Dreamer: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Our December 2022 Introvert Book Club selection, Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, gives us a chance to ponder introverts’ daydreaming and what makes that healthy, harmless or disastrous.
According to psychiatrist/psychologist Carl Jung, who originated the extrovert/introvert distinction, extroverts attune themselves to objective, sensory and social aspects of the world. In contrast, introverts orient themselves by their own thoughts, subjectivity and dreams. Gustave Flaubert’s famous character Emma Bovary in his 1856 novel, Madame Bovary, was about as devoted a dreamer as literature has ever shown us. Let’s see how that worked out for her and what her fate teaches us about introverts’ introspective leanings toward fantasy, imagination and outsized yearning.