L'Éducation sentimentale (ES) is arguably Flaubert's most homosocial novel. While it shares with Madame Bovary (MB) and Bouvard et Pécuchet (BP) overt investigation of French social structures and the relationship between the individual and society, ES looks at the individual as a social unit whereas MB and BP focus on domestic units, either married masculinity and fatherhood, or the selfsame of guardian paternities, respectively. The first part of the chapter focuses on Frédéric's difficulty with the problem of how to make a name for himself. The second part returns Frédéric's negotiation of the politics of the subject to its wider political context. The final part of the chapter then takes up the major themes — inheritance and history, the self and his brother — into the generic conundrum of ES as H(h)istoire-Bildungsroman.
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