So, here’s how the historical aspects of the time effected Emma Bovary and eventually leads her to her downfall.
As a child, Gustave Flaubert did not have an easy, beautiful life; he grew up in unsanitary environments and did not have many morals when it came to relationships; just like Emma Bovary. Throughout the novel, Emma is constantly having battles in her love life: why Charles is not giving her enough attention to please her desires, why Rudolphe does not love her any more, which man loves her enough to loan her money. Ironically, Emma strives to become religious; yet, when she visits a church “a statue of the Virgin; she is dressed in a satin gown and tulle veil sprinkled with silver stars, and her cheeks are painted bring red,” (Flaubert 69) is beside her. Emma is extremely corrupt which ruins the idea that women from the 1800s were supposed to be proper, dainty females; this also adds to her downfall as a character because of the psychological effect: once a person says a lie, they have to say one hundred more to cover it up. Gender roles during this time period were also predominant- men were supposed to bring in the money, whereas women had no control over it. Emma desires to have a boy baby because she believes that “a man, at least, is free” and “a woman s constantly thwarted” (Flaubert 86). Even though Emma claims to not have freedom, she actually does have it, but by being so decitful, she is taking her own free will away. Towards the end, as Emma reaches her death scene, she starts to lose hope and emotion towards others, acting as though nothing was important to her anymore. She believe that “nothing was worth seeking- everything was a lie!” (Flaubert 279). Emma wanted to achieve a romantic aura by being so melodramatic all the time; yet, her attitude towards the people in her life had vanished and she was not able to decipher right from wrong. Emma Bovary’s choices completely contradicted to the normal Catholic, French woman from the 1800s. Emma is a foil of Charles Flaubert; she was his only source of expression because he was trapped in a world with too many expectations and rules to follow and needed a way to break out from it.