DEFENDING THE BOURGEOIS. I wonder if my reaction to MADAME BOVARY arises from my dislike for his view of society. Jonathan Raban says in his article that “Flaubert …never sheds the mantle of an haut bourgeois writing …. about members of the petite bourgeosie.” I have always bristled, for example here, at writers who pour scorn on all the people who engage in trade. MADAME BOVARY fits into the long line of social comedies which find humor in people who try to rise above their station. Like many Americans, I have a sympathy with “strivers”, and have a prejudice against a book in which those who try to rise are not only laughed at, but punished.

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