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 bedroom described?

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

3. Where is Félicité's bedroom?

4. Who reads to Félicité for the first time in her life?

5. How does Félicité lose her first job?

Short Essay Questions

1. Describe the scene with the bull and explain why you think it is important.

2. How does Félicité feel about Loulou before she begins to go deaf? How do you know?

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

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

5. What is the irony of Félicité's long search for Loulou?

6. What is Félicité's final vision and what might it symbolize?

7. What is your impression of Mme. Simon?

8. 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?

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

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

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

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.

Essay Topic 3

The procession of Corpus Christi recurs in this story and is a critical aspect of the imagery in the final chapter. In what ways does the significance of this particular celebration relate to the important themes in this story? You should definitely consider how it might mirror Félicité's understanding of religion, but you may also consider and discuss any other relationships that strike you. Be sure to refer to specific examples from the text in your analysis.

(see the answer keys)

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