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Flaubert's Madame Bovary and Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina Gustave Flaubert wrote in Madame Bovary who "someone's death consistently causes a kind of stupefaction; so difficult it's to grasp that this advent of nothingness and also to resign ourselves to the fact that it's actually taken place" (258). Greater still is that the stupefaction when the death is suicide, even once the arrival of nothing has ever been self-initiated. For your reader of both Flaubert's Madame Bovary and Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, the literary suicides of the novels' heroines create an effect very similar to stupor, a pause that's required to take the fact of death, also within the assembled world of fiction. Yet, Margaret Higonnet states that suicide "can be also an ambiguous kind of text, whose lands are not able to translate its significance" (230). Within this obligation to interpret there's the implication that to examine the deaths of Emma Bovary and Anna Karenina is also to specify their lives, to assign significance both within the contexts of their various societies and of nineteenth century literature. Emma and Anna both try to meet their own needs in resistance to that which society expects of them, communicating that desire in their active resistance to their assigned roles. That they are ineffective in attaining the chased happiness is really a condemnation of their society in which they've failed. Their failure to communicate their very own will while living culminates in a final effort where suicide is an attempted manifestation of autonomy, suggesting the absence of choices they experience because females trapped within their various social paths. In portraying Anna having a larger deal of empathy and compassion, Tolstoy more completely explores the consequences of social repres...