Madame Bovary: Homais Essay example

889 Words Jun 25th, 2013 4 Pages
Mikael Janko
March 19, 2013
Critical Practice

Characterization in Madame Bovary: Homais
In literature, there are various (and many) ways of introducing a character. The simplest way, as Lodge proposes this “most important single component of the novel,” is by providing a biographic summary or a physical description of a character. (Lodge, 67)
The name Homais derives from the word ‘homai,’ more than often traced and linked to Bhagavad Gita (A Hindu Scripture), and whose translation predominantly refers to the notion of ego, self, and selfishness. Needless to say, in the narrative’s discourse such traits become inseparable from Homais’s character sooner rather than later, and the question becomes—why was Flaubert inclined in
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Conversely, Madame Lefrancois appears indifferent to hiding her disinterest in Homais’s (self-inflating) monologues. Here Rimmon- Kenan appropriately defines two basic types of textual indicators of a character—direct definition and indirect presentation—with ‘direct’ implying the direct naming of the trait by an adjective, an abstract noun, etcetera. The second one, the indirect presentation, “does not mention the trait bu dislays and expemlifies it in various ways,” allowing for the reader to recognize such implications.” (Rimmon-Kenan, 61;74)
The stylistic flourish of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, with its impersonality, complicates the processes of, what Stephen Heath terms a reader’s hesitation “between character and commentary, not knowing whether to take what is said at face value with the character in question” (Heath, 117). Lodge’s, in the chapter on “Showing and Telling,” vividly illustrates and pinpoints Flaubert’s methodology in characterizing. As a derivative of Flaubert’s rhetoric in the above passage, in which he hurries to exclaim Homais’s already apparent trait by stating “exclaimed the apothecary, who always had the proper-expression for any conceivable circumstance,” our character is rendered microscopically while we (readers) are reminded of the author’s

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