Madame Bovary not only marked another change in the history of French fiction since the nineteenth century, but also influenced the evolution and development of the literary genre of short and medium fiction in the following era on a global scale. This article focuses on analyzing the character characteristics of the protagonist Emma from the original work “Madame Bovary” by the famous French writer Flaubert. The character image is analyzed, and the inevitability of its tragedy is explored, and the explanation is given from three factors: family, society and self.
1. The Story of
”Madame Bovary” The work “Madame Bovary” is written by Flaubert, the “father of modern fiction”. Flaubert was a critical realist novelist in the mid-nineteenth century. Madame Farley is his masterpiece, which has won wide praise and high praise in the French and even global literary circles with its strong realistic criticism effect and breakthrough innovation in artistic style.
In 1857, Flaubert shocked the literary world by publishing this work in the “Paris Journal”. This story mainly tells about a pure and lovely peasant girl who gradually lost herself after marriage, separated from reality to pursue an illusory romantic life, owed a lot of debts, was unable to repay, and eventually died. Madame Bovary, also called Emma, was born in an ordinary peasant family and lived with her father since she was a child. After she was thirteen years old, she was taken to the monastery by her mother, where she also received an aristocratic education, and she lived with the nuns. They ate and lived together, and the placid days sparked Emma’s quest for romance. Later, Charles Bovary, a physician, met Emma during a visit. At that time, Charles was still married, but Charles’ wife died soon after. But Emma’s father felt that the two were not suitable from the beginning and was opposed to it. Over time, Emma’s father also slowly accepted Charles, and Emma entered the palace of marriage with the blessing of her father and the nuns. After becoming Madame Bovary, Emma was disappointed by the peaceful daily life after marriage. She was immersed in the dream of seeking sincere love, and met the talented young Leon and the handsome aristocratic young Rudolph one after another. Rudolph was a playboy who was a playboy, and when he got tired of it, he abandoned Emma and went to Rouen to find another mistress. When Emma found out, she became very angry and fell ill. After she got better, she wanted to change her past and start her life again. Charles took her to see a play in Rouen to relieve her boredom. In the theater, she happened to meet Leon, who once fell in love with her at first sight. As a result, the two rekindled their old love, and Emma secretly dated Leon in the name of practicing the piano. Deeply in love, she also bought a large number of clothes from clothing dealer Lele on credit to dress herself up, thus accumulating a large amount of arrears, so that she had to pledge the property rights to Lele without telling her husband, but continued borrowing and debt. The endless pawns left Emma with nowhere to go. The court also stipulated that Emma must repay the entire loan of 8,000 francs within 24 hours. She turns to her lover, Leon, and insinuates him to embezzle public funds, but Leon treats her coldly. In the end, Emma took arsenic in desperation and fled the world in grief. Charles also suffered a huge blow and setback. He died of illness soon after, and put the daughter left by Emma in foster care with his aunt. Because her aunt’s family was very poor, her daughter later joined a spinning mill.
Although the storyline of this novel is very simple and ordinary, Flaubert vividly and carefully describes the tragic life of an ordinary woman in the mid-nineteenth century, from happiness to tragedy, and then from tragedy to destruction. Very impressive. In his works, Flaubert objectively and accurately revealed the antecedents and consequences of Madame Bovary’s suicide. Emma’s fall was doomed and doomed, not just due to her own fault, but to the social circumstances of the time.
In addition, the work also expounds a common problem of human nature: when people seek perfection and realize their own value, they often fall into the contradiction between desire and reality. It is impossible to extricate oneself, and as a result, it may cause setbacks or destruction. Although people may have short-lived victories in the process of struggle, they always have to pay a huge price.
2. Analysis of Emma’s Character in “Madame Bovary”
Emma ‘s life is ordinary, but her character is very distinct. The image of Emma in Madame Bovary can be analyzed from the three roles of Emma, Madame Bovary and the lover of others. These three roles have different descriptions of her, and they also show the process of an innocent girl who finally fell into the abyss because she could not control her desires, and the romantic feelings finally disappeared in the soil of realism. The following will analyze her character image from these three roles.
(1) Analysis of the character image as Emma
Before marriage, when she was Emma, she was a naive and romantic girl with infinite longing and yearning for love. She was slender and beautiful. The original chapter states, “She had read Paul and Virginie, dreamed of little bamboo houses, dark Domangos, ‘faithful’ puppy, especially a kind, affectionate one. My little brother, in order to pick red fruits for you, you can climb a tree taller than the bell tower, and in order to find a bird’s nest for you, you can run barefoot on the beach.” It can be seen that Emma hopes that her future husband will be a “prince” who understands romance, has passion, and is indifferent to the world, and who can love her regardless of everything. What she received in the monastery was aristocratic education, the baptism and nurture of the upper class, and art and fashion. She is also obsessed with romantic novels and has romantic fantasies about love, so she hopes that what she will get is also a good love and a romantic life. She expects that she will have a vigorous love and a man who understands romance, and is eager to be able to It is impractical to be in high society and discuss politics, philosophy, history, art and fashion with high society people.
(2) Analysis of the character image of Madame Bovary
Flaubert described Madame Bovary’s loss after marriage: “The bored little spider, who has been silent all the time, is weaving webs in every dark corner of her heart. My God, Why am I getting married?” There is an impressive scene. One morning shortly after Emma and Charles were newly married, Emma carefully prepared breakfast. The food was as delicate as the pastries on the counter, and Emma was full of anticipation. He waited for her husband’s compliments and responses, but Charles didn’t care about them. He just took two bites of breakfast and said, “I don’t need to be so troublesome to pick the fruit from the yard in the future.” Ma didn’t speak anymore. This seemingly inconspicuous detail once again confirmed the inappropriateness of the two. One wants a refined, ritualistic life, while the other just wants to fill his stomach.
”When her daughter was born, Emma’s role gradually changed, from a wife to a mother, and she slowly saw the huge difference between reality and her dreams, and at the same time, Ai Ma also knew that her dream in the past was something that she could never achieve now. Only by obtaining a certain material living standard can she ensure the quality of her life, and she could never achieve her only by relying on her dream. Ideal life. In this conflict between dream life and real life, Emma’s pure love values have also changed. In daily life, Emma also began to ridicule her husband. “Emma She walked into the palace of marriage with Charles with a good hope, but found in her beautiful fantasy that life was far from being as beautiful as she imagined. The peaceful life did not bring her happiness. Charles was dull and incomprehensible. It also disappointed her.
The romance, emotion and passion before marriage gradually fade away after marriage, annihilated in countless ordinary mornings and evenings. The life after marriage is very different from the beautiful life she had longed for. Charles’ mediocrity, dullness and boredom made her unacceptable. The huge gap occurred in Emma’s heart, and her disappointment was also in ordinary days. It was gradually enlarged, and the gap between ideal and reality forced Emma to accept it, which also paved the way for her later affair and laid the groundwork. Charles could not satisfy the fantasy of love in her heart. The mediocrity of reality pulled her down from the high seat of romanticism. She fell down and was not willing to accept the reality. Instead, she chose extramarital affairs. By enjoying desperate love and extravagant love. life, to make up for and fill one’s own desires.
(3) Analysis of the image
as a lover As a lover, Madame Bovary pursues her own desires even in complete disregard of the worldly vision. She is bold and out of the world. At a party, under the introduction of her husband Charles, she met her first lover, Leon. As a legal officer, Lyon often travels around various cities, and he has visited Paris, which Emma has longed for since childhood. With Emma, this is Emma’s ideal lover, full of enthusiasm and passion, full of enthusiasm for life. However, the love with Leon, a young man who lives outside his family and has no wealth foundation, is like duckweed. It grows prosperously on the water, but has no foundation under the water. It is beautiful and fragile. During the tryst with Leon, Madame Bovary owed a lot of usury in order to maintain the relationship, and neither Rudolph nor Leon had any intention to help her repay the debt. She also felt shameless because of the complete corruption of her reputation, and committed suicide by swallowing poison.
3. An analysis of the inevitability of Emma’s tragedy in Madame Bovary
When the author Flaubert described the scene of Emma’s suicide, in order to make the novel closer to reality and more accurately describe Emma’s reaction to drinking the poison, he even drank it himself to feel it. Even at the last moment of Emma’s death, he wept bitterly, and he threw himself deeply into the real situation of the work, sharing joy and sorrow with the characters in the work. And when he finally finished the work, he seemed to have all his strength taken away, collapsed on the chair, weeping bitterly, empathizing with Emma’s unfortunate ending. And such a tragedy must be caused by a combination of factors. This paper mainly analyzes the factors from three aspects: family, society and self.
(1) Family environment factors
Different families will achieve different people, which will have a huge impact on the personality and psychology of each child. Emma lost her mother when she was four years old. Although Miss Taylor, a tutor, taught her, loved her, and treated her like her own daughter, Miss Taylor was not her biological mother after all. She has been learning to be the head of the family since she was twelve years old, and has always had a feeling of being dependent on others, so that it affected her in her later marriage. The father was an ordinary farmer, and he always wanted Emma to enjoy an aristocratic upbringing life. In order to give his daughter Emma a good education, he sent her directly to the monastery for teaching. The experience and knowledge in the monastery strengthened Emma’s romantic thoughts, and Emma also began to construct an ideal spiritual world by herself. She read a lot of literature on romanticism. These romantic literature books gave her spiritual sustenance at the same time. , and also planted the seeds of romanticism in her immature mind, making her have various fantasy about beauty, but these things are completely different from the society she later entered into reality. This laid the foundation for Emma’s tragedy. The education in the monastery was diametrically opposed to what society could accept at the time. If she could not realize and accept the gap between reality and ideal, she had been indulging in her own beautiful fantasy. , will inevitably lead to her tragedy.
(2) Social and environmental factors
Flaubert began to create “Madame Bovary” in 1856 and completed it in 1857. The background of the story is the July Dynasty in France. The writer has successfully grasped the characteristics of the times: an era has become history, and the waves and turmoil it set off at that time have left an indelible impact on the next era. In the society at that time, the pursuit of spiritual wealth and the pursuit of romanticism were prominent signs of people, which had a certain impact on people’s psychological and social development. It cannot be fully adapted. The new era has new social needs, people pay more attention to reality and reality, and this new social need is incompatible with the old social needs. The social problem shown in Madame Bovary is the contradiction between the artistic pursuit of the artist and the mediocre reality.
”By chance, the Bovarys were invited to a ball held by the upper class, where people pursued quality and fashion, talked about philosophy, history and art, exchanged and shared everything new, romantic life and spirit. They have their own opinions and opinions about their wealth. So Emma has been unhappy since returning from the dance, thinking that God is unjust, and she is obviously younger and more beautiful than those ladies, but she can’t live the beautiful life she dreamed of.” Life After Prosperity She returned to peace again, but her heart could no longer be calm. Emma’s various encounters, experiences and moods were the epitome of many ordinary women in the society at that time. The storyline was no different from the usual derailment incidents, but the author’s brushstrokes delicately portrayed Emma in different periods, and used vivid language to describe Emma. Emma has created different images, so that when we read the original book, we can bring ourselves into it and experience Emma’s character and psychology more truly.
”The misery of the Bovary couple is the misery caused by an impulse to pursue passion and sacrifice everything.” In order to find a beautiful and ideal love, Emma finally clashed with reality and went to the road of perdition. She paid a heavy price for it. Byron once said that the emotions of men are part of men’s lives, while women’s emotions are the whole of women’s lives. The root of Emma’s tragic fate is that as a woman, in the process of striving to realize the value of her life, she dedicates all her thoughts, feelings and life to her lover, pursuing perfect, ideal and romantic emotions , but became the shackles that imprisoned him for life.
Madame Bovary could not allow her passionate romantic fantasies to succumb to worldly realities. Her post-marital behavior was simply to achieve her unrealistic hopes. She wanted to live a fashionable life as described in the works she had read. Her tragic end was a consequence of her escapism. She neither sees herself as a loser nor admits that she is addicted to excessive romanticism. She willingly immersed herself in the beautiful dreams she weaved and felt sorry for herself, including her later suicide, which is also a manifestation of escapism, which also shows the shattering of romantic dreams. Madame Bovary’s life was sad and worthwhile. This image of Emma plays an important role in our exploration of the practical significance of society.