Madame Bovary And Wilkie Collins The Woman In White

2017 Words9 Pages
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.
In comparison, Collins sensationalist novel The Woman in White is innovative, and combines melodrama, romance and elements of the gothic. First serialised in 1859-60 in Dickens ’ All the Year Round’ magazine, it proved highly popular and made Collins independently wealthy. Written in a complex epistolary format, using the first person perspective of several minor and major characters, a method resembling courtroom witness statements, a technique which helped Collins define the
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