Flaubert's Parrot Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 45 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Flaubert's Parrot.
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Art and Life

Within Flaubert's Parrot, art and life almost becomes characters. These aspects intertwine and diverge, both seeming real and fictional at the same time. Barnes writes near the end of the novel, "For some, Life is rich and creamy, made according to an old peasant recipe from nothing but natural products, while Art is a pallid commercial confection, consisting mainly of artificial colourings and flavourings. For others, Art is the truer thing, full, bustling and emotionally satisfying, while Life is worse that the poorest novel: devoid of narrative, peopled by bores and rouges, short on wit, long on unpleasant incidents, and leading to a painfully predictable denouement" (pg. 171). He also mentions a quote that indicates that some people think is all they should concern themselves with, while others prefer to read. Art imitated life in Flaubert's works and his life imitated art.

Flaubert seems most alive through...

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This section contains 1,973 words
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