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Madame Bovary Historical Context

This Study Guide consists of approximately 80 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Madame Bovary.
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Historical Context

Realism

The term realism first appeared in a Parisian periodical of 1826, as noted by Haig in his article on Flaubert in the Dictionary of Literary Biography. The journalist defines the term as a movement that would "lead to the imitation not of artistic masterpieces but of the originals that nature offers us." Later in the article, the writer determines that realist works could in the future be considered "the literature of truth." Realism became a popular form of painting, especially in works by Gustave Courbet, and literature in the mid-nineteenth century. Novelists in this movement turned away from what they considered the artificiality of romanticism to a focus on the commonplace in the context of everyday contemporary life. They rejected the idealism and celebration of the imagination typical of romantic novels and instead took a serious look at believable characters and their often problematic interactions with society. In...

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This section contains 463 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Madame Bovary Study Guide
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Madame Bovary from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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