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 is Mme. Aubain's husband described?

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

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

4. What does Virginie do while the family is on their outing?

5. Why does Felicite leave the farm she was working at while she dated Theodore?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does the narrator describe the woman to whom Paul is engaged?

2. How does Félicité begin to confuse or associate the parrot with the Holy Spirit?

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. 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?

5. Why do you think Félicité's reaction to Virginie's first communion is so much more powerful than her reaction to her own first communion?

6. Why do you think Félicité never talks about how worried she feels for Victor?

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

8. Think back on the story as a whole. What do you think is the major theme and why?

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

10. At the beginning of the story, what does the narrator tell us about Mme. Aubain's history?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Compare and contrast Mme. Aubain and Félicité's reactions to Virginie's death. How do their reactions fit in with their characters in general?

Essay Topic 2

There are several instances of classism in this novel, especially between Mme. Aubain and Félicité, but also between others; for example, between M. Bourais and Félicité. Using specific examples from the text, consider the way that the narrator treats these instances and whether or not there is an implicit or overt commentary on the subject. Does the text pass a judgment on classist behavior or is it a straightforward depiction of the existence of classism?

Essay Topic 3

What is the symbolic significance of the parrot? Review the parrots role in the story and create an argument that describes how the parrot functions symbolically in "A Simple Heart." As always, be sure to include specific examples from the text to support your argument.

(see the answer keys)

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