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Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Today we present to you a brief summary of Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert along with a copy of the book in PDF format that you can download immediately.

Madame Bovary is one of the most emblematic novels of literary realism of the nineteenth century.

It was written with obvious mastery by the Frenchman Gustave Flaubert, who was severely criticized at the time.

The work was first published in facsimiles in La Revue de Paris in 1856. Later, each installment was compiled into a single book that ended up being published as Madame Bovary in 1857.

The controversy revolved around this book since the protagonist had a very daring and scandalous behavior for her time.

Gustave Flaubert was prosecuted for this novel that broke paradigms in the literature of the time.

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Madame Bovary in PDF format

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Summary of Madame Bovary

Emma was a beautiful woman, fond of romance novels, which she read voraciously and non-stop. This, of course, caused her to exaggeratedly idealize relationships.

Having this idealization of romantic love, Emma marries Dr. Charles Bovary, a widower who adored her.

However, shortly after leading a married life, she realizes that all her love affair fantasies were not being fulfilled.

Her husband turns out to be a respectable man, but boring, absent, and has no ambition in life.

Faced with such disappointment and the tedium of a life devoid of emotions and important goals, Emma falls ill. Charles decides to go with her to Yonville for a change of scenery.

In Yonville, Emma gives birth to her daughter Berthe and begins to hang out with the people of this new town at social gatherings.

He meets the pharmacist and his family and a merchant named Lheureux, from whom he begins to buy all kinds of luxurious objects. A neighbor named León Dupuis becomes very close to her.

Both discover many interests in common and fall in love, although León sees it as an impossible love and walks away.

Emma continues to be more and more disappointed in her life and this leads her to definitely experience strong emotions. She achieves this by having a passionate affair with a town ladies’ man named Rodolphe Boulanger.

She sneaks off to have encounters with him and they become lovers. Both plan to escape together, but at the last minute, Rodolphe stands her up and disappears. This makes Emma sick again.

Charles, to try to get her out of that state, takes her to the opera, where Emma meets Leon again. This time they do manage to consummate their love since she pretends to be taking piano lessons to secretly have sex with her new lover.

Parallel to their love affairs, Emma continues to fall into debt with Lheureux, which causes the seizure of her house. At that point, she finds herself in serious trouble and without the help of her lovers, who have abandoned her.

Will Emma get out of her difficulties and have the life she wants?

FAQ about Madame Bovary

What is the central theme of Madame Bovary?

The novel deals with the tedium and banalities of marriage and bourgeois society in the 19th century. Basically, it is a critique of the decadent social life of France at the time.

What motivated Flaubert to write Madame Bovary?

Possibly, the author of Madame Bovary was inspired by a woman named Veronique Delphine Delamare, whose life was very similar to that of the protagonist of his novel.

How did Madame Bovary commit suicide?

Finding herself trapped in a financial and sentimental dead end, Emma drinks arsenic and ends her life.

What is the value of Madame Bovary?

Madame Bovary is a capital work of literary realism that breaks the outlines of the time. It is a controversial and masterfully narrated novel.