Reality versus Illusion in Madame Bovary Essay

Reality versus Illusion in Madame Bovary Essay

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Reality versus Illusion in Madame Bovary


A central theme in Flaubert's novel, Madame Bovary, is that of reality versus illusion. In this story, Emma Bovary attempts to escape the mundane of normal life to fulfill her fantasies. By enjoying romantic novels, traveling from place to place, indulging in luxuries, and having affairs, she attempts to live the life that she imagines while studying in the convent. It is Emma's early education that arouses in Emma the conflict against what she perceives as confinement. The convent is Emma's earliest confinement. Her little contact with the outside world is what intrigues her, the novels smuggled in or the sound of a distant cab rolling along the streets.
At first, she is excited about her new environment and enjoys the company of the nuns, "who, to amuse her, would take her into the chapel by way of a long corridor leading from the dining hall." However, she was a serious student. "She played very little during the recreation period and knew her catechism well." The church fascinates her and she is always trying to fast, find some vo...

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