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Madame Bovary Communication Translating the Written Into Dialogue In Gustave Flauberts Madame Bovary the quest for the sublime and perfect expression seems to be trapped in the inability to successfully verbalize thoughts and interpret the words of others The relationship between written words and how they are translated into dialogue and action is central in evaluating Emmas actions and fate and ultimately challenges the reader to look at the intricacies of communication Flauberts portrayal of Emmas reading habits provides the basic framework for evaluating the way she processes information In the purest representation of Emmas readership she picked up a book and then dreaming between the lines let it drop on her knees43 Flaubert uses reading to establish Emmas short attention span to any thoughts outside of her own The book falling towards the floor symbolically creates the space for her illusions-- notice Flaubert chooses the word dreaming instead of reading stressing her imaginative tendencies rather than those of a critical nature In representing Emmas interpretation skills her distortion of the material becomes a semi-conscious decision because she chooses to deviate from the original text but at times her manipulation of words is more accurately described as misinterpretation When Leon praises the entertainment value of the simplistic novels containing noble characters pure affections and pictures of happiness she misses his further conclusion that since these works fail to touch the heart they miss it seems to me the true end of art 59 The subtext implies that she is incapable of distinguishing differences in the quality of expressions and understanding emotional depth because it is these same novels that she judges as the pinnacles of expression From the outset Flaubert acknowledges that Emmas quest is destined to failure because she is trying to imitate passion from material that lacks it initially Ironically Emma seems to recognize the implausibility of the ideals that guide her actions she detests commonplace heroes and moderate feelings as one
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