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A Comparison between Madame Bovary and The Awakening Essay

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Similarities Between Madame Bovary and The Awakening

Centuries ago, in France, Gustave Flaubert wrote Madame Bovary. In 1899, Kate Chopin wrote The Awakening. The years cannot separate the books, and the definite similarities that the two show. Madame Bovary is the story of a woman who is not content with her life, and searches for ways to get away from the torture she lives everyday. The Awakening, much like Bovary, features a woman who is unhappy with her life, and wishes to find new adventures. The two books bear very strong similarities to each other, and the plots are almost exactly the same, though there are some subtle differences.

Set in two old cities in France, Emma Bovary, the main character in the first
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She describes herself as walking through life in a half stupor, not totally aware, not totally alive. She finds a man, who "Awakens" the urges that are hidden in the deep recesses of each person's being, recessed deep inside them. "The present alone was significant; was hers, to torture her as it was doing then with the biting conviction that she had been denied that which her impassioned, newly awakened being demanded." (59) A new age begins for both women, a period where they try to find the lives they think are eluding them.

The women seem to wander through a sort of haze, looking for something. The something that they both find happens to be a man. Emma stumbles upon her first man in a tavern. He is one of the first things she comes upon in her new town. They have dinner together, and immediately, the two form a bond. Unfortunately-depending on the standpoint you take-the relationship did not work out. Emma was not yet brazen enough, and Leon, the young gentleman with whom she was dumbstruck for, did not wish to advance it because she was married. This situation is matched almost exactly when Edna meets her first "fling" as it were. The circumstances though, are slightly different. Emma knows all her life that she wants a romantic sort of life. Edna does not know what she wants, only that she is bored. Until her "awakening" she just trips through life with no goal. Robert, her first man, is much like Leon, in that he does not wish to advance
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