Romanticism vs Realism

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Cast of Madame Bovary: A Study of Realism and Romanticism Through the Characters of the Novel Gustave Flaubert is considered one of the most influential novelists of the Realist period. His most famous work, Madame Bovary, earned both heavy criticism and fame for its controversial style and mockery of Romanticism. The novel itself even went to trial, being banned for a while due to immorality (Various, 1). Many elements commonly found in Romantic novels were criticized and, to an extent, parodied in Madame Bovary. This stems from Flaubert having a cynical view of others, as well as a generally pessimistic outlook on life that was influenced by a young philosopher, Alfred Le Poittevin, who he met at an early age (Barzun, 1). This paper…show more content…
They quickly foster a powerful relationship that could easily become more passionate, but Emma pushes him away. In her mind, she was being a good wife, and was possibly pursuing the Romantic ideal of the love that could never be (like Romeo and Juliet). Despite his advances, Emma pushes Leon away, and finally he leaves for Paris to pursue his career. Leon still pines for Emma, however, and, later in the novel, he has Emma visit him. An affair forms from these visits, one that Leon’s superiors at work do not approve of, as Flaubert made clear throughout its course. As this new subplot continues, their passion, which was feverishly strong at the beginning of the affair begins to wane and they both find faults and problems with the relationship. As Emma struggles to work out her debts from constantly buying luxuries that she can’t possibly afford, even asking Leon to pawn off some silverware her father gave her, he began to question her actions. In the end, however, what finally separated them was Leon growing up. He was quite good at his job and was moving up in the world. Eventually Emma’s constant sobs and cries bored him, he grew tired of the constant sadness and suffering, and even their sex became boring for him. When Emma sought him out for money directly, even trying to push him to steal from his office, he fashioned a lie to get away from her, and left her forever. Leon’s Romantic way of thinking originally came from boredom
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