From plot debriefs to key motifs, Thug Notes’ Madame Bovary Summary & Analysis has you covered with themes, symbols, important quotes, and more.
Madame Bovary (1856) | Written by: Gustave Flaubert
Madame Bovary Thug Notes Summary & Analysis
Sup blood! This week on Thug Notes dem panties Niagra fallin’ with Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. Mama’s boy Charles Bovary so damn boring he put my nuts to sleep just’ thinkin bout him. Brutha eventually hop off his mama’s tittays, struggle his way through med school, and finally find a job grindin’ as a scrub-level doctor. One day mama slang some old beezy named Heloise his way and be like “drop yo drawers, son, cuz this yo new wife. Yeah, she got a stick up her ass, but word on the street is she inherited some PHAT stacks.” So Charlie and Heloiose get hitched and move to da boonies.
One night Charlie-B drop in at a farmer man’s crib to fix his busted ass leg when BABOOOOOOOM (bombastic zoom-in on Emma’s ass)- Da farmer’s daughter Emma IS FIIIIIIIIIIINE! Charles fiendin’ so hard fo’ dat ass he start makin shit up just so he can stop by and peep game at Emma’s sexalicious boo-tay. Whoo! Back home, Heloise get word dat some shysti lawyer jacked all her benjamins and BAM- girl DROPS DEAD. Now Charles all cashed out, but hey- at least he SINGLE AGAIN!!! So Charlie hoist up his nuts, holler at Emma, and they jump dat broom together. But da married life ain’t what Emma was ‘spectin. Girl been thinkin’ dem cuffs would mean gettin’ high off passion and romance 24/7 like she read in books. But since chillin with Charles bout as romantic as going to the DMV, girl got an itch that Charles just can’t scratch. Basically- she a freak! One night, Emma get a lil taste of dat baller lifestyle during a party at a PHAT. Emma peep the scene and her panties immediately hit the FLO. “NOW THIS IS LIVIN’.” Afta’ dat, girl rollin round MAD depressed now dat she know how other people shinin’ while she slummin it with Charles’s weak ass.
Charles decide he gotta get his woman to a different spot, so he pack their shit and swang ova’ to anotha’ hood. One evening, Emma meet Leon- a smooth talkin’ law student- who all about dat romance life like she is. Later, Emma pop out a baby-girl named Berthe, but da only thang runnin through this girl’s dome is pimp-daddy Leon. Cept, Emma don’t want society lookin’ at her like she some kinda rank ho, so she put her feelings on lock. But it ain’t easy not bein sleazy- Since Emma ain’t puttin’ out and Leon got watermelon nuts by now, fool like “Psh fuck this” and peaces out to Paris. Next thing you know, anotha’ creased up playa named Rodolphe drop by the crib, take one look at Emma and say: “yeah, dat girl needs to get F*CKED!” Rodolphe start mackin in Emma and It ain’t long til they gettin’ BUCK WILD on the reg. Emma ALL up on this dude’s nuts- wantin’ to run away with him n’ shit. Girl in so deep, she start borrowing ends from some shady cat so she can buy swanky thangz to impress Rodolphe.
But soon Rodolphe like: “Yaaawn. I dun hit it, and its bout time to quit it.” So when she say “Boy let’s runaway together and you can hit this erry night” he send her a letter sayin “ehhhh nah girl. I’m good. Thanks though.” Emma get so to’ up, she almost throws herself out the damn window, and gets sick as a dog. By the time she recover, Charles buried under da bills she been stackin. So dude borrow cash from dat SAME shady cat and now they BALLS deep in debt. Later, Charles decide to take Emma to the opera where GUESS WHO BE CHILLIN- muthafuckin LEON, who ridin’ SO CLEAN now. Next thing you know Leon and Emma creepin up to a hotel on the DL where they spend ALL their time straight FREAKIN’ on eachother. Doin it’ DIRTY!
Thing is, girl keeps throwin cash around to make da affair dat much funkier. Girl can’t keep her legs closed or her pockets full. Eventually, they both get bored diddling eachothers private parts and call it quits. But since she in so deep with the sharks, the fuzz come down on her ass and try to seize all of their shit. When things gets desperate, she find Rodolphe and offer him ERRYTHING if he’ll give her dem ends. And I mean ERRYTHING. Mmm hmm! At first he stoked to see her but when he recognize all she want is dat cheddar he say “Nah blood. I already hit dat.” So she throw back some aresenic. Charles try to save her for a few hours but she dead. Since Charles ain’t got nuthin but love fo his girl, he sends her out like a G. One day he finds a bunch of love letters from Rodolphe and Leon. Dude like: “oh shit. She was bangin two dudes while I was workin my ass in to the ground? Aw haell no!” Shortly afta’, he dies in his garden and lil’ Bethe (remember her?) gets shipped off to grind at a cotton mill all day erry day. One of da dankest things bout this text right hurr is the REDONKULOUS attention to detail. Word on the street is dat Flaubert would spend MONTHS just tryna write ONE DAMN SENTENCE so dat every word serve a purpose. Just check this mad flow:
“But as their outward familiarity grew, she began to be inwardly detached, to hold herself more aloof from him. Charles’ conversation was as flat as a street pavement, on which everybody’s ideas trudged past, ╔Whereas a man, surely, should know about everything; excel in a multitude of activities, introduce you to passion in all its force, to life in all its grace, initiate you into all mysteries! But this one had nothing to teach; knew nothing, wanted nothing. He thought she was happy; and she hated him for that placid immobility, that stolid serenity of his, for that very happiness which she herself brought him.”
But by the end, neither one of em’ got ANY kinda happiness, that’s fo sho. I mean HOW did things get SO fucked? Who gonna ride the beef fo this mess? Should we blame Emma fo’ lettin her wild side get in da way of bein a good wife and mama? Or Should we blame Charles fo’ not puttin in WORK up in dat bedroom? What bout Leon and Rodolphe? Or maybe it ain’t da players we should be hatin’ on. Maybe it’s da game. And in Flaubert’s jam, da game is reality. See Madame Bovary got mad cred in da academic streets fo’ reppin some shit called “literary realism.” Basically this book is full of 100% real talk- Gustave ain’t pushin’ fancy words on da reader to make life sound prettier than it is. So now matter how high deez characters gettin off their passions, Flaubert describe their lives like it ain’t no thang. Fo example: When Charlie B book it FOR MILES JUST so he can peep game at Emma’s ghetto boo-tay, da text read like this:
“He went into the kitchen, and at first failed to notice Emma; the shutters were closed….Flies were crawling over the dirty glasses on the table, buzzing as they drowned themselves in the dregs of the cider.. …Emma sat between the window and the hearth, sewing. She had nothing round her neck, and little drops of perspiration stood on her bare shoulders.”
Only a brutha packin a RAGING romance boner would bust ass that far just to peep game at a hunny. But dis passage written like da least romantic thing you eva’ heard. Flaubert’s killa flow reppin a bigger theme up in this piece: dat beneath whatever romantic ideas our characters got goin on in their domes, there’s reality. And a lotta times, reality don’t always jive with yo expectations. Charles THINKIN he got a legit marriage, but on the real his woman gettin wild with multiple dudes behind his back. Emma always THINKIN dat she gonna live dat romance life like in dem novels, but on the real, she just gettin played. But it ain’t all depressing, baby. Our boy Flaubert got jokes too. Bruh slangin irony all up in this bitch to flex his dark sense of humor. Fo one, during Emma’s funeral, Charles make damn sho she get buried in her wedding dress to rep her purity. Purity? Emma? BAHAHAHAHAHA.
Or up at da agricultural fair, Roldophe spittin game at Emma while another dude announcing da winners of a manure contest. Basically- Rodophe full of shit, but Emma blinded by it since she such a FREAK. Nice one Gustave. And maybe that’s the point. Do our dreams got us by the balls so bad that we blind to the way they trip us up? Do they mess with our heads so much dat we can’t even see the decent life we got in front of us? Or maybe it’s even mo’ depressing? Maybe Flaubert preachin that no matta’ how hard we hustle to live our dream life, reality just gonna shit all over it. Should Emma have just set aside her fantasies and settled fo dat wife life? Or is chasin the life you want worth it no matta’ da consequences? Hm…
Thanks fo’ kickin it wit’ yo boy. Peace!