on the acquittal of the writer, many people rushed to get the book. Secondly, the book had a very simple plot and an interesting artistic use of words, details and patterns that were a little hidden. This was because the author, Flaubert, was keen on providing perfect work such as ensuring he uses the perfect word for any situation.

Madame Bovary’s story line revolved around Emma Bovary who was the wife to a doctor, engaged in adultery and lived beyond her standards. The adulterous nature of Emma emanates from two factors: her huge ambition and lack of ambition in her husband, Charles Bovary. This novel has eight main characters. In addition to Mr and Mrs Bovary there is Rodolphe Boulanger, Leon Dupuis, Monsieru Lhereux, Monsieur and Madame Homais, and Justin. Minor characters in the novel include the first wife of Charles Bovary, Charles’ mother and the four children to Homais. As the story line in this novel starts, Charles’ mother chooses a wife for Charles.

The story in the Madam Bovary novel happens in rural France. This setup contributes to the realist nature of the novel and it is presumed Flaubert chose this setting because he grew up in such an environment. Despite the common life of the novel’s setting, Emma has urban romantic fantasies. Her character is in contradiction with the setting. This contradiction makes the entire story quite interesting to read. A book written about a normal life in a rural setting would rarely make a best seller. Therefore, the artistic use of words and style by Gustave Flaubert cannot be overstated. He was so good that even public prosecutors considered his work obscene.