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 long have Félicité and Mme. Aubain been in this relationship?

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

3. What gift does M. Bourais bring for the children?

4. What was Mme. Aubain's annual income?

5. When Félicité was 25-years-old, how old did people think she was?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Explain the irony of Félicité's dismissal from her first job.

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

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

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

6. 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'"?

7. What does the narrator say about Félicité's age and appearance and why might this be an important detail?

8. Describe the impression that the narrator gives you of Mme. Aubain's house.

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

10. How do Félicité and Mme. Aubain react to Virginie's death?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Love is an important theme in "A Simple Heart." How could you argue that love is actually the central subject of this story?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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