Mary Ruefle Writing Styles in Sentimental Education

Mary Ruefle
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Allusion

The title, “Sentimental Education,” is most likely an allusion or reference to Sentimental Education, a novel by Gustave Flaubert (1821–1880) which chronicles the life of Frederic Moreau during the time of the French Revolution of 1848. Through his depiction of Frederic’s experiences in Paris where the young man gains his “sentimental education” concerning the workings of society, Flaubert satirizes France’s social classes, customs, and political institutions by focusing on the moral corruption and hypocrisy that he finds there. Frederic, whom Flaubert presents as a representative of his generation, enters the privileged bourgeois society with a passive acceptance of its social order. Unable to think independently, he becomes a voice for social conformity and prejudices in his refusal to recognize the injustices committed by those of his milieu. The allusion to Flaubert’s novel could suggest a thematic link to the...

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This section contains 555 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Sentimental Education Study Guide
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