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Symmetry of Narrative in Flauberts Madame Bovary Over the span of the XIX century Europes socioeconomic and political reality was transformed by unprecedented changes in technological development Urbanization and the emergence of the middle class redefined the social stratification of most European countries These dramatic changes did not go unnoticed in art and particularly in literature The idealistic individualism of the romantic era gave way to a movement referred to as realism This new wave of literature focused on the observations of everyday contemporary life and attempted to portray it with an almost scientific objectivity Gustave Flaubert was one of the foremost writers of the realistic tradition and his novel Madame Bovary became one of the most celebrated works of the time Through the use of the free indirect discourse and a changing narrative point of view Flaubert attempted to keep a level of detachment from his characters and thus to portray reality in as objective manner as possible Despite the fact that Madame Bovary is the main character the novel begins and ends with the point of view of Charles Bovary in order to convey the sense of objectivity characteristic of works of the realistic movement as well as to reveal a series of ironies inherent in the main characters Flaubert like all other realists wanted to be as objective in his writing as possible Certain literary methods allow the author to portray the world he or she creates in a somewhat detached manner One of the techniques used in Madame Bovary is referred to as the free indirect discourse It involves the change from the linguistic form typical of a direct quote of a characters words or thoughts to that characteristic of indirect speech This method of writing allows the author to present events as the character would have experienced them as opposed to interpreting them as an omniscient narrator Through the use of the free indirect discourse the author reveals the
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