A Simple Heart Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. How does Virginie make the journey to Tocqueville?

2. What is Félicité's defining act of heroism?

3. How is the Liebards' place in Troqueville described?

4. What is placed against the wainscoting in the living room?

5. What decoration is prominent in Mme. Aubain's bedroom?

Short Essay Questions

1. How is Félicité introduced to the reader in the first chapter?

2. Why do you think Flaubert has Félicité run all the way to say goodbye to Victor only to miss him at the last?

3. On the way to Trouville, Félicité overhears Liebard talking about the woman that Theodore left her to marry, but she does not hear the end of the story. What, if any, function does this have in the story?

4. Does it seem important that Félicité asks Fabu's forgiveness before she dies?

5. Félicité's service for Mme. Aubain is described with some detail. What kind of an impression does Félicité's service give of Mme. Aubain?

6. To what extent would you say that this story is about Félicité? What do you think Flaubert wanted to say by writing a short story about a person like Félicité?

7. Do you think that Félicité's final vision is religious or delusional? Does it matter?

8. How does Mme. Aubain respond to Félicité's reunion with her lost sister?

9. Why is it significant that Félicité sleeps in her chair in front of the fire?

10. What do you think Félicité means when she says of Victor's death that "'It doesn't matter a bit, not to them it doesn't'"?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Félicité's relationship with Theodore seems relatively minor in the context of the overall narrative. Why do you think Flaubert chose to include it? How does knowing that about Félicité alter our perception of her throughout the rest of the story? You should discuss at least three ways in which our perception of Félicité is affected by her failed relationship with Theodore.

Essay Topic 2

The most crucial moment in Félicité's relationship with Mme. Aubain is when the two of them embrace. Analyze this scene and Félicité's reaction to the experience. How does this change her relationship with Mme. Aubain? Why is it so important to Félicité? What impact does it have on the story generally?

Essay Topic 3

Flaubert is a critical figure in the literary movement called Realism, in which authors attempted to tell a story that mimics life as it actually is. To what extent is "A Simple Heart" realistic? Is Félicité a realistic character? In what ways would you answer yes and in what ways no? Do you think that realism is an attainable goal for a piece of literature?

(see the answer keys)

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