Madame Bovary vs. The House of Mirth Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1180 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature

Madame Bovary vs. The House of Mirth

Annotated Bibliography

Fate, Society, Determinism and Suicide in the House of Mirth by Edith Wharton and Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

The American Experience: Andrew Carnegie -- the Gilded Age." PBS Online. [Oct


Provides a historical overview of the excesses of the Gilded Age, and thus provides helpful background for the setting of Wharton's novel. Offers such facts as "Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish once threw a dinner party to honor her dog who arrived sporting a $15,000 diamond collar," although "in 1890, 11 million of the nation's 12 million families earned less than $1,200 per year," in America. Shows the disparity in wealth and opportunities for all Americans during the era when Lily lived, and helps to suggest why Lily might be seen as forced to choose between wealth and marriage, and the life of an impoverished seamstress.

Byatt, a.S. "Scenes from Provincial Life." The Guardian. July 27, 2002. [Oct 1-2006],6000,763030,00.html

Noted contemporary British author a.S. Byatt, whose novels such as Angels and Insects frequently discuss sexual repression during the Victorian age, offers a highly sympathetic view of Flaubert's doomed heroine, calling Emma an imaginative woman "trapped in a house and kitchen," and portrays the novel less of a critique of the dangers of reading, as Byatt herself first 'read' it, but as a criticism of the shallow values of the emerging bourgeois society of Flaubert's era.

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Deppman, Jed. "History with style: the impassible writing of Flaubert - Gustave

Flaubert." Style. 1996. [Oct 1-2006]

Term Paper on Madame Bovary vs. The House of Mirth Assignment

Discusses the tension between historical verisimilitude in portraying society with the need to create artistic prose in Flaubert -- addresses questions as to whether Emma dies from an overdose of art, and as a result of her own psychological makeup, or if her end is deterministically driven and is a product of societal forces.

Duckworth, Lorna. "Madame Bovary syndrome' sends record number of women bankrupt." The Independent. July 23, 2001. [1 Oct 2006]

Examines Madame Bovary as a contemporary societal phenonmeon in modern Briton, as the need to 'keep up with the Joneses' in terms of conspicious consumption drives women into excessive spending. Emma's end, viewed as such, is not a product of internal ennui but of social competition.

Ebert, Rodger. "Madame Bovary." Film review of 1991 Chabrol version. The Chicago

Sun Times. December 25, 1991. [Oct 1-2006]

Despite the fact that this is published as a film review of the 1991 version of "Madame Bovary," popular film critic Rodger Ebert spends little page space reviewing the film, and instead tends to focus on why Madame Bovary is not an appropriate or likeable heroine for contemporary American viewers. Specifically, he focuses on her suicide as the 'reason' that she cannot be seen as a role model. He compares her with whom he sees as the quintessential American coquette/literary and cinematic parallel, Scarlett O'Hara, but writes "the difference between Bovary and O'Hara is in how they react to misfortune, and their different styles say a great deal about the differences between France and America: Emma kills herself, while Scarlett plants potatoes."

Ebert, Roger. "The House of Mirth." Film review of 2000 Terrence Davies version.

The Chicago Sun Times. December 22, 2000. [1 Oct2006]

Despite his dismissal of Madame Bovary as depressed, middle-class and suicidal, Ebert finds Lilly Bart to be a far more sympathetic protagonist, calling it one of the "saddest stories ever told about the traps that society sets for women," as Bart is forced to dwell in a society where marriage is… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Madame Bovary vs. The House of Mirth.  (2006, October 1).  Retrieved October 23, 2020, from

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