Yonville’s pharmacist, an ambitious, deceitful, sugar-tongued man who befriends the Bovarys when they’re new to town. Homais loves talking about rationality and progress, and he loves berating priests and religion. He has a large, prosperous family that meets every standard of propriety. He initially seems merry and well-meaning, though a little pompous, but gradually it becomes evident that his one true passion is self-advancement, and that he feigns most other feelings to win admiration and to further his career. He treats people well when it benefits him, but he does not hesitate to treat people cruelly. He plays a principal part in promotion the operation that cripples Hippolyte, and shows no hint of remorse or pity. The novel ends tragically for most central characters, but Homais is flourishing: he receives the Legion of Honour.
Monsieur Homais Quotes in Madame Bovary
The Madame Bovary quotes below are all either spoken by Monsieur Homais or refer to Monsieur Homais. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of Madame Bovary published in 2002.).
Part 3, Chapter 2 Quotes
The pharmacist had meditated every phrase, he had smoothed and polished it and made it flow; it was a masterpiece of deliberation and progression, of elegant style and tactfulness; but anger had obliterated rhetoric.
Monsieur Homais Character Timeline in Madame Bovary
The timeline below shows where the character Monsieur Homais appears in Madame Bovary. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 1
...a widow named Madame Lefrançois – busily preparing for the arrival of the Bovarys. Monsieur Homais sits contentedly next to her as she bustles about the kitchen, making dinner for both... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 2
Part 2, Chapter 3
Part 2, Chapter 4
...shadowy feeling, twice a day she watches Léon walk from his office to the inn. Homais joins Emma and Charles for dinner nearly every night, and chatters expertly with Charles about... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 6
...staring at him from behind a curtain. That evening, she is forced to listen to Homais and Charles discussing Léon’s future life in Paris. Before he leaves, Homais announces that their... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 8
Part 2, Chapter 11
...cuts Hippolyte’s Achilles tendon and straps him into a special wooden box. The same day, Homais writes a grandiose article describing the operation’s certain success and praising the miracles of science.... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 2
Part 3, Chapter 6
Part 3, Chapter 7
Part 3, Chapter 8
Part 3, Chapter 9
Part 3, Chapter 11