Madame Bovary Vs. The Awakening Essay

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Madame Bovary Vs. The Awakening

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert and The Awakening by Kate Chopin both show the life of a woman in a half-dreamy stupor, overzealously running around looking for something but not knowing what it is they are looking for. They feel immensely dissatisfied with the lives they are stuck with and find suicide to be the only alternative. The two books, Madame Bovary, written in 1857 and The Awakening, written in 1899, both have the theme of confinement and free-will, yet differ vastly with respect to the yearnings of the main characters. In addition, Edna and Emma, the protagonists of Madame Bovary and The Awakening respectively, are faced with a conflict between external oppression and their own free will,
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He had lived at court and gone to bed with queens! (Flaubert 42)

This is evidence of her inability to see things as they really are because of the merger between reality and her dream world; the man is old, fat, uncouth, dirty, and snobbish, yet Emma is awestruck by him. Emma cannot differentiate between fantasy and reality. In reality, the man is “wearing his napkin around his neck like a child and letting drops of gravy fall from his mouth as he [eats].” (Flaubert 42), yet Emma sees him to be “…an extraordinary and awe-inspiring sight. He had lived at court and gone to bed with queens!” (Flaubert 42). Emma is infatuated with royalty and nobility. She sheds any sort of rational thought and finds the old man awe-inspiring merely because he was nobility. “He was the Marqui’s Father-in-law, the old Duc de Laverdière”. (Flaubert 42). Because of this lack of rationality, she assumes automatically that “He had led a life of wild debauch, filled with duels, wagers and abducted women, squandered all his money, and horrified his whole family.” (Flaubert 42). This shows her inability to see past her romantic idealisms that lead to her to

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