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Passage commentary Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert

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Nathalie Hitimana English IBS A1 Passage commentary Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert "He was so happy and had not a single care in the world. A meal together, and evening walk along the road, the way she put her hand up to her hair, the sigh of the straw hat hanging from a window latch, along with all the other little things that Charles has never even dreamed of, now made up the circle of his happiness. In bed, in the morning, close together on the pillow he gazed at the sunlight playing in the golden down on her cheeks, half hidden by the scalloped edges of her bonnet. So very close, her eyes seemed even bigger, especially when she first awoke and her eyelids fluttered into life. Black in the shadows, and deep blue in full daylight, as if the colors were floating layer upon layer, thickest in the depths, coming clear and bright towards the surface. His eye drifted away into the deep, and there he saw himself in miniature, head and shoulder, with his nightcap on his head and his shirt unbuttoned. He would get up. She would go to the window to watch him leaving; and she would lean on the sill, between the two pots of geraniums, in her dressing gown, which was wrapped loose about her. ...read more.


Emma's face always has some kind of reflection to the sun when being described. This suggest that she wants to reach out to somewhere else, she has a certain glow that makes her belong to a higher society, although she doesn't realize it before this passage. The sunlight and her face in this passage are described as " the sunlight playing in the golden down her cheeks, half hidden by the scalloped edges of her bonnet." Even on page 13, it describes another event where the sun and her face meet, " The parasol, made of marbled silk, as the sun came shinning through it, seem ed shifting colors over the whiteness of her face. There she was milking moist warmth of its shade; and you could hear the drops of water, one by one falling on the taut fabric." This description backs up the earlier suggestion, of the sunlight on her face being a symbol of where she wants to go, and where she thinks she belongs. Emma in this book is a character that never likes what she has, therefore she always wants more or complains, or dreams of the luxurious life that she and her husband cannot afford. The night at the ball, she gets introduced to this other world, where she finds this ambience suiting her the most. ...read more.


The window in this passage seems to be significant in the rest of the book as a place where Emma finds refuge, and where she dreams of the world she wants. "Emma was stationed at her window (she was often there : the window, in the provinces, replace the dress and promenading), and she was amusing herself observing the throngs of rustic, when she noticed, a gentle man in a frock-coat of green velvet" (pg 101). Emma's window is like an eye to this other world that she dreams she could belong to. This passage is just a complicated description of what seems to be a happy couple. It describes a scene from the book, and its as if after this passage, everything goes downhill for the married couple. Emma starts complaining and she realizes that being married is not the happiest she had ever been, which leads to actions of adultery which effects Charles' happiness. The imagery in this passage gives a sense of how Flaubert uses his techniques to describe the smallest thing. The sun is almost always associated to Emma's face, and the circles are related to the movement of life in each characters development. This passage is like where Emma shuts her "window" on Charles, the window where she sees everything she wants to see. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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