Symbolism in the book “Madame Bovary”


Symbolism in the book Madame Bovary
Symbolism entails presenting real life happenings in an indirect way by either using colors, creators or objects amongst others. For instance, in the book Madame Bovary instances of symbolism have been presented in numerous scenes vindicating the presence of symbolism to hide realism. The complicated nature of Charles’s hat symbolized how his personality and future life was (Cumming N. Pag). Starting from his early life, he was radicalized by his classmate following his status and farms locality. Therefore, he had no piece for the rest of his school days since everybody knew he was a farm boy and made fun of him. Also, despite his parents knowing how dull he was, they decided to shape his ambition of being a physician. The hat reflected how his future will be where he spends much of his time working and less concentrate on his wife’s life. As such, his wife starts to have different affairs with her town’s men in a bid to quench her sexual desires. Despite remaining faithful to her wife and the faithful vow her wife took she kept fetching for a minor mistake that could dwindle their relationship so as she run off to Leon whose ambitions coincided with hers. Therefore, symbolism has greatly achieved its aim of presenting the lives of characters based on realism in relation to initial occurrences in their lives.
Nevertheless, the complicated nature of Charles hat reflects how he does acknowledge situation as they unfold neither in his presence or absence. For instance, at agricultural function a wealthy man by the name Rodolphe falls in love after being strongly attracted by Emma’s beauty (Cumming N. Pag). They start a passionate affair that quickly spread throughout the town compelling people to start gossiping about the ill affair. The affair continues behind her back without either being suspicious or noticing any possible change. His lack of devotion and sincerity is symbolized by the mother hen role which his mother used to articulate his inadequacy. His insincerity answers his less focus nature entailed by thinking below the anticipated level whereby he thinks now, lives now and with less wit to unravel prevailing happenings as they happen. Therefore, symbolism is clearly evidence by the dull nature of Charles who is slow or dormant in acknowledging occurrences as they unfold.
On the other hand, dry flower symbolized the kind of live Emma would live since she is the successors of Charles’s first wife. When Emma went with Charles home, she realized his dead wife’s flower bouquet. She realized the flowers were dry which symbolized disappointed hopes encompassed with unfulfilled wedding day promises. Emma started figuring out how her own bouquet will look like after dying. The dry erected flower showed sad life that Charles’s wife lived and it symbolized the life Emma was to undergo in the rest of her life with her new husband (Ferguson N. Pag). As such, she got scared and with divided attention whether or not to be married to her new man but due to her optimism she had no otherwise than to give in to marrying him. Therefore, the dry flower symbolized the kind of life Emma was to live so long as she accepts to be married by Charles and it foreshadowed her future life.
Conversely, burning of the flower bouquet reflected how Emma’s desires were to consume life stages ranging from her youthful age to the rest of her life. As such, she lived a life encompassed with fantasy and allusions that she never wanted to accept in actual life. Her desires and ambition were built from romantic novels she read which steered her desperate expectations of ideal love encircled with consistence romance. For instance, after meeting Charles she knew that her prayers have been met and considered him as her magic prince with ability to fulfill her dreams (Flaubert N. Pag). The turn of events almost left her perplexed and perturbed to find that what she expected from Charles are not coming through as she anticipated. She expected ideal romance encompassed with being taken out and attention. Her husband was a busy man who wanted to live a quiet live and just heal common folks within Tostes unlike her expectations. Therefore, burning of the bouquet symbolized her life mishaps brought about by denial of reality in actual life by expecting the impossible anticipations to come true.
Similarly, burning of the bouquet symbolizes her immorality in life which is caused by denial of the truth in the fetch for fantasy. For instance, despite being married she still fetched for a man who would quench her romantic thirst. As such, she saw her husband as a less romantic man who did not know how to make her wife happy. The aspersion corrupted her mind by reviving her quest for finding the most romantic person who would make her feel like a real woman despite having a child. She thus left her child with the nurses and frequently met Dupuis who seemed more romantic and loving. After sometimes her affair with Dupuis grew stronger and the mentality of running off with him started tormenting her (Cummings N. Pag). After a spending good time together Leon gets tired of dating her since she is married and relocates to Paris for education purposes leaving her desperate and heartbroken. Therefore, her bid to search or romantic man ended her into a heart break that if she would have chosen to be faithful to her marriage she would have otherwise not encountered.
Conversely, burning of the flower bouquet symbolizes denial of real life occurrences and expecting positivity despite negative prerequisites. For example, when Emma was pregnant she expected a baby boy and upon her delivery she had a baby girl named Berthe which was against her expectations (Cummings N. Pag). Also, she fails to acknowledge her husband’s hard work and chose to have an extra affair with their immediate wealthy bachelor neighbor. She gets deeply in love with Rhodolphe to a point that she dreams of running off with him and live a romantic life beside the sea. Their affair spread all over the town but her husband is dumb and gets little time to hear the rampant news articulated all over the town. Hence, her high society living aspersion dragged her into a life encircled with a lot of immorality and loss of material things belonging to her husband.
Emma had no idea of true nature of Rhedolphe encompassed with using women for his own personal satisfaction and personal gain. Emma being deeply in love, she starts to take expensive gift from money lender in order to make her boyfriend happy by buying him gifts. She even intercepts her husband’s money that was allocated for patient’s treatment in a bid to buy a gift to her boyfriend. Eventually, her boyfriend gets tired of her and writer’s her a affair termination note which left her devastated and faints. Her heartbreak lapses to illness characterized by delirium and fever which last for at least six weeks (Cummings N. Pag). Therefore, despite loving her husband the way he is she indulge in immorality that saw her heart broken and lose property her egocentric boyfriend.
Nevertheless, symbolism is depicted when the blind man followed carriage carrying Emma and Leon while singing about birds, green leaves and sun. The song symbolizes Emma’s immorality based on her marital status but still practice adultery. The blind man’s nature symbolized innocence. His blind nature convinces nature that he is unable to realize or acknowledge what happens within his immediate environment. Instead he realized the presence of Emma and Leon moving in a carriage which is contrary to people’s expectation. Emma’s beauty reflects her faithfulness on the eyes of the people who know little about her which is contrary to what her personality portray which is encircled with adultery and corruption (Flaubert N. Pag). Her words, fantasies and appearance resemble innocence that triggers speculation of how good and beautiful wife she is hence hiding her real adulterous spirit. Also, illusory colors blue and yellow symbolizes suffering and happiness respectively throughout the characters lives within the prevailing setting. Therefore, blind man’s innocence symbolizes Emma’s innocent look which hided her true personality which entails immorality encircled with adultery and unfaithfulness.
Nevertheless, Emma’s greyhound pet symbolized Emma’s naïve behaviors which did not coincide with her beauty. For instance, the dog was perceived to be intelligent, affectionate and loyal which was contrary to her real self. As such the dog symbolized the immorality of Emma which was hidden by her looks and her physic which presented an intelligent and faithful woman (Flaubert N. Pag). For instance, when Emma met Leon he perceived her as an intellectual woman who was hard to seduce more so if at all she was married. After meeting and knowing each other for a while, Leon realized how Leon was unfaithful since she was married to Charles and still could go out and have sex with him. Her action’s presented the contrary side of her appearance which was miss-presenting her real character.
On the other hand, the dog lacked idea of its breed and what it really was which presented how Emma was since she never knew what was really good to her and the consequences of her actions. Since, she was not so much learned she lacked idea of unraveling crucial life circumstances that are encompassed with dilemma. Lack of acknowledgement of true virtues of life and marriage made her jump from relation to relation in such for romance despite her having a faithful husband. As such, she lacked knowledge of knowing who was really in love with her and ready to be with her whether in wealth or in sickness. She chose the like of Rudolphe who used her to supplement her personal wealth by acquiring expensive gifts he was given with Emma (Flaubert N. Pag). Instead, Emma used her husband’s wealth to acquire personal prizes to enhance her love with Rudolphe whose main purpose of falling in love with her was not romance but just personal gain. Therefore, the greyhound pet symbolized the life Emma was living which hid her real character by presenting a faithful and intelligent woman on the eyes of people who did not know her or saw her for the first time.

Works Cited
Cummings, Michael. “Madame Bovary.” Cumming Study Guide (2004): No Pages.
Ferguson, Luke. “Literature Test 2 (Madame Bovary).” Quizlet (2016): No Pages.
Flaubert, Gustave. Madame Bovary. New York: Signet Classic, 2001.

Did it help you?

Cite this Page

Symbolism in the book “Madame Bovary”. (2022, Feb 11). Retrieved from

Need customer essay sample written special for your assignment?

Choose skilled expert on your subject and get original paper with free plagiarism report

Order custom paper

Without paying upfront