Madame Bovary

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Genres: Banned Books
Language: English
Type: Digital

Madame Bovary is a novel by French writer Gustave Flaubert, published in 1856. The novel tells the story of Emma Bovary, a young woman who is unhappy with her marriage to a middle-class doctor and who seeks fulfillment in extramarital affairs.

Plot Summary

Emma Bovary is a young woman from a small village in France. She is married to Charles Bovary, a kind but dull doctor. Emma is bored with her life and her marriage, and she dreams of a more exciting and romantic life.

Emma begins to have extramarital affairs, hoping to find the excitement and passion that she is missing in her marriage. However, her affairs only lead to more unhappiness and despair.

Emma's debts mount up, and she becomes increasingly isolated and alienated from her husband. She eventually takes her own life.


Madame Bovary explores a number of themes, including:

  • Romanticism vs. Realism: The novel is a conflict between Emma's romantic ideals and the harsh realities of her life. Emma is constantly disillusioned by the world around her, and she eventually realizes that her dreams of a perfect life are unattainable.

  • Social Class: Emma is born into a lower social class than her husband, and she feels trapped by her social position. She longs for the wealth and status of the upper class, and she sees her affairs as a way to escape her social limitations.

  • Alienation: Emma is alienated from her husband, her family, and her community. She feels misunderstood and unloved, and she is unable to find fulfillment in her relationships.

  • The Destructive Power of Desire: Emma's desires destroy her. She is constantly seeking more and more, and she is never satisfied. Her insatiable desire for excitement and passion eventually leads to her downfall.


Madame Bovary is a masterpiece of French literature. It is considered to be one of the most important novels of the 19th century, and it has had a profound influence on the development of literature. The novel is still widely read and studied today, and it continues to be relevant to contemporary society.


  • "One does not love with the mind, but with the heart."
  • "The more I know, the more I despair."
  • "I am tired of everything."
  • "Life is a tragedy when it's felt, a comedy when it's thought."
  • "The heart is an abyss, and one never knows where it will lead you."


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