Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary

Monsieur Homais Character Analysis

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:
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers 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.

Related Characters: Monsieur Homais
Page Number: 233
Explanation and Analysis:

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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
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
The Sublime and the Mundane Theme Icon
...The town is composed of dying pasture, a reddish river, a church, a large market, Homais’ pharmacy, an inn called the Golden Lion, and a cemetery. The cemetery is very large,... (full context)
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
Causes, Appearances, and Boredom Theme Icon
...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)
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Monsieur Homais chatters to the innkeeper about practical matters and makes a grandiose speech about the hypocrisy... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 2
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
The Sublime and the Mundane Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Homais introduces himself to the newcomers and asks to join them for dinner. A young blond... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 3
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
...he feels that the conversation brought out all his best thoughts and most refined instincts. Homais, on his end, is as helpful and friendly to the Bovarys as he can be.... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 4
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Causes, Appearances, and Boredom Theme Icon
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...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
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
The Sublime and the Mundane Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Causes, Appearances, and Boredom Theme Icon
...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
Causes, Appearances, and Boredom Theme Icon
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...celebrates the end of the fair with a messy banquet. The chapter ends by citing Homais’s sugary, overblown description of the event, printed in a local newspaper. (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 11
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Causes, Appearances, and Boredom Theme Icon
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Soon, Emma has the opportunity to try and change her feelings. Homais wants Yonville to become more modern in its medical practices, and he decides that Charles... (full context)
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
The Sublime and the Mundane Theme Icon
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...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)
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...pain. Underneath the wooden machine, his foot is swollen, dark, and gravely infected. Charles and Homais are alarmed by the sight, but all they can think to do is strap him... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 2
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...her to go to the pharmacist’s at once. She walks in on a fight between Homais and Justin, who had made the mistake of taking a jam-jar from Homais’ private laboratory,... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 6
Love and Desire Theme Icon
One Thursday, Homais decides to visit Léon in Rouen. He is determined to have a wild time, and... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 7
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Homais rides the coach back to Yonville with Emma. They see the beggar with the infected... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 8
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
Causes, Appearances, and Boredom Theme Icon
...from her.” She runs to the pharmacist’s house and begs Justin for the key to Homais’s private laboratory. He hesitates, but she finds the key herself, walks in, and eats a... (full context)
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
The Sublime and the Mundane Theme Icon
Causes, Appearances, and Boredom Theme Icon
...wild with panic, and she lets him read her letter. He sends the maid to Homais, who summons two doctors. As he waits with her, he feels himself losing his mind... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 9
The Sublime and the Mundane Theme Icon
Causes, Appearances, and Boredom Theme Icon
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
Charles is insane with grief. On his way out, Homais is stopped by the beggar, who has come to Yonville to get the ointment Homais... (full context)
Love and Desire Theme Icon
Causes, Appearances, and Boredom Theme Icon
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
At first Charles does not want to bury Emma, but finally Homais and the priest persuade him. Charles decides that Emma should be buried in her wedding-dress,... (full context)
Part 3, Chapter 11
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
The man with the infected eyelids tells everyone of Homais’s false promise. Homais writes many poisonous articles in the newspaper denouncing the man as a... (full context)
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon
Causes, Appearances, and Boredom Theme Icon
Truth, Rhetoric, and Hypocrisy Theme Icon
...and Berthe goes to live with a poor aunt and starts work in a cotton-mill. Homais, though, is prospering, and has received the Legion of Honour. (full context)