Nietzsche's Individuality

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Nietzsche understands power as an intrinsic quality of the individual. He distinguished between ascending life and a life in decline, which defines decadence and weakness. However Nietzsche states that the mediocre majority, even if it is powerful, does not stand for ascending life. But the mediocre are necessary because a high culture can be built only on a strong, consolidated Mediocrity. The spread of democracy and socialism helps the spread of mediocrity and the national state sets itself as an object of worship and reduces everything else to a state of mediocrity. But it is a necessary means to an end inasmuch that it helps in emergence of a higher type of man. Before this can happen there will be the barbarians who break the common masses…show more content…
To do that, a premise of Emma’s individuality is essential where she tries to break away from the mediocre majority. For this, a slightly subversive not necessarily anti-feminist reading, of Peter Brooks’s work on the body with respect to Madame Bovary can be briefly discussed. Metonymization of the body, its division into parts can be seen as defining characteristics or special features that mark a person. Not psychoanalytically, thus metonymization is simply an exposition of chief characters of a person which distinguish one from the other. Further, the metonymization can also be a signifier for various emotions such as love or economic status. Therefore, Charles’ love is reflected through Emma’s eyes and hair and her clothes and her other ‘refinements’. So if individuality deviates away from Mediocrity, I would like to examine how the parents in the novel disseminate the Mediocrity that circulates in the novel among the characters and therefore contend that Flaubert, in painting portraits masterfully, is not only an endeavor in ‘serious imitation of everyday’ but also an imitation of…show more content…
Auerbach identifies images of her discontentment to be individual moments and not just the present for its own sake. He also talks about her negative despair directed at herself without any concrete cause. While, he develops this as Flaubert’s style of everyday; he also assumes the plainness of the lives in the novel to be a significant contributory factor. But these claims become dubitable in the presence of a quasi-tragic heroine like Emma Bovary. It is also difficult to agree that the novel manages to depict ‘failure of marriage as a condition’, for instance, because Charles’ unawareness of his wife’s despair or adultery is what prevents a confrontation anywhere in the novel till after her death. It is easy to cluster this under ‘realism’ but if we assess his Mediocrity we find that Auerbach’s statements about Charles fully suit him: that he was mediocre to such a great degree that his simple integrity of feeling and truth of his feelings were of no
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