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Madame Bovary

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  • Essay length: 3351 words
  • Submitted: 11/08/2008
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University Degree Miscellaneous

The first 200 words of this essay...

Do you agree that Madame Bovary neither glorifies nor punishes adultery?

Madame Bovary was written in 1857 in a time of great social unrest in France. The Revolution in 1772 had led to some movement towards the establishment of equality between the sexes, however, this was to be temporarily abolished with the re-introduction of the monarchy and women's roles within society were redefined once more. The authorisation of divorce in 1792 was also eradicated at the beginning of the Restoration in 1816 and was not reinstated until 1884. Women were seen as pure and obedient, upholding the moral fibre of society. As Heath says:

Marriage and the family are sacrosanct and women, whose position

regresses with the bourgeois tightening of the forms of these institutions are the sacrosanct figure of their achievement, the linchpin of the religion and the morality they supposedly embody with their purity.1

Therefore, in this dawn of a new political era, marriage was an extremely prevalent theme of popular literature and consequently the issue of adultery was frequently approached. Another novel by Feydeaus, one of Flaubert's contemporaries, entitled "Fanny" told of an adulterous liaison in extremely graphic

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