Style in Flaubert`s A Sentimental Education Essay Example
Style in Flaubert`s A Sentimental Education Essay Example

Style in Flaubert`s A Sentimental Education Essay Example

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Flaubert's literary contributions have earned him high regard and acceptance from critics. Despite previous criticism for its perceived lack of structure, absence of a strong protagonist, and moral ambiguity, Flaubert's novel "A Sentimental Education" has rightfully gained immense respect by modern critical standards. The novel has been recognized for pioneering the structure, style, and symbolism of the modern novel.

Flaubert's prose possesses great strength and deliberative power, characterized by deft and illuminating detail. His uncanny ability to fuse various perceptions of time into simultaneous time within a well-wrought narrative style foreshadows modern conceptions of prose. Flaubert aimed to infuse his prose with the rhythms of poetry, using accuracy of detail and observation typically reserved for scientific discourse. The resulting alloy is sophisticated and resonant, lending itself to multiple readings and successive interpretations. The stylistic devices used in the


above passage, including indirect speech, blur the lines between illusion and reality and are well-suited for contemporary audiences. Examples of such language can be found in the following passage: "In deserted cafes, women yawned behind bars while newspapers lay unopened on tables in reading rooms. Meanwhile, washing quivered in the warm draughts of laundresses' workshops. He stopped occasionally at booksellers' stalls, turned around at the sound of an omnibus grazing the pavement, and retraced his steps upon reaching the Luxembourg."Flaubert frequently places apparently disparate items side by side in his observations, such as "untouched bottles," "newspapers," "a bookseller's stall," and "omnibus." These observations are often described in a style of recounting, where objects and characteristics are listed without an explicit linear connection.

Flaubert's narrative style is characterized by seemingly non-linear reasoning, which incorporates free-associative figurative language from

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the unconscious, dreaming self, and poetic expressions regarding the relationship between the world's objects and the viewer. Despite the tendency towards ordinary or banal observations, an emotional resonance counterbalances the exhaustive attention to detail. The combination of technical and emotive language creates density and tension in seemingly mundane passages in "A Sentimental Education." Furthermore, Flaubert's use of cliches reinforces the realist quality of his writing while also preparing for more profound or connotative passages.

Flaubert’s realism incorporates a highly sophisticated and detailed approach that emphasizes linguistic accuracy. This is achieved through the fusion of colloquial and technical language, creating a seemingly disparate vocabulary. The following passage exemplifies this technique, where tension is built using indirect speech alongside colloquial and technical language (“His house had” and “the workroom for Madame Regimbart’s dressmaking assistants”): His house had a tiny side-garden with an iron panel set in the gate. The white house-front was set off by a terrace with three steps leading up to it. From the pavement outside you could see into the two ground-floor rooms, a drawing-room with dresses draped over all the furniture, followed by the workroom for Madame Regimbart's dressmaking assistants. Flaubert’s major works exhibit moral and thematic ambiguities that are present in his prose style.

The combination of theme and style results in an exceptional literary expression that wields a strong influence on the development of contemporary prose styles. This expression encompasses the entire spectrum of perception, from the mundane to the magnificent, and often does so within a single passage.

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