Colour symbolism in the works of Gustave Flaubert
The thesis adopts a structural and systematic approach to the study and analysis of colour terms in Flaubert's fiction.The Introduction highlights how Flaubert has come to be regarded as a problematic writer and how much existing work on his colour terms is in some way lacking in clarity. I proceed to fill this gap in Flaubert studies by elaborating a method of analysis of colour terms which clarifies how meaning is produced by the text. The method of analysis comprises eight stages which are systematically worked through as one considers eleven variables, one or several of the latter coming into play at any stage in the method and which may influence the ultimate type and degree of value-charge carried by a colour term. The method and the variables should be thought of as one ensemble or a methodology for the analysis of colour terms in prose fiction. The methodology is highly refined and is without precedent in that I examine the dual exchange of figurative charging which is always operational between a colour term and its associated referent.The thesis is divided into five chapters where each text is studied separately. The Oeuvres de Jeunesse are experimental writings and Flaubert is testing the figurative potential of colour terms. The chromatic codification is mainly traditional, though a nascent private elaboration may be discerned. Madame Bovary represents the peak of literary perfection. All the novel's colours contribute to the overall illusion/reality dichotomy which lies at the heart of the text.