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Scenes of Suicide - A Comparison between Madame Bovary and the awakening.

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Jessica Wang February 17, 2003 Dr. Smith Scenes of Suicide: A Comparison between Madame Bovary and The Awakening In Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary and Kate Chopin's The Awakening the death scenes of both novels are one of the most essential scenes. There are, in these scenes many major similarities and differences. Both suicides arise from related circumstances. Emma from Madame Bovary, and Edna from The Awakening are two women who suffer from the monotony of domestic life and dissatisfaction with their marital lives. Yet chief differences lie within the different meanings of the respect deaths that the two dissimilar women hold. The death scenes of the two protagonists (who are also sometimes the antagonists) can be compared through the circumstances and motivations that drive them to commit suicide, and the language and the structure that Flaubert and Chopin use to illustrate the death scenes. Their deaths parallel one another in that their discontent with their lives leads them to commit suicide. Edna is bored with life, much like Emma, and cannot find any satisfaction with her husband. Le´┐Żnce, who is solely concerned with his business, views Edna as nothing more than another possession. ...read more.


Her only ideas of love are based on the false representations of romantic novels. Essentially, Emma wants to live the life of a different person-ideally, a wealthy person that lives in Paris. Despite this, because Emma thinks and dreams in a world of romance, there is still a question of whether Emma will ever truly be satisfied with her life. Paris and wealth may appear to embrace romantic ideals on the surface, yet no matter how similar they are, reality will never be just like her novels. Edna on the contrary wants to escape her life and the rules of society. She does not want to live any particular type of life style or anybody else's life. Edna wants freedom from everyone and wishes to live her life the way she chooses to therefore the key difference between the two is Emma is trying to escape her life to live a romantic life while Edna is trying to escape her life to live her own life. Through the language of Flaubert, the tragic heroine Emma is portrayed as a vulnerable woman who is too young and inexperienced to be married. ...read more.


In her death scene Edna is enfolded in the sea's "soft, close embrace" in contrast to Emma's vulgar and morbid death. The language that Flaubert and Chopin use in the scenes of suicide also gives insight into their beliefs. Madame Bovary is very coarsely written with little compassion towards Emma because she is a weaker character as seen through her psychological motivations in the book. Chopin writes Edna in response to this situation but portrays the female character much stronger and reveals that a woman does not have to be weak and deluded to find herself in this situation. Although the events of the two women's lives before their deaths are remarkably similar, through an observation of the motives behind the character's desires to seek death, and through the death scenes themselves, the real differences are revealed between The Awakening and Madame Bovary. Edna's death is not weak and defeated. Unlike Emma, she is not tortured with seizures and made a mockery of. Edna dies while remembering her childhood and herself. She controlled her own life, and her own end. Chopin took the situation of the main character of Madame Bovary and made a statement through the death of her character-the suppression of women ...read more.

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