Madame Bovary Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Madame Bovary

The novel, Madame Bovary, deals with the adulterous life led by Emma Bovary. Emma, the daughter of a country farmer, meets Charles when her father breaks his leg. Charles falls in love and the two decide to marry. Soon after they are married, Emma discovers that her marriage with Charles doesn't live up to her rather lofty expectations.
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Emma, unhappy with the monotonous village life she has been tied to, eventually grows so miserable that she becomes ill. Charles decides to move away in hopes that a change in scenery will improve Emma's health. Emma ends up having two affairs in an attempt to separate herself from Charles, whom she begins to see as increasingly dull and incompetent. Emma is often indiscreet, and the townspeople all gossip about her. Charles, however, suspects nothing because he is so blinded by his love for Emma. Everything disappoints Emma and, because of her flawed ideals and materialistic values, she can never appreciate what she has. Even motherhood is a disappointment to her because, although she gave birth to a beautiful daughter, she had wanted a boy. Emma, through her own selfish actions, ends up destroying the lives of not only herself, but also her husband and daughter.
The review of this Book prepared by Lauren Ashley

Madame Bovary is a simple story about a young woman who is hooked up on romance and happy ever after endings. She is the convent educated, only daughter of a farmer. When the local doctor proposes, she accepts and moves with him to a small town which is not the romantic outcome she anticipated. When she becomes so bored she can stand it no longer she takes a lover but he lets her down too and the novel draws to a dramatic end.
The review of this Book prepared by Penny

Emma Bovary certainly has to be one of the most tragic of the 19th century literary
characters. In Gustave Flaubert's “Madame Bovary,” Emma is a young woman set on
fulfilling her own romantic fantasies--and she does this through various love affairs
She happens to be married to Charles, the village doctor, at the same time, but she finds
him too dull, too mundane. She yearns for excitement. Unfortunately, her definition of
excitement and that of the villagers is quite different, and Emma declines from one
hopeless situation to the next, so much so that the novel ends quite tragically. Not before
Flaubert has woven into the world's literary fabric the word “realism” and fiction has
never been the same since.
The review of this Book prepared by Bill Hobbs

Chapter Analysis of Madame Bovary

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of story    -   1600-1899 Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Taboo sex story?    -   Yes Married, fooling around?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   homemaker Age:    -   20's-30's


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   France

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Gustave Flaubert Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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