The Effect of Illusion on the Reality of Emma’s Life in Flaubert’s Madame Bovary

This is an edited version of the origin posting of April 04, 2008

Grama's space bubble

The Effect of Illusion on the Reality of Emma’s Life in Flaubert’s Madame Bovary

By Trudy A. Martinez

Emma attempts to make the fiction she reads become her reality. Real life bores her. When she lives in the country, she dreams of living in a town. As she walks and talks with Charles, reality and illusion merge. Her voice is “suddenly laden with languor” one minute and the next “merry . . . Her eyes” open “wide and innocent, then half” close, submerge “in boredom, thoughts wandering” (36).

Emma’s wandering thoughts surface when she attempts to mingle the plans for their wedding with fantasy. For example, She wants “a midnight wedding with torches” (38), but her father will not hear of it. But nevertheless, touches of fantasy make it through the planning stage: “A little cupid” adorns the wedding cake (42). And Emma’s dress is out-of-place: it is too long…

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About gramatrudy

BA degree in English with a single subject certification 1994 I enjoy writing, art (all forms), quilting, sewing, embroidery, photography (still and video), and most of all, my grandchildren.
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