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Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary


by Gustave Flaubert

Madame Bovary Art and Culture Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Part.Chapter.Paragraph). We used Lowell Bair's translation.

Quote #1

Endless sarabands ran through her head and, like dancing girls on a flowered carpet, her thoughts skipped with the notes, moving from dream to dream, sorrow to sorrow. (I.9.31)

Emma comforts herself with whatever artistic outlets she can find – even when the best she can do is the beggar with the hurdy-gurdy. She doesn’t distinguish between highbrow and lowbrow.

Quote #2

Emma went on: "And what kind of music do you prefer?"

"Oh, German music, the kind that makes you dream." (II.2.10)

With this statement, Léon establishes himself as Emma’s equal – someone who experiences art the same personal (and super-romantic) way that she does.

Quote #3

"What could be better than to sit beside the fire at night with a book and a glowing lamp while the wind beats against the windows […] Your mind is free then," [Léon] went on. "The hours pass, and, without leaving your chair, you wander through countries that are clearly visible to you. Your imagination is caught up in the story and you see all the details, experience all the adventures; it seizes the characters and you have the feeling that you are living in their costumes." (II.2.10)

Again, Léon unknowingly emphasizes their similarities by describing precisely the way that Emma reads books.

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