First published in 1869, this deliberately written work follows the ambitions and whims of the young Frédéric Moreau as he travels from his provincial hometown to the enticing metropolis of Paris. Though he survived the Revolution of 1848, Moreau is still prone to all the mistakes and petty concerns of a young man of the middle class: he develops an infatuation for a married woman, Madame Arnoux, and falls in and out of love with her throughout the novel; his ambitious endeavors soon bore him and leave him with Parisian ennui; and, despite the founding of the Second French Empire, Moreau is disappointed by the lack of social progress around him. Through all of this disillusionment, the author makes it very clear that he saw his generation as one without true passion or genuine feeling, utilizing irony and pessimism to underscore the mood of that social and political time in the history of France. The last work of Flaubert published in his lifetime, "Sentimental Education" has since been hailed as one of the most influential novels of the 19th century.
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