Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary


Gustave Flaubert

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“The big blue country” Symbol Analysis

“The big blue country” Symbol Icon
When Emma is already growing bored with Léon, she tries to force love by imagining him as a composite of ideal qualities, living in a misty “blue country” containing little but the scent of flowers. Earlier, when she dreams of running away with Rodolphe, she imagines their future together as a vague “blue immensity”, perfect and empty. That blue nothingness is the world in which Emma always tries to live, a world made out of ideals and abstractions, free from the confounding detail that comprises the actual human world. To Emma, only that exotic place is suitable for love, and the man that dwells there, a ghost or a god, is the “incarnation of love itself.” But the novel teaches that love itself is nothing without human beings to give it meaning and contour. A person who is the incarnation of love is merely something becoming nothing.

“The big blue country” Quotes in Madame Bovary

The Madame Bovary quotes below all refer to the symbol of “The big blue country”. 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
Part 2, Chapter 9 Quotes

At last, she was to know the pleasures of love, that fever of happiness which she had despaired of. She was entering something marvellous where everything would be passion, ecstasy, delirium; blue immensity was all about her; the great summits of sentiment glittered in her mind’s eye, ordinary experience appeared far below in the distance, in shadow, in the gaps between these peaks.

Related Characters: Emma Bovary
Related Symbols: “The big blue country”
Page Number: 150-151
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2, Chapter 12 Quotes

And yet, in the immensity of this future that she conjured for herself, nothing specific stood out: the days, each one magnificent, were as near alike as waves are.

Related Characters: Emma Bovary, Rodolphe Boulanger
Related Symbols: “The big blue country”
Page Number: 182
Explanation and Analysis:
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“The big blue country” Symbol Timeline in Madame Bovary

The timeline below shows where the symbol “The big blue country” appears in Madame Bovary. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 2, Chapter 12
Abstraction, Fantasy, and Experience Theme Icon, her adolescence, and their happy life together. Emma dreams of her escape into a vague romantic land full of pleasure. She asks Lheureux to find her a travelling cloak and several bags. (full context)