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. Who offers advice about where Paul should go to school?

3. When the family rests in the field, what does Paul do?

4. How long does Félicité's family stay on their first visit?

5. What is Félicité's first job when she starts working for Mme. Aubain?

Short Essay Questions

1. Does Victor seem to genuinely care for Félicité or is he only interested in taking things from her?

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

3. How do Mme. Aubain and Félicité's reactions to Virginie's departure differ from each other?

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

5. Why do you think Mme. Aubain shakes slightly when she sees Félicité respond to the news of her nephew's death?

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

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

8. Does it seem surprising that Félicité's voice is shrill? Why do you think this detail is included in her description?

9. What are some examples of times when Félicité has been abused or disregarded? Describe them and explain how she is being treated poorly.

10. How is it significant that the parrot is being eaten by maggots, but Félicité neither knows nor cares?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

Compare and contrast the deaths of Victor and Virginie. What does each mean to Félicité? In what ways are the events the same and in what ways are they different? Why do you think that both deaths are included? What is the thematic impact of having these two deaths so close together that mirror each other in several critical ways?

Essay Topic 3

Mme. Aubain frequently functions as a foil for Félicité. Find several examples of this in the text and consider how Flaubert uses Mme. Aubain to draw attention to various aspects of Félicité's character.

(see the answer keys)

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