Gustave Flauberts The Woman In White Analysis

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The confinement of females under mental and physical distress is the central theme in Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, and Wilkie Collins The Woman in White. Flaubert’s Emma Bovary is a narcissist whose self-induced obsession with literature restricts her from having a happy fulfilling life, as nothing compares to the excitement and adventures she reads in her novels. While the plot of Wilkie Collins The Woman in White depicts two women incarcerated against their will in a private mental institution. These private asylums proliferated in the mid nineteenth-century as alternatives to the established large-scale public hospitals/asylums. This assignment will compare and contrast the methods used by both authors to define confinement, including structure, setting, narrative techniques and genre. Furthermore, it will discuss the various forms of transgressive sexuality within the novels and will deliberate how the portrayal of cross-gender attributed to the question of oppression and confinement. Flaubert was a…show more content…
Indeed, Emma is dying in her own solitary world. Her father takes the earliest opportunity to marry her off for his own pecuniary measures, as the narrative states, ‘Pere Rouault would not have been vexed to have his daughter off his hands, for she was hardly any use to him in the house’ (p,23). Emma’s long process of dying continues throughout her life, as nothing she does matches the ‘felicity, passion and rapture she reads in her novels’ (33). Emma’s disappointments arise from her frustration to aspire to a more refined and sophisticated class than the one she actually is. Furthermore, the fairy-tale ending she thought would come through her marriage does not transpire, instead, all sense of her own individuality disappears, and she is constantly discontented, ‘Oh, why, dear God, did I marry him? ’
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