How are women portrayed in Madame Bovary?

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In Madame Bovary, Flaubert depicts women as very human and complex characters, and his true-to-life approach to characterizing women reflects his reputation as one of French literature's most important literary realists. Between Emma Bovary, whose misery was recognizable by the many les bovarystes enragées who read Madame Bovary with strong feelings of empathy and the other female characters, whose personalities run the gamut from maternal and nurturing to petty and superficial, Flaubert's women are just as difficult to pigeon-hole as real women are impossible to summarize.

Emma Bovary, more specifically, as the protagonist of Madame Bovary , is a literary marvel, as her personality and being are so vividly depicted by Flaubert, readers often respond to her as if she were a living person. She is flawed and weak at times, just like all men and women, and the difficult sides to her personality make her unappealing in some moments, but her realness is irresistible. Most readers can relate to the...

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