What is the first name of Madame Bovary?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Emma Bovary is the first name of Madame Bovary.  Emma, Flaubert's heroine, is a product of Romanticism taken to an unhealthy degree.  She is a character who is animated by the spirit of her dreams, only to be crushed by their weight.  She can never seem to find any level of happiness because her belief is that what is presented in books and art, in terms of a life where dreams are fulfilled and eternal happiness is always present, should materialize in daily consciousness.  This causes a sense of disenchantment to pervade in all aspects of her existence.  Emma is a character for whom one can feel a certain amount of anger and frustration, for her actions are not very likable.  Yet, she retains a quality of empathy and a sense of pathetic sadness because within her own animation, we begin to see a part of ourselves.  The term "bovarysm" means a state of perpetual unhappiness caused by the conceited and romantic conception of one's own importance.  Emma inspires this as the reader sees much of it in Flaubert's work.

mom2nickyandjoey | Student

Emma is the third Madame Bovary. The first being Charle's mother, the second being his first wife Helouis. Emma being the last.  Madame Bovary is steeped in the "Realism" tradition the Romantic ideals are out and that Realism is status quo.