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Gustave Flaubert and Henrik Ibsen are both known as great writers and harsh social critics In fact when Flauberts masterpiece Madame Bovary was released he was arrested on the grounds that his novel was morally and religiously offensive to the public despite the fact that it was a bestseller Also Henrik Ibsens A Dolls House was such a slap in the face to many Europeans that it was banned in some countries and revised in Germany so that it had a happy ending Some people in Norway even attributed the rising divorce rate to this play What is it that drove both of these authors to be such harsh social critics What exactly were their views And what drove these two authors to create two of their most famous characters Nora from A Dolls House and Emma from Madame Bovary An insight into the background of these authors reveals that both Nora and Emma are reflections of social and political viewpoints of their authors and are at least partially based on people that the authors knew First of all it is important to know the socio-economic status and background of the two authors It is also good to at least have an idea about the society in which they lived Then it is possible to see why they had certain viewpoints and how these viewpoints had an effect on the personalities and actions of their characters Gustave Flaubert was born on December 12 1821 in Rouen France to a wealthy surgeon As a boy he was well aware of the incompetence in the medical profession and the middle class lip service which he portrayed through Homais in Madame Bovary In his college years Flaubert began to despise the middle class even more as he became enthralled in the romantic writings of Hugo Rousseau Lord Byron and Sir Walter Scott In Madame Bovary Emma has a certain romantic aspect similar
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