Madame Bovary

Madam Bovary

Features of Realism in Madam Bovary

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"Madame Bovary is a novel of realism, a literary movement in which Flaubert was a pioneer. Realism stressed the presentation of life as it is, without embellishment or idealization. Although Flaubert’s realism portrays the world as it is, he fashions his images with the pen of an artist. Thus, his words may please the eye and ear even though they describe an ugly, foul or revolting event. His writing is careful, precise, objective, and emotionally restrained. Rather than rely on the approximate adjective-noun phrase to represent a thought, Flaubert sought the exact word, unadorned–le mot juste. Consequently, he revised his manuscripts again and again. Realism contrasts sharply with romanticism, a literary movement emphasizing emotions over reason and subjectivity over objectivity. In Madame Bovary, Emma reads romantic novels, which distort her vision of real life." (1)