Flaubert's Use of Saints' Names in Madame Bovary

Character names denote character functions. Gustave Flaubert creates an elaborate naming system in Madame Bovary. In this novel he carefully weaves a multiple vision of character relationships based on names derived from pagan and Christian mythologies. Through his study and reflection of pagan and church hagiographies he compares the lives of saints Perpetua and Felicitas with those of Emma and Félicité in order to establish the eternal interplay between these saints and sinners. In the novel Emma's maid Félicité runs away with her lover to perpetuate, presumably, the follies of her mistress. (FAB)

Busi, Frederick
Volume 1990 Fall; 19(1): 95-109.