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 new activity do Félicité and Virginie begin at Christmas time?

3. What color is the wainscoting in the living room?

4. What does the narrator consider "a remainder of better days"?

5. Which relative of Mme. Aubain's frequently comes to visit?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What objects stand out in Félicité's collection of objects and what relationships can you find between them?

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

4. Why does Mme. Simon nurse Félicité as she is dying?

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. 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?

7. 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'"?

8. What do we learn about Félicité's eating habits and what do they tell us about her character?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Consider the relationship between Félicité and Mme. Aubain. The culminating event in their relationship is, of course, the moment of embrace and equality, but several other things happen between them that helps to place each of them in a certain relationship to the world around them. Write an essay that considers the way that Félicité and Mme. Aubain's relationship helps to ground each of them in a clear relationship to their world. Some details you might want to look at are Mme. Aubain's treatment of Félicité's actual family and Félicité's sense that it was wrong for Mme. Aubain to die before she did.

Essay Topic 2

Consider Félicité's relationship with her sister and her sister's family. Taking into account both their treatment of her and hers of them, what do Félicité's relationships with her family tell us about her character? Be sure to include her relationships with both Victor and her sister.

Essay Topic 3

Throughout the story, Félicité assumes a maternal role in several of her relationships. The most prominent examples are Virginie, Victor, and Loulou, but there are, arguably, other examples. Choose at least three people (or animals) that Félicité develops a maternal affection for and compare them. How does this comparison reflect on Félicité? Does there seem to be a larger message implicit in this theme?

(see the answer keys)

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