At the end of Madame Bovary, Flaubert leaves Emma's dead body on display, sparing his readers nothing, even the way the rigor mortis makes her stiffened lips separate.
I don't think Flaubert was cold hearted. It's just that his words were more important than his characters.
Words are EVERYTHING for a writer. When it's really happening, the plot is born fully formed from out of the top of the heads of the words.