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Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary


by Gustave Flaubert

Madame Bovary Freedom and Confinement Quotes

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

Quote #4

Sometimes, however, this hypocrisy became so repugnant to her that she was tempted to run away with Léon to some faraway place where she could begin a different life; but then she always felt as though some dark, mysterious abyss were opening up before her. (II.5.47)

The possibility of escape from Emma’s marriage with Charles isn’t a real possibility at all – she can’t imagine what the alternative is.

Quote #5

The whitish light coming in through the windowpanes wavered as it slowly died away. The furniture, standing in its usual place, seemed somehow more motionless, and lost in the shadows as in an ocean of darkness. There was no fire in the fireplace, the clock was still ticking, and Emma felt vaguely amazed that all those things should be so calm when there was such turmoil inside her. (II.5.21)

Emma feels trapped by the simple stillness of her own house; she longs to burst out of it to a more active world.

Quote #6

Emma squinted, trying to pick out her house, and never before had the wretched village she lived in seemed so small to her. (II.9.26)

Riding with Rodolphe, the tiny world Emma lives in seems even smaller and more restrictive than she’d previously thought.

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