The assignment is based on Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, translated by Eleanor Marx-Aveling (do not use any other translation). The introduction of your paper should briefly summarize Madame Bovary, mentioning the key moments of the narrative, and then explain what makes the novel a work of realism, as opposed to romanticism. Please quote and cite a passage as support of your argument.
As a thesis, indicate your approach to the novel in terms of the following literary:
First, critique the novel’s characters in terms of existentialism: The body parts should be about whether a character controls their life through free will or fate: do the characters have the choices to live to their potential? Or are they fated to a certain end, without any chance to change their outcome? Again, focus on two or three characters and quote and cite passages as support.
Then, analyze the novel in terms of Marxist theory. Again the body parts of your essay should be a critique of the bourgeois and petty bourgeois: how does money dictate actions and control over the characters? How are the characters “trapped” in their status? Focus on two or three passages that illustrate your points; do not rely on a summary to prove your argument.
As your conclusion, present the value of the novel for today’s readership in terms of the theories. How is Madame Bovary essential to understanding and critiquing these societal standards and themes today?