Critical Essays Narrative Technique of Madame Bovary


Many of the techniques Flaubert used for descriptive purposes are cinematic in their quality, such as the flashing back and forth between the Prefect's speech and Rodolphe's flirting at the Agricultural Show. During the wild coach ride taken by Emma and Leon through the suburbs of Rouen, and at other points, the reader is made to view events from the outside. This adds to the air of reality, and it makes it necessary for the reader to call upon his own experiences to assist in understanding the experiences of the characters. The reader, in a sense, is made to participate with them. In addition, Madame Bovary has a formal structure that adds to the aesthetic quality of the story. Its three parts are comparable, in their development, exposition, and denouement to the parts of a stage play, and the entire movement of the novel shows a theatrical sense of the dramatic.