Emma Bovary's Lost Brother: A Study of Flaubert"s Use of "Minor" Details in the Structure of Madame Bovary

Flaubert's Madame Bovary contains two references by Père Rouault to the death of Emma's older brother that contribute interest to Rouault's characterization and irony to narrative point of view. But more importantly they add nuance to Emma's motives. Close study suggests that Emma's image of a loving brother predates and merges with her image of a romantic lover, and that her feelings of loss and guilt influence her hope for a son and haunt her relationships with her father, Léon, and Hippolyte. These feelings are assuaged only in the end when a brother figure, Justin, helps her commit suicide. (KEC/LRA)
Curry, Kristina E., and Larry R. Andrews
Volume 1996-1997 Fall-Winter; 25(1-2): 92-99