Marital Deadlock in Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and Ahdaf Soueif’s in the Eye of the Sun
|Author(s)||by Nagwa A. Soliman|
|Keywords||marital deadlock, communication, sexual deprivation, rebellion|
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Ahdaf Soueif is the Egyptian author of the best selling The Map of Love which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1999. She also wrote In the Eye of the Sun (1992) which was praised by Edward Said on publication as a long and ambitious novel; it is in fact a more satisfactory work than The Map of Love. Although it shares the latter book’s interest in love and family relationships, it makes intriguing parallels with Gustave Flaubert’s masterpiece Madame Bovary. Although Madame Bovary (1856) and In the Eye of the Sun (1992) were written at different times, yet they have a lot in common. This article compares and contrasts the marital deadlock that occurred in the two novels. This paper argues that there are many resemblances between Flaubert’s protagonist Emma in Madame Bovary and Soueif’s protagonist Asya in the Eye of the Sun which could be considered as the modern version of Emma. This is illustrated through references to certain similarities between Emma and Asya, namely their both being under the influence of novels, the lack of talk between their husbands, their rebellion against their outward peaceful happy life, their sexual deprivation, and their misinterpretation of the word ‘love’.
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