What problem does Homais present in a subjective conception of modernity?

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The real terror present in the novel might not be with Emma's dreams, Charles's languishing, or how people use one another as means to an end as opposed to an end in their own right. The real terror might exist in the empowerment of individuals who seek to slowly exert their control on the world around them. Homais' ascension is something that Flaubert deliberately notes. The real terror is that while the world in the novel is withering away, Homais consolidates more power. He offers nothing in way of solidarity with other human beings and does little to authentically change the world for the better. Instead, he offers "rational" solutions, is seen as a voice of "reason," and grows in power. While suffering seems to visit everyone else, Homais displays none of the sort. The last line of the novel is telling when Homais "has just received the cross of the Legion of Honour." The terror that exists in the world Flaubert constructed is not that there are Emmas in it. The real terror is that there are people who continue to gain power and control at an alarming rate while so many others are in pain. Homais embodies Flaubert's fear of a technocratic, industrialized, rationalized world. The terror of "the Crystal Palace" is evident in Flaubert's characterization of Homais, who ends up representing how the modern setting is one where people seek to gain power and consolidate it at the cost of others and for their own benefit.

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