by Gustave Flaubert
Madame Bovary is a story about a woman who is hopelessly passionate and megalomaniacal. She gets easily bored and moves from one relationship to the next, indulging in luxury, and ends up committing suicide when she is unable to pay off her grandiose debts.
Madame Bovary character analysis
The names in Madame Bovary, such as Leon and Rodolphe, are symbolic of animals the characters resemble.
Madame Bovary has a lust for luxury that she can never seem to quench. She is obsessed with the passion of romance novels and of high-class living. Oftentimes, she consumers herself in melodramatic—or genuine—woe, as if she wants to die. Oftentimes, she yearns for the disinction of living in Paris, a very high-class city. She represents a major theme of the book: to be careful with one's desires. Desires can drive one—as they drive Madame Bovary—over the edge. Her despair at being unable to maintain her luxurious lifestyle finally drives her to suicide.