"The smell of melted butter penetrated through the walls when he saw patients, just as in the kitchen one could hear the people coughing in the consulting room and recounting their histories..."
See in text (Part I - Chapter Five)
The isolation of this powerfully-visual detail indicates that Flaubert wants to push readers' buttons. Consider the somewhat revolting mix of visual and olfactory imagery: a medical clinic (which the modern reader thinks of as sterile) smelling like melted butter, and a kitchen tainted with sickness.
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